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Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey takes round one...

I am one of those people that has to have the holiday perfect down to the finest detail including handmade place cards with different thankful quotes inside each one.  It had been years since I had hosted a major holiday and I was thrilled!  It all started off so perfect.  The house was clean and decorated, the turkey was roasting, sides were prepped and our 24 guests had just arrived with hugs and thankful hearts. 

Quickly quiet, clean and Hallmark went to loud, messy and chaos.  But that's what makes a holiday a holiday.  The women filed into the kitchen with wine in one hand and cooking utensils in the other and the men filed outside with the kids or plopped on the couch to catch the game. 

Everything was going to plan until that turkey had to act up.  It was time for a basting but the stubborn bird had not produced any juice in 3 hours!  Had I not thawed it enough?  Was the oven not working?  The temp was not even 130 yet!  My sister in law calmed me and told me to just give it time.  We added some broth to the bottom of the pan and turned up the oven.  Next check in an hour. 

The hour passed quickly as we munched on egg rolls and made some sides.  Then we called in the men to pull out the bird.  But that bird had plans of it's own and did a swan dive breast first out of the pan and into the back of the oven.  In a panic my brother in law and husband tried to get the bird out of the back of the oven and back into the pan.  During the process my husband burned his thumb to a crisp and the meat thermometer broke on the floor.

The turkey was salvaged but the house was starting to quickly fill with smoke.  As my sister in law sopped the juice from the bottom of the hot oven I ran around opening every door and window in the house.  My guest politely smiled like nothing was wrong but even through the thick smoke I could see the underlying look of sympathy in their eyes.  One guest actually left.  My sister in law tried to calm me again and offered a glass of wine and my other sister in law commented that she shouldn't give me wine because it would make me "more emotional".  The straw that broke the camel's back as they say.  My eyes welled up, my lip quivered, my sister in law offered a hug and Niagara falls came forth.

Then in my smoke filled kitchen next to my undercooked turkey the true holiday moment emerged.  My family and friends formed a procession line of hugs and kind words that the holiday is about being together not about the food.  I accepted the white lies, wiped away my tears, and had that other glass of wine.

In the end dinner turned out great.  The turkey may have taken round one but the joke was on him at the dinner table.  We all sat at the table and passed food, gave toasts and shared our quotes on the hand made place cards.  We listened to the kids tell what they were thankful for.  The Hallmark beginning of the evening had come full circle to wrap up the night. 

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