Thanksgiving is next week.
I know. I’m in a bit of denial myself. I can’t believe how fast this holiday season has snuck up on us already.
I’ll be hosting the festivities at our house this year, which means that over the next week I’ll be busy cleaning,
ordering a premade turkey from New Seasons cooking delicious homemade food, and generally making sure the house is picked up enough so that my guests don’t break a leg by tripping over random matchbox cars lying around. And because I’ll be unusually busy with the domestic chores that I typically neglect, I’m resurrecting an old post about my first experience hosting Thanksgiving. Enjoy.
Everything was all ready.
The tables were set.
The 16 paper handprint turkeys Bobo and I made were cut, glued, and set out as placecards.
The pies were cooling on the rack ordered and picked up from the bakery.
It was my first Thanksgiving dinner at my house, and I was determined that everything would be perfect. There was just one thing left to do.
I had planned meticulously ahead. I had researched spice recipes on the internet. I had called my mother earlier in the week and grilled her about how to cook the perfect turkey. (What kind of roasting pan should I get? What are those little tinfoil snakes used for, anyways? How does your gravy turn out so good? No one can make turkey gravy like my mom.) I actually remembered to defrost the bird. I had set the alarm to an ungodly hour so I could pop it in the oven.
I was fully prepared to cook the dickens out of my first turkey. Or so I thought.
The morning of Thanksgiving the alarm went off at the crack of dawn. I stumbled downstairs and groggily turned on the oven to preheat. With one eye open, I lugged the turkey out of the fridge. But when I took it over to the sink to wash it out, something fell out of the middle of the bird.
When I saw it lying in the sink, I yelped and jumped back a bit. For the love of God, what WAS that?
And then I knew. Obviously, someone had left the frank and beans in the middle of my turkey.
A slew of questions raced through my mind:
What kind of sick joke is this, anyway?
Am I being Punk’d?
What exactly am I supposed to do I do with that?
Cook it up?
Throw it away?
Use it as a garnish?
It was too early still to call my mom. And I was more than a little embarrassed to try 1-800-BUTTERBALL. So I turned to my old standby. Google.
In the wee hours of the morning, I sat at the computer, Googling the phrase “turkey penis.” Not how I envisioned starting my Thanksgiving.
Eventually, Google straightened me out. And, suffice to say, the meal (and the turkey) turned out just fine. But I learned a few things that Thanksgiving day.
I learned that there are some phrases you should never, ever type into Google. Oh MY.
I learned that you can cheat and use the pre-cut, frozen mashed potatoes. And, if you add enough butter and cream, no one will know the difference. As long as you carefully dispose of the packaging.
I learned that my mom really does make the best turkey gravy I’ve ever tasted.
I learned that being able to have four generations of family sitting down at my dining room table is something to be thankful for, indeed.
I learned that tryptophan has no effect on children under the age of four. Especially after three pieces of chocolate pie.
Most importantly, I learned that store-bought turkeys come with the neck and the gizzards inside the bird. And I learned what a turkey willy does not look like.
Thank you for that, Google.
I hope you all are endowed with a wonderful Thanksgiving.