Thanksgiving turkey, findingourwaynow.comLife is full of memories; some are like warm blankets, some are sad, but there are some that put a huge grin on our face, especially this memory of my mom & a thanksgiving turkey.

Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings, an abundance of food and much laughter and fun. It’s my belief that we, all of us, could write a book about our Thanksgiving Day memories. Some of these memories bring with them some very interesting lessons in the strangest of ways.

Here, is my Thanksgiving Day story.

Mom & A Thanksgiving Turkey

I was around 10 years old. Our family lived in this huge old farmhouse that had been one of the original homes within the small town we lived. The kitchen was an old-fashioned kitchen. The oven was an older oven. You know the kind, where the door creaks and easy opens almost hitting the floor when it does. Nevertheless it worked well enough. As a kid, you never really thought about the appliances you used, we just knew they worked when we were baking brownies or other foods that interested kids.

Thanksgiving turkey, findingourwaynow.com

My parents were both teachers and worked hard at their jobs. That particular year their work had left little time for them to prepare for our Thanksgiving Day feast. It was Wednesday night before Thanksgiving Day. Mom had previously frozen the turkey and had gotten it out of the freezer to thaw. She planned on getting up very early the next morning to prepare it for cooking. Mom and Dad had decided not to stuff the thanksgiving turkey with dressing this year so that it wouldn’t take as long to cook. We had prepared many things, such as the cranberry sauce, ambrosia salad and such that night, before we went to bed, all to make our Thanksgiving Day meal a bit easier for everyone the next day. By the time we were done it was very late when we finally went to bed.

Mom was up before the sun to prepare the turkey for the oven. She was very tired and had planned to get the turkey in the oven, so she could go back to bed for a bit. By the time we were all up, the cooking of the thanksgiving turkey was under way.

We had a lot of things to do. We make pan dressing, snapped the beans, shucked and scraped the corn, prepared the sweet potatoes for a casserole after the turkey was done. There was going to be a lot of food.

thanksgiving turkey, findingourwaynow.com

One food item that was an absolute must was mashed potatoes and gravy. We had peeled and diced the potatoes and started them to boil. Mom couldn’t find the giblets (the turkey heart, liver, gizzard and neck) that we would cook to make our thanksgiving turkey gravy. She looked everywhere and had finally decided, because she was so tired, she must have thrown them away by accident. That meant that we would be using a store bought gravy instead, not our favorite thing. By mid-morning, everything was ready for the final touches. We just needed the turkey to finish cooking.

My bothers and I were watching TV while mom and dad sat talking about who was coming and where everyone would sit. They were telling us when we would need to set the table and what other responsibilities we would have when we started serving our Thanksgiving Day meal.

We heard a noise coming from the kitchen. Because the house was very old, there were always strange noises, so we didn’t pay it much mind. Nevertheless we wandered into the kitchen. It was only a second later when we heard a rumbling and loud hissing sound coming from the oven. Then, BAM, the oven door flew open and out came the turkey, pan and all, flying through the air, landing on the kitchen floor with a BANG and then spun around like a top!!! We just stared, wide eyed, at the partially cooked turkey. No one approached the turkey because it was just too weird watching that turkey fly out of the oven, through the air and spin on the floor. We just stood there, staring, wondering if our Thanksgiving Day turkey had come back to life.

Thanksgiving turkey, findingourwaynow.com

My Dad was finally brave enough to approach and give the thanksgiving turkey a poke. It seemed all right (dead that is). That was when Dad noticed a plastic bag, ballooning out of the cavity of the turkey. In my Mother’s haste to prepare the turkey for the oven, she had neglected to take out the bag of giblets in the cavity of the turkey. While it was cooking, pressure had built up inside the turkey until it had reached a point where that pressure needed to go somewhere. At that critical moment, it was like a shooting rocket and the only place it could go was out of the oven. Thus, resulting in our flying turkey.

findingourwaynow.com

My dad picked up the roasting pan with the turkey and brought it to the kitchen counter, extracted the large puffed up bag of partially cooked giblets and then put the turkey back in the oven to finish cooking.

The turkey actually turned out great. We were also able to have real gravy, thanks to our flying turkey. All the rest of our Thanksgiving Day meal went as expected with no more surprises. But boy did we have a story for all that showed up to share our meal.

When the table was cleared, all the dishes were put away, and we were still babbling on about our flying thanksgiving turkey, I remember hearing my mother say “I need to slow down; take a moment to make sure I don’t miss something important.” and then she laughed along with the rest of us.

