I really wanted a simple Thanksgiving.
I don’t say that lightly. Some people say it, then proceed to wear themselves out recreating Pioneer Woman’s menu from her Thanksgiving Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Not I. My menu had three items on it: a $7 turkey that had been thawing for five days, sausage dressing, and roasted Brussels Sprouts. I wanted to watch the Macy’s Day Parade with Adam and maybe a movie later on with Ismael.
Earlier in the week, I had informed my African-Muslim husband that I didn’t care if he celebrated Thanksgiving or not, I did, and he’d better get on board with it and eat some damn turkey, be glad he had a wife who would cook for him, and shut his damn mouth. That was the last I heard of “I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving” from him.
My Facebook status that morning was confident, if not cocky: Woman v. Turkey, roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Sausage Dressing. I predict total victory and subsequent annihilation. Thanksgiving morning, 7:20 AM.
I got Adam dressed in his new comfy, warm, Thanksgiving outfit. Thank you Garanimals. We played trains in his room and relaxed. An 11 pound turkey just doesn’t take that long to cook. No need to start at dawn.
An hour later we had moved to the living room, where Adam emptied the clothes hamper all over the floor, rode it like a jockey going for the Triple Crown, and then happily climbed up and perched himself precariously on top:
I got started on this thing:
See him? It almost looks like he is smiling at me and mocking me with his one, red eye. Oh wait, that cavernous area is his butt? Not his mouth? THAT’S not a smile I stuck my hand into looking for giblets?? Which by the way, when found and subsequently removed from the turkey, flipped out and splashed turkey blood all over my wall.
I’m a messy cook.
I continued undaunted. My fatal flaw, best I can ascertain was forgetting to tent that sucker with aluminmum foil. I came to that conclusion later in the morning when my very done looking turkey was staring back at me from the oven, not done.
An hour later, the timer popped and I pulled it from the oven. I stabbed it repeatedly with my own meat thermometer. 175 degrees everywhere. Excellent.
I moved on to the stuffing. Easy enough. Turkey sausage, onion, celery, mushrooms, butter, toasted French bread, and lots of chicken stock. Smoosh it in a glass pan. Bake it at 300 something until done.
I pulled that from the oven, woke Ismael who didn’t bother to get out of bed, and then went to carve the turkey, we’ll call him Tom.
Turns out that Tom Turkey would get the last laugh. I cut him open and his plentiful juices were pink. P-i-n-k.
I ate dressing for my Thanksgiving lunch. Adam ate string cheese and wheat thins, which couldn’t have made him happier. Ismael ate his pillow.
When he rolled out of bed, he found me sitting on the couch, crying from the sheer frustration of my SIMPLE day and giving him the big time stink eye. If I’d had a decent bottle of red wine and a straw, I likely would have been slurping that as well.
Because he is smart and a smart ass to boot, he said, “I’m going to look online to see how to fix your turkey.” “I’m going to throw it out.” “WHAT? You’re going to throw out a seventy dollar turkey???”
Seventy? This is how closely my husband listens to me. And I guess that if I thought it was a $70 bird, I would also have been marching around here, protesting, as well.
His smarter side took over: “Where would you like to go out to eat?” “Cracker ::Sniff:: Barrel.”
I went back to the kitchen and reached for a bowl to refrigerate the stuffing in. A second glass bowl, which weighed about 38 pounds, fell from the cabinet and landed right on the side of the GLASS baking pan holding the stuffing.
Not only did the Pyrex baking pan break, it shattered, sending shards of blue glass into the only edible dish I made this Thanksgiving.
I threw it ALL in the trash, turkey first, then stuffing, and the broken glass. A veritable parfait of Thanksgiving defeat:
I washed my face, updated Facebook, and got the car keys: Victory belonged to the turkey. We’re going to Cracker Barrel. I wish I were kidding. Thanksgiving afternoon. 3:17 PM