General Etiquette > Life...in general

My aunt is a turkey saboteur! UPDATE post 50

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Deetee:
I have never run into anyone like that.

I would not let her touch the turkey and would reply as though she was trying to be actually helpful as opposed to ignoring her. I mean, I would ignore her advice, but not ignore her. So if she said it was time to come out I would say "I don't think so. Let me double check......Nope, it will be ready to come out in another 45 minutes and then we will let it sit for 15 minutes and Bob will carve and I think the mashed pototoes are almost ready and the casserole will be just done and how does the table look. Do we have salad servers?"


 

cicero:
first - if she pouts and fumes, then that is her problem. is *this* the only control issue she has? she may have trouble giving up her throne.

second - i would blame this on the stove. or use a thermometer. "Oh i know that you're supposed to cook it X hours, but this oven is temperamental and X+2 hours works for us. Here, why don't you put out the bean dip?"

bonyk:
I second buying a thermometer.  I just spent less than $20 for one that has an alarm that goes off when the turkey reaches the proper temperature.

If that's not possible, just keep saying, "No, it's not done."  After about 3 times (or whenever you feel your blood pressure climbing), just ignore.

acicularis:
I've never had anyone try to sabotage me, but I have had the problem of too many cooks in the kitchen. I'll never forget my first Thanksgiving cooking for both sides of the family, with both my mom and MIL in the kitchen, disagreeing with me and each other about how to cook a turkey. The one thing they both agreed on was insisting the turkey needed to come out of the oven too early (I disagreed, but was overruled). It was raw in the middle. All of a sudden it became my turkey again. Yes, to this day, the official story is that I was the one who undercooked it.

Anyway, I learned two things from that: 1) An instant read thermometer is my friend. 2) No one else should be in my kitchen yammering at me when I'm trying to cook. Every time I've had people in the kitchen "helping" or just wanting to be in the middle of things, it has caused confusion and delay (bonus points to anyone who recognizes that fine literary/dramatic reference  ;D)

The first item was easy. The second is something I still struggle with to this day. Sometimes I use humor to keep people out of the kitchen, pointing out that our kitchen is small and I am clumsy and "Spill hot grease on someone and suddenly you're the bad guy!" or "Sorry, I just don't work or play well with others." Sometimes I try to be polite but firm, saying "No thanks, everything's under control," which makes my mother sulk sometimes, but that's still preferable to the chaos of extra people in the kitchen (because somehow, one extra person always becomes several extra people milling about). I also use stealth. Seriously. When all else fails, I try to sneak into the kitchen when it's time to get the turkey out, in hopes that I can do all those last minute things with as little interference as possible. Sometimes I've even had my husband cover for me, and keep my mother engaged while I sneak to the kitchen!  ;D

Hmmmmm:
When she offers advice, just smile and say you have it handled.  Or, "the turkeys fine but you might want to taste your dressing again.  I had a taste and it seemed to be missing some thing.  Did you forget salt."  >:D

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