Life can be busy; much too busy at times. As it is with all things, there is a lesson in that flying thanksgiving turkey. It’s a lesson I remember every time I’m in a hurry, and I’ll hear my Mother’s words resonate in my mind, “Slow down. Make sure you aren’t missing something important.” and then I’ll remember that flying thanksgiving turkey and I laugh.

Do you have some fun memories of Thanksgiving Day? Some that make you laugh? I can’t wait to hear.

Mom & A Thanksgiving Turkey, findingourwaynow.com

Happy Thanksgiving as our life’s journey continues…

If you loved this, check out my other stories, recipes and wine recommendations such as, Over The River & Through The Wood, Sticky Buns & A Bear, Mixed Berry Rustic Tart Recipe and Cycles Gladiator Pinot Grigio.



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  • http://twitter.com/geekgirlusa Cheryl Therrien

    That is one great and funny story! Love it! It’s interesting that this story talks about taking time so you don’t miss something important – I was just writing about that this very morning. I do not have any Thanksgiving stories that can come close to this one. LOL :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Cheryl, Great minds so thing alike… :D. We all have some fond memories, but some are funnier then others. I’m glad you enjoyed my story. :-)))

  • Gina Beth Baker

    None of our memories include a flying turkey! That is hilarious. :) One of my favorites lately is when just my husband, me and my little boy went to this fancy hotel for Thanksgiving brunch. not only was it scrumptious, but we had a great day not worrying about any cooking or other details. :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Gina, Thanks. It was really funny as a kid and we talked about it for along time. We have done that too when it’s just us and not family is visiting. It’s fun to have someone else worry about it all… :-)))

  • HB

    I LOVE this story. It really made me laugh. The one memory I have of Thanksgiving is when a raccoon got into the trash can the night before and we thought someone was trying break in to our house. We called the police. It was quite a ruckus and too funny when we found out what it really was. :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi HB, Thank you. That sounds like a great story in and of itself. I could just see that happening :-)

  • Rogene

    Great story! I needed a good laught today.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Rogene, I am so glad it gave you a much needed laugh. :-)

  • http://writespeaksell.com jeannettepaladino

    Wonderful story, Susan. My late husband and I used to own a log home in upstate New York. Very rural. We would host Thanksgiving dinner in front of a roaring fireplace. We felt like early pilgrims surrounded by family, friends and log walls. It was very special.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Jeannette, Your upstate NY place and family gatherings sound absolutely delightful, especially the fire place. :-)

  • http://joannerambling.wordpress.com/ Jo-Anne

    No thanksgiving memories but your story made me laugh thank you for that……also can remember a time when my nan forgot to take the giblets out of the turkey but it didn’t explode out of the oven pop discovered them when he went to cave the turkey and nan blamed him for her leaving them in the turkey she said he was disturbing her and made her forget……………he just said ok my fault……………and laughed when she left the room…….

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jo-Ann, This story always makes me laugh when I remember it. I’m glad it did the same for you. :-) I love your story, that is really cute and he was a very wise man too. :-)

  • http://www.bindu.ca/ Bindhurani

    Wow!! The flying turkey from the owen!! I can imagine the stunned faces in that kitchen…

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Bindu, It was certainly a moment I will never forget. It always make me laugh when I think of it, especially this time of year. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/m4bmarketing Susan Oakes

    Well it is the first time I have heard of a dead flying turkey and I loved the way your dad poked it just in case it was coming back from the dead. You are right about slowing down especially the need for it these days. One thing i learned form this article is I never knew you used the giblets to make the gravy :) Hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Susan, It was funny at the time, but there was NO way I was going to check it… LOL. The giblets do make awesome flavorful gravy. It hard slowing down when everything seems to be speeding up… sigh! It is something we must figure out, don’t you think? I am happy you enjoyed the story. :-)

  • Tom Ross

    Susan,

    Another great story.

    Reminds me that the family gatherings that seem at the time a “disaster” can be the most delightful and memorable ones. I know it’s a cliche but what matters is simply to be together. I never stop feeling gratitude for each moment I can spend with those I love.

    Your gentle and loving spirit shines through in the stories you tell.

