Life 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 fascinating 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 in 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 children.
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 still 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.
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 brothers 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.
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.
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 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.
Happy Thanksgiving as 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.