A Mornelly Thanksgiving: Part Four
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“Okay, so here are the lists of things I want to make.” Aileen spread the paper out on the table. “Aichear said you would know best as to which ones we can and cannot do. So he told me to let you decide.”
Breandan looked over her shoulder to look- then let out a slow whistle. He scratched the back of his head and frowned. “Hmmm, Aileen this could take a while. Are you sure we want to make all of these?”
“Well, however much we can make, I guess,” she said wistfully. “I was hoping we could try to make a little bit of each.”
Breandan studied the list a bit closer. “Well, let’s see. You have on here cranberry sauce, bacon and beans, corn on the cob, rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, fruit cake, pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan peanut butter pie, cherry pie, and then the list gets complicated.” He looked up at her. “I don’t think even we can eat all that.”
“Really?” She pursed her lips together. “Are you sure about that? I wanted to make sure there was enough food for everyone.”
Breandan smiled. Leave it to Aileen to be overthinking this whole process. In that way she was a lot like Bran, when she was given full-rein to direct something she tried to oversee every possible outcome. She wanted to make sure it was going to run smoothly.
“It’s okay, Aileen. Let’s pick out the essentials on this list. I happen to know as a food expert that we cannot eat all of this.”
“Okay, whatever you say.” Aileen climbed onto the counter and pulled a pen from the pen cup on the refrigerator. She handed it to Breandan.
Breandan studied the list again. He underlined a couple of the pies, the rolls, the cranberry sauce and the bacon and beans. “Okay, these are things I know we can manage to make. We’ll just double the recipe to make enough if it turns out to be too little. Anything else you want to add?”
Aileen beckoned for the pen, then underlined the mash potatoes and gravy. “I think those are important.”
“Right,” Breandan agreed. “Good idea.”
“And let’s make the cherry pie instead of the pumpkin pie.” She scrunched her nose. “I don’t like pumpkin pie.”
“No, I think we need to keep that one. It’s traditional. How about instead of the pecan we do the cherry?”
Together brother and sister made a list of the ingredients they’d need based off of the recipes Aileen had found in one of their charge's cookbook. Breandan added some extra ingredients in case they ran out, then they headed to the store to go shopping.
When they arrived home, they found Ciarán back and looking very grouchy. Aileen wanted to ask about the trip to go see Gerhard, but Breandan signaled her to be quiet. “He’s not happy Bran made him do that. Probably shouldn’t talk to him right now,” Breandan advised her.
“Okay,” she agreed. “So, where do we start?”
Breandan looked at the list again. “Well, we have three days until Thanksgiving, so let’s make the non-perishable food first. So that would be the pies and cranberry sauce. The rolls we’ll put away for now in a safe place that Damhán won’t find them. The bacon and beans, mash potatoes and gravy we’ll cook on Thanksgiving day, along with the shrimp salad and turkey. That should help us spread it out over the next three days to make sure it’s not too chaotic. Make sense?”
“Whatever you say.”
Breandan reached over and ruffled Aileen’s hair. “You’re a good girl, Aileen, sharing your plans with me. I know how much this means to you.”
She reddened a bit and smiled, looking away in embarrassment. “Thanks, Breandan.”
“I got the turkey!”
Damhán ran into the kitchen, turkey in hand. He swung it around before slamming it on the counter, a satisfied grin on his face. “And boy howdy whatdya think? It’s huge, ain’t it?”
“Since when did you talk cowboy?” Breandan raised an eyebrow.
“Since I got a turkey, that’s when,” Damhán responded, too excited to be irritated. “Isn’t it awesome?”
Breandan and Aileen turned it over, admiring how big the bird was. “Good job, Damhán, I’m impressed,” Breandan told him.
“I’m a fabulous turkey hunter. Why wouldn’t you be impressed?”
“Because you didn’t shoot the bird.” Breandan grinned. “You bought it.”
“Well fine, so not exactly a turkey hunter but a turkey bargain hunter, right? Close enough.” Damhán looked over his turkey with a somewhat loving look. “When do we cook it?”
“On Thanksgiving day,” Breandan explained. “We want it to be as fresh as possible. So we’re waiting until then.”
“I wish… I wish Thanksgiving was today…” Damhán slid farther down on the counter and stared at the turkey.
Aileen blinked. “What’s wrong with him?”
Breandan knew. Oh no you don’t, buddy.
He picked up the turkey and walked to the fridge, getting a pan out and setting the turkey in it. He put it in the fridge and shut the door, then turned to Aileen. “Go get a chain and a padlock.”
“What? Hey!” Damhán bolted up. “How are we supposed to eat if you lock the refrigerator?”
“I thought we had a spare refrigerator in the storage room.” Breandan let a small smile cross his face. He knew his younger brother well. “And I happen to know it’s stocked full of food. You’ll be fine.”
Aileen returned with the chain and lock. Breandan turned to the fridge and locked it up, while Damhán whined in the background.
“But- but I want the fridge! I like that one the best!” he did in his best Aileen impression.
Aileen glared at him. “Now that’s just insulting.”
“I know, right? Maybe you shouldn’t whine so much.” Damhán smirked.
Breandan caught Aileen around the waist and pulled her off the counter before she’d managed to lunge at Damhán. “No fighting,” he warned her. “The holiday coordinator cannot be fighting with her workers.”
“Sorry.” Aileen hung her head.
Breandan set her down and pulled out the cookbook. He put it in her arms, then gestured to the ingredients they’d set out. “Why don’t we get started on our pies, okay?”
“Sure!” She visibly lit up, running to collect the different pie materials they’d collected at the store.
Breandan turned to Damhán and pointed at the door. The seventeen-year-old was still staring at the fridge where his prized turkey had disappeared. “And you, go out unless you’re going to help cook.”
“Cooking is a girl’s job,” Damhán sniffed.
He was out the door before Breandan had managed to grab him by the shirt collar. Breandan couldn’t help but laugh. He turned back to his little sister and helped her get started on the pies, letting a chuckle out every now and then.Nice or not, everyone knew not to tease Breandan about his cooking. Even Damhán knew to get out of the way when he cracked such a joke. The power of the cook was not to be underestimated. Bad things happened to you and your meals when you made fun of him.
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