Thanksgiving without…. an oven?

So my oven broke. Two days before I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for 18 people.

Honestly, I was too busy to notice, what with trying to get all my work done before everyone checked out for the holiday, and the kids being off school and the mayhem that entails, and we had been out of town over the weekend…

Well, let’s just say it was the day before Turkey day and I woke up at 5 am in a panic. Really, what was I going to do without an oven? I had visions of everyone quietly picking at the food on their plates, not making eye contact around the table, because no-one wanted to be the first one to say out loud, “Ummmmm…. why is everything cold?”

Once I woke up all the way, my first coherent thought was, “What wine goes with cold turkey? At least I’ll get the wine right…” But seriously. The turkey was not the problem, anyway. My husband was frying deep frying the gobbler outside, so at least I knew that was taken care of, but that left all the sides.

So ¬†with nothing left to do but admit defeat, I sucked it up and called my mother in law, who lives a mile away, and worked out an oven schedule with her. She’d cook her world famous stuffing Thursday morning, and my mother’s decadent sweet potatoes with praline topping would go in during the early afternoon. Then we’d turn the heat down and keep everything warm until we could bring it back to my house to serve. She even had a hideous warmer contraption that plugged in on my buffet that did an ok job of keeping everything decently warm, even if it looked like everything that was tragic about appliances in the 70′s.

It somehow all came off without a hitch. We had games and crafts for the kids, everyone laughed and joked and had a great time, and no-one complained about having to bring their food in Yeti coolers so that it made the trip to my house hot. Now Thanksgiving is over, and an Arctic blast cold front is on its way, and thankfully the stove still works so the turkey gumbo that we’ll make this weekend with the frozen carcass won’t be a problem. Now my only problem is to figure out what Martin Ulisse wine pairs best with turkey and andouille gumbo????