Nov 28, 2011

A Thanksgiving To Remember

For the past 4 years, we have spent Thanksgiving with wonderful friends.  Prior to that, we spent it at my parent's house.  Thus, if you follow deductive reasoning, you will conclude that I have not cooked a turkey in many, many years.  And it showed this year.  

It has become a tradition to share this wonderful holiday with Chuck's brother and his wife.  This year was full of extra anticipation of our reunion since we hadn't seen John in over a year since he was serving in Afghanistan.   We were just happy to be together.  Thankfully that happiness helped everyone overlook my lack of expertise in the ability to actually cook a turkey.

Nothing about this day was typical.  It started out wonderful enough.  All 3 kids came in to cuddle us first thing in the morning.  We hadn't had a family cuddle session for a long, long time.  It was a fun, lazy way to start the day.  When everyone parted to get ready, Bennett started yelling for us and crying in agony.  Something terrible was wrong.

His beloved bird, Azul, lay dead at the bottom of his cage.  Bennett was heart broken.  There was nothing we could say.  We just held him and let him cry.  When he could finally emerge from his room, he was wearing all black.  He said he was in mourning.  Who could blame him.  Uncle John made Azul a headstone and Bennett wrote a sweet note to put in the box with Azul.  We started the day with a funeral.  That wasn't in the plans.

On the positive side, Bennett was surrounded by lots of love and support that day.  A friend from Texas even called to encourage him in his time of sorrow.   That really helped to lift his spirits.  By the end of the afternoon he was even able to change out of his mourning clothes into football clothes.

Then came the time to eat the turkey.  It seemed to be taking forever to cook.  The directions said 3 1/2 to 4 hours.  We were working on 4 1/2 hours and the temperature gauge still wasn't at 190 degrees.  We decided that maybe it didn't need to be at 190 exactly so we took it out.  It looked nice and crispy from the outside.   However, inside was a very different story.  Chuck started cutting it and noticed alot of gelatinous white blobs.  It looked alot like fat.  But we didn't think turkeys had fat.  So we deduced that maybe the turkey wasn't cooked all the way thru - or at all for that matter.  Since the entire rest of the meal was already sitting on the table because it was ready an hour earlier, we decided to cut off what was edible from the turkey and eat it anyways.  We put it back in the oven so as to heat all the gelatinous mass thoroughly.

But now I'm playing the mind over matter game.  After seeing the gelatinous blobs, my stomach is officially turned off by anything that starts with the word 'turkey'.  I think I even felt a stomach ache coming on. Needless to say, the blueberry pie I attempted to eat also produced much anguish in my tummy.  It was not a good food day in my book.

Add to that the little revelation John decided to share with me after we finished eating.   He said, "Cori, I thought you should know, I think we cut off three legs on this turkey."  Nothing would surprise me by this time.  Of course they cut off three legs.  That's why it was full of gelatinous white blobs that weren't cooking.  We got a genetically altered turkey.  I will never be the same again.  We might just start making a Thanksgiving Ham from now on.  Or maybe spaghetti.  Unless someone has mercy on us and invites us over for their superior food.

However, all was not lost.  We had our annual football game.  Can you believe the weather here was exactly the same as it was in Dallas?!  It was a welcome relief.  It definitely made football playing easier and more fun.  The teams were The Three Leggeds: John, Bennett, Me and the Gelatinous White Stuff (GWS): Chuck, Karen, Gavin.  Chloe floated as an extra on each team's offense.  I'm proud to say the Three Leggeds won this year's championship game.  It was a proud moment indeed.  If I can't cook a turkey, I can at least redeem my self on the football field by catching two touchdowns.
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