To recap Thanksgiving, It went wonderfully at work. Much better than Halloween, mostly because I was very strict about things to the point of being a bitch, but it totally worked.
My assistant decided to make a practice run of making sweet potatoes and glazed carrots and wanted me to taste them before the big day. Since these are things you can’t really mess up, I had a lot of confidence in her. She showed up on Thursday with her first attempt at any American food. The carrots were pretty good, but needed more butter. She had never used butter ever, so she didn’t realize that it builds flavor.
She took the lid off of the sweet potatoes and I almost wanted to vomit. She used Taro root (purple potato) instead of sweet potatoes. When I explained there can be no substitutes –again, and I liked it to red bean paste (which is a sweet filling for moon cakes) and said just used smashed peas instead, I think she got it.
She also asked if, after I taught how to carve the chicken in this case, if they could just break apart the rest of them to make it faster. After a face palm, she quickly said, “forget I said anything.”
In the end, there was not a crumb of anything left. My Chinese co-workers had no faith that Chinese people would actually like American comfort food. They were SOOOO wrong! And we made a project of making oatmeal cookies which went like crazy! It was a HUGE success all around!
However, as my five days off are winding up, I realize that it was far from a vacation. First day, Monday, I got called into work. The sub didn’t come for my co-worker, and my supervisor was desperate. It’s not so bad though, because technically, I get paid twice for one day. But it wasn’t the best way to start a week off.
I had to bring the girls with me, which was fine, but when we came home, I stopped at one of the many convenience stores on the way, the milk shelf was completely empty! Ok, went to the next one, and the next one, and the next one. Not even a little lunch container. The largest city in the world, but there’s no milk after 9:30?!
The next day, the girls and I went downtown to our friends’ house where they were having a sleep-over. I left just before dinner to get some downtown Christmas shopping done, since there’s a Toys R Us, a book store, and some other cool stores around there. I left with all of my Christmas presents bought. Then I went down to the foreign grocery store for a few things, and ended up packing my back pack with way more than any 45 year-old, short woman should possibly carry, and two big bags, one in each hand, taking the subway an hour home, and then walking about half a mile.
While I was sitting on the subway, reading a book I borrowed from my friend Jodie, a foreigner sat next to me and said, “Hey, where are your girls?” Ok, that was weird. I said they were at their friends’ house. He said, “I always see you with your younger one on your lap sleeping.” Ok, city of 25 million people and this guy remembers someone on the metro 2 weeks ago? He helped me carry stuff, which was so nice. Then, that night,I put up the tree and lights for the girls, and left the ornaments for them to decorate it.
For some reason, I couldn’t find any pieces of chicken in the stores bigger than a wing, so I decided to go to KFC and get a bucket to go with all the side dishes. It’s kind of difficult to work anyway with a small toaster oven and 2 burners. I also picked up cream puffs for dessert.
When I got home I wanted to pull out my cake pan to put my stuffing in, and I searched everywhere in the kitchen. I have no idea where it is. My nanny washed it on Sunday, and God knows where she put it. She probably didn’t even know what it was. But then the idea of organization is completely lost on every nanny I have had. I just opened the girls pajama drawer and found their spring jackets, bathing suits, and bathrobes in the same drawer. Because, you know, these things go together, right? I know when I ask her tomorrow, she’s going to pull the cake pan out of the laundry room or something.
So I spent the day making sweet potatoes, glazed carrots, creamed peas, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce (well, kind of) on 2 burners and a toaster oven. Not too bad. I really don’t know why I make sweet potatoes, carrots and peas –which were all really awesome this year. Because really, stuffing and gravy are always the star. We had 8 for dinner, and I still have some left-overs.
On Thanksgiving Proper, we had had left-overs for brunch, but by dinner time, we went to a restaurant called “Pasta” and had Thai spring rolls, grilled vegetables, and Bacon Carbonara with ice cream for dessert. So that was our actual Thanksgiving dinner, I guess.
Today, I had realized that in five days of not working, I have had absolutely zero downtime. In fact, I was a lot more busy than I am when I work. So I had some errands to run today, and stuff I should have done, but instead, I took a time out. Well, I cooked 3 meals, did two loads of laundry, rearranged my closet, because really, I don’t get the nanny’s (lack of) system, but I didn’t leave, and I only did things as I felt like it, so it did feel like downtime.
Monday, I have to take the subway over an hour to downtown to see if this one pharmacy my friend goes to, will give me my thyroid medicine. I’ve been out of it for a couple of weeks now. I’ll be honest, I think it gives me bad stomach aches, because I haven’t had one since I ran out. But I have had a lot of trouble sleeping. I may only sleep about 6 hours, and I don’t fall asleep until like 4am! I don’t know which side-effect is worth it.
You know what I have really loved? All of this family time. I wish so bad I could be a stay-at-home mom. I hate that I am not. The best I can do is set a good example. But it sure would make home-schooling easier.