Tuesday, October 13, 2009
What profound things can I come up with tonight? The passing of the turkey gauntlet perhaps? Yes, my sister spoke it aloud and my Mother subtly agreed. We are being groomed for the next generation of responsible adults. Now that we have children of our own, my Mother figured she would suggest my sister put on Thanksgiving dinner. I offered to come help put it all together, which sissy agreed to. So the girls and I arrived at Aunt K's house Saturday for a leisurely Saturday afternoon/evening. We took the kids to the park Sunday morning before we got into dinner prep too heavy, then got down and dirty. Lunch done and kids dispersed and turkey showdown 2009 began.
Sissy sauntered up to the bird, warming up to the task at hand. A little water to rinse it, make everyone more comfortable, then before you could blink her hand was shoved into its vast cavity. The neck removed, she held it open so I could fill the hole. To appease relatives not even dining with us for the meal, I concocted dressing and stuffed the turkey full. Task done, Sissy soothed the poor birds ruffled (feathers? nope gone already) by greasing it up with oil. Lowering our sacrificial bird into the tray, the oven door beckoned and the roasting began. Much basting ensued, while other vegetables were prepared. My Mother and step-father arrived and while offered drinks, were relegated to the role of guest. My Mom desperately tried to get into the kitchen to peek at the turkey or help with anything she could "do you want me to make the gravy?". Her advances were repulsed and she was relegated to kid-duty. Chagrined on the outside (I am sure she was in her glory, despite her inability to let go of control), she accepted her fate.
With sparkling brand new gloves I approached the oven. This was the moment, I am sure my Aunt missed most. I know Brad watched probably laughing and shaking his head while sucking on a beer. He would have been pleased to have someone else take control, but always enjoyed something done right. The kitchen was his domain and he did it all right. So I stood by with gloves on, watching as Auntie K pulled the turkey out of the oven. It was my time to shine. The bird was glistening and brown. It was time. I stepped forward, reached in and flipped the bird. And it was good. I felt Brad smile.
The turkey browned a little longer as we chatted and sipped on Caesars. Food called, so work resumed. While potatoes were mashed, I returned to my bird. While letting it rest, I sharpened all of Sissy's knives, searching for the heft I desired. Making my choice, I turned to the turkey. Again I asked for Brad's divine intervention. The carving was done by my hand and it too was good. More smiles from my erstwhile teacher. The meal was served and grace was said. Uncle A fell into soup making, even before the last bite was taken. Homemade pies graced the table. Kids were sent to bed. We breathed and relaxed and gave thanks for family. Cards were played, drinks were sipped and conversation flowed. Congratulations to a meal well made and well received. Sissy survived her first turkey feast. Happy Thanksgiving!