Monday, November 23, 2015

Conversation with my European daughter in the middle of the night.

Funny conversation with Melanie today - it went in so many directions, I could hardly keep up. She usually gets to a computer to e-mail mid afternoon on Mondays (7a.m. our time) and she has limited computer time each week, but today she was on earlier in the day and my phone started beeping with her e-mails coming in at 1 a.m. our time. I was in bed, but I picked up my phone to watch her messages and pictures come in. I usually don't chat with her, but I read this:

1:03 a.m. Melanie: "MOM! I need you ...
I need recipes Can you help?"

1:05 a.m. Me: "Good Morning! What recipes? I'll get them right now before I go back to sleep."

1:07 a.m. Melanie: "Here are the pictures you asked for, will any of these work?" (sending picture attachments to me as we chat, I asked for a good picture for our family Christmas card this year)

1:09 a.m. Me: "Roxanne and I were just talking about using green for our photos. How did you know? Perfect selection. Thank you! You are beautiful in every one of them!  So. . . what recipes?"

1:11 a.m. Melanie: "You're so great. We are doing a huge Thanksgiving with our little branch. It is the second time ever doing it and sorry this is last second but the Czechs are sort of last second people .... so......that's fine. 
We will need:
Dad's cinnamon rolls
How to make Gravy
Peanut butter
And tips for baking a turkey. In an oven. (I don't know why I signed us up for this. once again we are being prepared for the future here out on the mission!)"

(Note - Melanie is competent in the kitchen, but doesn't have a large skill set with proteins and for sure has never roasted a turkey! As a missionary, she has limited time to shop, research, gather supplies, and cook.)

1:12 a.m. Me: "Are you getting back on line later today? Dad is sound asleep but he will be getting up in about 5 hours. I don't know what cinnamon roll recipe he uses but he can get it to you when he wakes up. 
And. . . Making peanut butter? What? Can't you buy that?"

1:15 a.m. Melanie: "oh! sorry. I meant PB cookies. 
And yes, we will be back on briefly at 4 or 4:30 today so that is fine."

So I get up and start searching recipes from the internet for her. The only way I have cooked a turkey is in a Turkey Oven Bag, Since she will not have access to what I use, I start googling, copying, pasting, and sending: "Baking a Turkey, easy method"  and  "How to make gravy, easy method"  and "Basic Peanut butter cookies".  

1:19 a.m. send recipe for cookies

1.20 a.m. Melanie: "Here are some more pictures, do you like the ones with or without the hat?"

1:22 a.m. send instructions for baking a turkey
1:24 a.m. send instructions for making gravy

1:24 a.m. Me: I'll have to wait til we take our family picture and see which one looks best with one of yours so they match on our card.

1:25 a.m. Me: For the gravy, make this Giblet stock if you have time, otherwise buy chicken stock or chicken broth or bouillon.
You'll need to pull out the neck and giblets from the turkey (usually packed inside in wax paper)
1 turkey neck
Turkey giblets
5 cups water
INSTRUCTIONS . .  .(etc)

1:28 a.m. Melanie: "please define giblets. Thank you !!"

1:29 a.m. Melanie: "Mom, I can't remember the dropbox password"

1:33 a.m. Me: (internet definition search) "Giblets refers to the little bundle of parts sometimes found inside the cavity of a bird, such as chicken or turkey. Usually the giblets includes the neck the gizzard (a muscle that grinds up food before it enters the digestive system - think of it as a second stomach), the heart, and the liver."

1:34 a.m. Send password

1:35 a.m. Melanie: "good glory mother! Thank you for that definition!"

1:35 a.m. Me: "You boil them, it gets all the flavor into the water, then discard the solids and you have a wonderful liquid to make gravy with. 
If you are buying a turkey, find out how they are sold. If you buy a frozen turkey (that's about the only way to buy them here) it takes DAYS to thaw out in a fridge. Buy it TODAY!. "

1:36 a.m. Melanie: "Here's one more picture of me - but I don't like this one. It makes me look funny."

1:36 a.m. Melanie: I'm afraid dropbox hates me. Its not working at all. Does it work for you? sorry you're doing this in the middle of the night. I love you! (All during this conversation, she was also trying to download her camera memory card onto my dropbox account) 

1:41 a.m. Melanie: "as far as we know, we will get the turkey (assuming it is thawed) on Thursday afternoon and we are to cook it all Thursday night for the party on Friday evening. Pray for us !!"

1:45 a.m. Melanie: "Mom, I had to reset the password, can you confirm it on your end?"

1:46 a.m. Melanie: "Mom, WHY DOES DROPBOX HATE ME ?"

1:48 a.m. Me: (another quick internet search) How to Safely Thaw the Turkey: be sure to let your turkey completely thaw before cooking. If it was frozen through when you bought it, the turkey will thaw within a few days in the fridge, approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey. For quicker thawing, place the turkey in a cold water bath and change the water every 30 minutes until it's thawed.

1:50 a.m. Me:  "Ahh, maybe because I am signed in? my computer stays signed in. I just logged off, try it now."

1:52 a.m.  Melanie:  "Dropbox works now. Enjoy the pictures I'm sending you."

1:56 Melanie: "YOU ARE A MIRACLE WOMAN!!!
Thank you mother dearest. We have all instructions needed to successfully celebrate Thanksgiving. 
You are the best, now go to bed :) I love you dearly. Sweet dreams."

1:59 a.m. Melanie: "P.S.  I will be using personal funds for the thanksgiving recipes but the branch will reimburse me meaning the reimbursement will go in my pocket since I have no way to transfer funds back to you. It shouldn't be a lot. just expect that on the credit card. You will be blessed for your sponsorship."

2:02 a.m. Me:   "Good night Mel. I'm turning off my phone so I don't hear the 'ding' every time a picture downloads, so I hope you don't have any more questions. I love you and we WILL pray for your Thanksgiving feast to be a success." 

I was not quite expecting to be sitting at my computer in the middle of the night frantically searching for written instructions on "baking a turkey" , but now I'm very anxious for next Monday's e-mail letter for the results of "The Great Czech Republic  American Thanksgiving Feast of 2015"