I helped my mom make Christmas dinner today. Yes, I’m ashamed to say that in all these many years I’ve never made, or even helped to make, a turkey dinner. But we hosted the meal today, so I couldn’t get out of it. And now I know how. And more importantly, I know why Jews order so much take-out.
My mother has been making Christmas dinners at least as long as I’ve been alive. We won’t even discuss turkeys prepared for Thanksgiving or other holidays. You’d think she has the routine down pat. But, I suppose, genes and upbringing are inescapable. Translation: she’s a bit of a worrier. She gets the turkey in the oven and then spends the next two or three hours worrying over the timing of the remainder of the meal (none of which needs to be prepared until about an hour before the turkey is done). She spent most of this morning alternately writing down to-do lists, muttering to herself and opening and closing the oven (I should note here that this was not a giant, complicated meal – it consisted of turkey and three sides, for four people). I kept trying to tell her, relax, there’s plenty of time. But no. Wander around. Write more lists. Check lists. Again. And again. Mutter to self. Repeat. An hour of work and four hours of worry.
This is the mentality that keeps Chinese restaurants in business.