Author Topic: My aunt is a turkey saboteur! UPDATE post 50  (Read 13740 times)

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Jaelle

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2012, 12:10:40 PM »
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)

Thomas the Tank Engine?  ;) Yes, I have small children. DH loves to use that phrase.

The one good thing about my tiny kitchen is the ready, plausible excuse of shooing people out because it's just too crowded. :P Good luck, OP.
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Minmom3

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2012, 12:29:43 PM »
I might add (with a smile): "Now you're not deliberately TRYING to sabotage my cooking, are you? Because if you remember (last year) and (year before)...well it's just so odd since you're such an awesome cook!"

That strikes me as incredibly passive-aggressive.

Also disingenuous.  HOWEVER, so is Auntie's 'helping' efforts that DO sabotage Otterpop's turkey.  I vote that Otterpop defends her bird and her kitchen by whatever means it takes.  Letting Auntie know that she's on to the 'helping/wrecking' isn't a bad thing, IMO.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

Slartibartfast

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2012, 12:32:29 PM »
I suspect she's doing all this partly because she likes being "behind the scenes" and can't stand to just sit around while someone else is doing the work.  I suggest you have something in another room you can "assign" her to do - entertaining kids, chopping vegetables, making sure nobody needs a drink, etc.  It won't solve everything but it will probably help.

I also wouldn't make any referernce to sabotoge, even in jest - I guarantee you she doesn't see her past actions in those terms, even if that's effectively what she was doing.  Alluding to sabotoge will only make her defensive and even MORE determined to be "helpful" in the kitchen, to prove you wrong.

BeagleMommy

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2012, 12:39:15 PM »
Otterpop, I can only tell you what worked on my DH.  The first year I made a Christmas ham he was insisting I was doing it wrong.  His mother always boiled her ham  :P.  Well, my mother and grandmother always baked the ham, inside a brown paper bag, inside the oven.

I told him "I'm going to try it this way.  If it doesn't work, you can say that you told me so and we'll do it your way next year.  Ham came out perfectly.  DH shuteth up.

acicularis

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2012, 12:55:48 PM »
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)

Thomas the Tank Engine?  ;) Yes, I have small children. DH loves to use that phrase.


Yup. My kids aren't so small anymore (the youngest is 9), but DH and I still love to use that phrase.  :D

acicularis

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2012, 01:01:12 PM »
I suspect she's doing all this partly because she likes being "behind the scenes" and can't stand to just sit around while someone else is doing the work.  I suggest you have something in another room you can "assign" her to do - entertaining kids, chopping vegetables, making sure nobody needs a drink, etc.  It won't solve everything but it will probably help.

Never has worked with my Mom. When the kids were young, the most helpful thing would have been for her to keep them occupied. But no, she wanted to "help" by being right at my elbow in the kitchen.

The problem is, when some people say they want to "help" what they really mean is that they want to be in the middle of stuff, or do what *they* think is helpful even if it really isn't. Not all that unlike my kids when they were toddlers, really.

Maude

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2012, 03:07:26 PM »
WHY are you cooking turkey after guests have arrived?Do it beforehand.

Judah

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2012, 03:12:04 PM »
WHY are you cooking turkey after guests have arrived?Do it beforehand.

Thanksgiving, in my experience, is more than just dinner. Guests show up a couple of hours before dinner, people socialize and have appetizers while the turkey is cooking. The turkey comes out and the cook puts the finishing touches on dinner while it rests. Only once all the food is ready do we sit down to eat.  I've never been to a Thanksgiving where you show up and diner is served right away.
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magician5

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2012, 03:19:38 PM »
She then proceeded to pout and fuss with her side dishes and didn't talk to me the rest of the evening (turkey came out perfectly cooked BTW).

Sounds fine to me ... do it this way every year.
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Deetee

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2012, 03:21:31 PM »
WHY are you cooking turkey after guests have arrived?Do it beforehand.

Because Thanksgiving is a family holiday that often involves a house full of people and visiting and on my family cooking and talking and drinking wine and laughing. Making the food can be as much a part of the holiday as eating it.

mj

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2012, 07:32:13 PM »
Does she have a habit of doing this sort of thing?  If not, I wouldn't make the jump that she is sabotaging anything.  Her oven may be off.  I didn't even know ovens could be off until I tried cooking using my grandmothers once, 350 was not 350 at her house.

SamiHami

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2012, 07:57:53 PM »
I might add (with a smile): "Now you're not deliberately TRYING to sabotage my cooking, are you? Because if you remember (last year) and (year before)...well it's just so odd since you're such an awesome cook!"

That strikes me as incredibly passive-aggressive.

It might be, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It translates to the offender (the aunt) that the OP is aware of her previous (and successful) attempts at sabotaging the meal, without actually coming out and directly stating as much. Stating it bluntly would be the equivalent of going nuclear on her and could turn it into a huge, painful family issue. By making the statement above, even though it's a bit PA, puts the offender on alert that the OP knows what she's up to and is not going to allow it to happen again, while still giving the offender the polite fiction that she is, and always has been, simply trying to be helpful.

Sometimes being direct is the worst way of approaching a problem. Being a little PA can be appropriate, if used correctly.

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nonesuch4

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2012, 08:31:22 PM »

Style_and_Grace

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2012, 09:15:38 PM »
My dad has always put a sheet of paper up with the weight and cooking time and key moments in turkey cooking (basting, tenting w/ foil) so that no matter who is in the kitchen at a given moment if we see the chart we can handle it (family of good and non competitive cooks.)  Now, in dealing with your Aunt I might use the chart as a way to show that you have it totally under control and don't need any help

whatsanenigma

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Re: My aunt is a turkey saboteur!
« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2012, 08:48:06 AM »
I'd be matter of fact with her and point out as nicely as possible "No offense, auntie, but you're turkey tips have failed me twice now.  First when you gave me instructions and it was too dry, then the year before last when you insisted it was done but turned out raw inside.  I've practiced cooking turkey since then, I know my oven very well,  and I have it down pat now.  So I'm all set and won't be taking any turkey lessons from ANYONE except Alton Brown."

I wonder if a mention of this all by itself might solve the problem. You could say "Your tips work for most ovens but mine is older/newer/a different type/uses gas instead of electricity/anything that sounds plausible and so I always have to make certain allowances."

While it wouldn't really solve the underlying problem of the aunt wanting to butt in, it might keep the peace for the day, which is maybe all you can expect.