    Tom

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Tom, You’re right, sometimes these types of disasters become a memory that stays with us for a life time. This one certainly has… LOL

      You are too kind. You have warmed my heart with you kindness. Thank you my friend. :-)

  • wendy mccance

    I really think you need to write a book! You really have a wonderful way of make the words create a vivid picture in your mind. The stories have been so enjoyable to read. P.S. I really love the pictures you have done. They’re fabulous. :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Wendy, WOW, do you really? I have been seriously thinking about publishing my stories in an ebook. It pleases me greatly that you enjoy both my story and drawings. :-)))

  • John Barton

    Susan Another great story and there is nothing better than to relate to your own personal experiences. Great fun with the turkey – hopefully ours will come at Christmas time! I think we miss out here in the UK by not having an equivalent to Thanksgiving. There was once talk about celebrating Trafalgar Day as an extra public holiday but for some reason we did not pursue that idea! Cheers John

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi John, Thank you. Thanksgiving here is all about family and sharing. It’s a perfect holiday to have before all the other holidays get into full swing. :-)))

  • http://twitter.com/BestParentCoach Keyuri Joshi

    I just loved this post! Your illustrations are outstanding and the story has one of the best morals ever! Slowing down is one of the most life enhancings we can do to truly succeed in the physical tasks we engage in as well as in our peace of mind. The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize that multitasking is failing me! Solid focus on one (okay… maybe two) tasks at a time renders better results.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Keyuri. Thank you so much… :-). You warm my heart with your kind words. Slowing down these days isn’t easy but we do need to do that when ever possible for the very reason you mentioned. :-)

  • Margaret Duarte

    I can visualize this happening at our house. Something to laugh about afterwards, but not always funny at the time it happens. The best stories are often the ones that at first are the most distressing. You’re right, these are moments that should be written down to be shared later. They do, indeed, contain valuable lessons.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Margaret, How right you are. It wasn’t so funny then but we talked and laughed about for years after. The lesson was one that has stayed with me, i just need to heed it more then I do… LOL

  • Mark Brody

    That was hysterical!! It will keep a smile on my face through Christmas just thinking about it! Those are the stories that family memories are made of!
    Thank you for sharing, Susan!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hey Mark, These types of memories become part of the fabric of a family… and they make us laugh. I’m happy it did that for you as well. :-)

  • Janelle

    Haha! Great story! Yes, we all need to slow down and enjoy! Thanks Susan.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      So true Janelle. I’m happy the story made you laugh. I certainly do in the telling of it… LOL

  • claudiajustsaying

    Great pictures and the story, can’t beat a flying turkey and everyone’s reaction. Claudia

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks so much Claudia, It was a great moment for us as a family and one I shall never forget… LOL.

  • Doreen Pendgracs

    Terrific post, Susan. And lovely illustrations as usual.

    You folks in the US seem to put more emphasis/importance on TG than we do in Canada. I think that’s kind of neat. :-)

    And wow! That flying turkey will always be with you. How amazing! I hope you enjoy the holidays and that those memories will stay with you forever.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Doreen, Thank you… :-) It was truly one of the funniest of memories. I still have trouble not laughing before I finish telling someone about our flying turkey… LOL

      Thanksgiving has become a special time to enjoy family and share what we have with others before the holiday season takes off. :-)

  • http://NewsBlaze.com Alan Gray

    Flying turkey! reminds me of cooking sweet potatoes a few weeks ago, Susan. I forgot to punch holes in it with the fork, and it exploded in the microwave – blew one end off and splattered it all over the inside of the oven, top, bottom and sides.

    I’m glad the turkey turned out OK – the potato was too, and I haven’t forgotten since.

    I miss Thanksgiving in the US!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Alan and welcome, Boy have I done that and it’s a mess, but now you have a story to tell… LOL. I do agree, the US Turkey day is very special. :-)

  • HomeJobsbyMOM

    “I need to slow down; take a moment to make sure I don’t miss something important”. I feel that way all of the time. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy all the little things in life

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Krystle, That is always the hope when in a very busy time. When there is time to breath in life, it is such a joy. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/backgrinder Backgrinder

    Hilarious! Reminded me of A Christmas Story, I was half expecting it to end in the local Chinese restaurant!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi there and welcome. I’m glad this story was able to give you laugh. No, there was no Chinese Restaurant in our town… LOL. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/bethanyjolee Bethany Lee

    Goodness, what a story!! I can’t say I’ve ever seen a dead turkey fly! :-)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Bethany, Thanks, Me either until that day, nor have I seen one since… LOL

  • Tope Olofin

    Awww Susan, I love your writing style here. I love how you chose a simple story to point out a very valuable lesson. And I know I need to slow down, so I don’t miss anything important. I am always running, could my city life be blamed for this?

