Thursday, November 11, 2010

Whine and Dine

Ladies and....ladies, it has been a long week.  After finishing up a couple of projects at the end of last week, I looked around at the disaster that was my house and threw my hands up in despair.  Something just wasn't working (and that something was not me, because I filled the dishwasher three times on Friday alone), and something had to change.

I spent most of this week figuring out what had to change, how to change it, and changing it, but that is a story for another day, another blog post.

Today's story begins with me telling you, since Thanksgiving is around the corner and I'm in a mood to confess, that I don't make my own turkey gravy and that I really, really want a new dining room table.  And chairs.

Since we've lived in Indiana, we've celebrated every Thanksgiving with our friends, the Cleverlys (aka the Clevs), and assorted other friends and family.  It's always at my house, and Nicole and I always plan and prepare the bulk of the feast ourselves.  Often, my sister visits for Thanksgiving, and sometimes the Clevs have family visiting, and we always try to include other friends who don't have family in the area to join us.  We've become a good team when it comes to cooking a feast for a crowd.  Nicole has become quite the turkey specialist over the years, while I have attempted to specialize in pies.  (Still working on that one.)

The secret to Nicole's savory turkeys is that she brines them.  She brines them in the Williams-Sonoma Apple & Spices turkey brine.

Nicole either roasts the turkey at my house or brings it to finish cooking in my oven.  We make our final preparations for dinner while the children play and our husbands snitch appetizers. Just before dinner, Nicole and I make the gravy.....using the Williams-Sonoma Turkey Gravy Base.
Notice that Williams-Sonoma figures prominently in our Thanksgiving celebration?  Ironic, because Nicole and I are real sticklers when it comes to keeping the grocery budget low at all other times of the year.  Nicole is the queen of coupons and I make granola bars from scratch.   Believe me, we have tried to make our own brining solution and our own gravy in order to avoid the Williams-Sonoma price tag. 

We tried it, and we regretted it.  But this--this is worth it's weight in gold.  This is like the caviar of gravies.  You will want to eat this gravy by itself, with a spoon.  I'm not kidding.  I plunked down $10 per jar for this stuff without batting an eye this week.  And I bought three of them.  Two for Thanksgiving, and one for me to eat with a spoon. 

Nicole and I do not live down the street from Williams-Sonoma.  The nearest one is almost an hour away, at a swanky mall on the right side of town.  We only shop there for gravy and brine.  This year, it was my turn to make the trip to Williams-Sonoma.  Due to the fact that I don't frequent the swanky mall or Williams-Sonoma on a regular basis,  I accidentally entered the Williams-Sonoma home store, began searching for the gravy......and met my destiny.
This table.  It is the missing link to my kitchen, I swear.  Here is what it looks like in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.
Be still my heart, that table is destined for my kitchen.  It seats 12.  Granted, there are usually 16-20 at our Thanksgiving feasts, but since half of them are children, this table will do just fine.  I'm pretty sure a table for 20 won't fit in my kitchen, anyway.  It's a conventional 72 inches without the leaves.  And....
It's on *sale!
 *for $975, table only.
Ummm, did you read the fine print?  Unfortunately, that is about $900 more than what I have available to spend on a table.  But it is solid.  So very, very solid in all it's chunky painted white wood and distressed elm tabletop glory.  Believe me, I checked it out.  The Williams-Sonoma sales associate found me underneath the table, taking a good look.  She--elegant and refined as she was--seemed slightly shocked to find me down there.  I don't think the typical Williams-Sonoma customer lies on the floor beneath their products. 

Not to mention, I don't think I have spent that much money on a single piece of furniture ever before.  That kind of money is a lot of pressure for any one single object to live up to, don't you think?  I mean, I just don't think it is right for me to have to say, "Kids, come sit down for dinner, but don't touch the table!!!"  

Then again, that tabletop was a good three inches thick.  And it was already nicely distressed, so we could only improve upon that look.  There was not a single smidge of wobble in those table legs.  But that price doesn't include chairs.  And since my current dining chairs are all ready to fall apart, that is a problem.  

But Williams-Sonoma offers "In-home delivery with White Glove service".  I don't even know what White Glove service is, but I bet it's way better than what you get from the Sears Appliance delivery.  I want to experience White Glove service!

On the other hand, if I am going to shell out that kind of money for a piece of furniture, I'd better carry it around with my until my granddaughter's fight over it on my deathbed.  There are commitment issues here.  I have hardly any pictures that actually hang on my walls, because of decorating commitment issues.  

But my in-laws are coming for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  My in-laws!  And if I had this dining room table, my mother-in-law would surely think that her son and grandchildren were well-cared for by an outstanding homemaker with impeccable taste.  Right?

Now, I'm off to get some cheese to go along with my whine.  

Moral of the story?  Order your Williams-Sonoma gravy online this year.  A $6 shipping fee costs less than the $975 table you might be tempted to bring home if you go to the store. 

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