while ana was still asleep, i packed up my flans in a box and strapped it onto my fuji bike. the rack is a bit rickety, but it seemed like it'd hold. when i arrived in belmont i ran an idea by my mother: i wanted to invite those 2 taiwanese tourists. that wasn't my original plan, but when i found out binbin had to leave at 6pm for another engagement and asked us if we could have thanksgiving earlier, that made me think. here's someone we invite every year who doesn't even seem to want to spend thanksgiving with us, and on the other hand are two taiwanese people roaming the empty streets of boston who would be honored to experience a real american thanksgiving. i just felt if i didn't at least ask, it'd make me a terrible person. when i explained it to my mother she immediately agreed. when my father came home and i shared him my feelings, he agreed to.
so i texted brad, asking him what he was doing, and if he wasn't busy tonight, they should come over to my parents' place for thanksgiving. they were walking the freedom trail, since probably most places were closed today. they voiced all the typical concerns: that they didn't want to impose, that they didn't know anyone, etc. i told him it'd be an honor to have some new people over, that most of the folks there were taiwanese anyway, that there was nothing to eat in the city, that we made too much food and they'd actually be helping us, and finally - when would they ever again experience a real authentic american thanksgiving? after they thought about it a little bit, they finally agreed. i told them to get to alewife station by 4:30pm and i'd come and pick them up.
before we started cooking, we first paid a visit to my grand uncle at the seniors home by fresh pond, still recuperating from his recent bout of urinary tract infection. seniors home like that are a strange place to visit, a sea of old people who most of the time just sit there, surrounded by an animated nursing staff swarming all about chirping greetings and encouragements. we arrived right around lunchtime. my grand uncle was on a special diet of soft foods. not only soft but gelatinous, to prevent choking. even the water came out in a blob, and apparently it's some sort of starchy powder they add to thicken the food.
my parents upgraded their oven range back in may when my aunt renovated their kitchen and didn't want their old-new ove range. this new-old range features a convection oven which i was excited to try on this year's thanksgiving turkey. i'd heard good things about convection cooking, and at the very least it'd be able to shave off an hour from the overall cooking time. after consulting the butterball turkey roasting page, for a 21lbs. bird that looks to be about 2-1/2 to 3 hours of baking.
after the turkey went into the oven, my father went ahead and made the bing (thin pancakes). since a convection oven uses a fan to circulate the hot air, the house was soon filled with the fragrance of roasting turkey. this year's turkey was also a little different because 1) it was a fresh turkey (refrigerated, not frozen), and 2) it came already pre-basted but we brined it again.