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Tope, What a nice thing to say… :-). I think the busier the town we live, makes it that much harder to find the time so slow down. Good luck with that. :-)

  • Kelly Wade

    Very funny! I would have been on the floor laughing if I had seen that. The funniest story I can think of is when an uncle of mine wrote the words “Hi Toni” in the stick of butter because he knew my aunt would be the first to ask someone to pass the butter. She saw it and started yelling and we all had a good laugh. I love Thanksgiving and can’t wait for next week!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Kelly, The fact that I made you laugh is a great reward for me. I love that story about your uncle, I could see that happening at our house too… LOL. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/JeriWB Jeri Walker-Bickett

    Well at least the poor bird got one last flight before becoming dinner! My mom always likes to tell the story of the first time she cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving. The stuffing said “ready to use” on the box, so she just stuck the crumbs in without adding any liquid, etc. Must’ve been pretty dang dry…

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jeri, LOL… It certainly did. What a great story… no kidding… LOL I would loved to have seen the reactions she got when she told everyone about the stuffing. :-)

  • http://biz.leoraw.com/about/ Leora Wenger

    Oh, I’m happy to read it turned OK! We had problems with our oven last summer – there were a few times I had to barbecue instead of bake. We got a new oven. Then we had our power outages recently …

    I love the image of the BAM from the oven.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Leora, We were to and we were entertained to boot… LOL. I hate it when that happens. I’m glad you now have a new oven and I hope the power was restored very quickly. :-)

  • Elizabeth Scott

    Susan – I couldn’t stop laughing when I read this story. We had a similar situation when I was cooking a whole chicken and the whole glass pan shattered in the oven while it was still cooking. Needless to say we went to dinner that night.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Elizabeth, I’m glad it gave you a good laugh. Wow, that must have been quite a mess. Our pan was the old-fashion speckled metal one. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/TakeChargeBecc Rebecca Thompson

    What a great take away. Me I would have taken away something much less useful, like peeing your pants with laughter is not as horrifying as some would think :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Rebecca, Thanks… LOL. It was really funny after we had gotten over the shock of the turkey flying out of the oven. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/SimplySherryl Sherryl Wilson

    This was a joy to read! Your mother’s comment about slowing down is so true! Thanks for sharing

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Sherryl, Your words make me do a happy dance. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/luckygoldcat Michelle Grundy

    What a lovely story (I did the same my first married Christmas, attempting my first Turkey dinner, but with less explosions and more smell of melted plastic!) ! I live in the UK and I’m really envious of your Thanksgiving tradition. Following from the More than Mommies Mixer – http://flusteredshell.blogspot.co.uk/

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Michelle, Welcome and thank you so much… :-). That is too funny. I believe everyone have a story or two worth telling with a good laugh. :-)

  • dan gogerty

    Hi Susan, Pigs might fly, and now we know that dead turkeys certainly do. I much enjoyed your story. For my weekly blog, I also wrote a Thanksgiving day piece, “The Real Black Friday,” at http://cast-science.blogspot.com/

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Dan, Welcome. Your funny and so was that experience. I’ll check your story out. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/teacupsBcups teacups + B cups

    This is hilarious because my uncle cooked the giblets this weekend, too! Unfortunately, there were no kitchen explosions. That would have added a little excitement to our pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi, Thanks, I am so glad you enjoyed it. Trust me, a little less excitement on Turkey Day is a good thing… LOL. Thank you for stopping by. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/klagowski Krystyna Lagowski

    What a great story! I’ll bet you always check the inside of the turkey before roasting it. My mother would always take the giblets out, but fried them up for the dog. She didn’t think they were good enough for humans to eat. That dog was SO spoiled.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Krystyna, You can say that again… LOL. It’s the first thing we do before even thinking about cooking any bird. :-). Your dog must have loved the holiday’s and when you cooked a Turkey. :-) Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

      • whilldtkwriter

        I had washed the giblets and put them in a baggie and offered the package to my dinner guest for her cats. She said they’re so fussy that she’d failed to get them to accept her own offerings. I tossed my packet after she left. We don’t do giblets..

        • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

          Hi, Not everyone does… LOL

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  • whilldtkwriter

    I linked to your story in my own article about my New Year Turkey Day meal (http://whilldtkwriter.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-year-turkey-day.html). “Her family’s turkey flew out of the oven as though it were possessed.”

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi, That was so nice of you. Thank you. :-)