06:50:59 am on
Thursday 13 Jun 2024

Who's the Turkey
Jennifer Flaten

I agreed to host Thanksgiving dinner. I blame Christmas music. No, really, I did.

Well, Christmas music and the kids are to blame. Yes, I am aware I blame the kids, if not Christmas, for lots of things. It’s a reward of motherhood. 

This time, it is their fault. The moment the local radio station switched from regular music format to all Christmas music the kids insisted on listening to it. Not only here and there throughout the day, but always and, it seems, forever.

Don’t get me wrong I like Christmas carols, but hour upon hour of carols is mind numbing. Still, now that I think of it, that isn’t so different from what the station plays, normally.

Anyway, we listen to the Christmas music when we are in the car and we are in the car a lot. It wouldn’t be so bad, I might get away from the carols when I wasn’t in the car, which is about 20 minutes every day, but every store has Christmas music on too. I can’t even escape it in my own home; the kids hum Christmas carols, all the time, even in the shower. I don’t even need a radio shower, but I digress.

Back to the turkey, instead of shouting, “Hell, no,” when asked if I was hosting Thanksgiving, I said yes. All because my brain, much like Elvis, in an effort to tune out yet another rendition of “Little Drummer Boy,” left the building. Well, at least I think my brain was present elsewhere when the question of hosting came up.

Now, don’t think that hosting the big meal means I am in charge of the guest of honor. Oh no, it seems while I am qualified to provide side dishes and table wear, I am not yet ready to tackle the turkey. My mother is bringing the turkey, to my house, raw, in a crock.

Don’t worry; it is better than it sounds. My mom does some mysterious brining alchemy to the turkey. No, I am not read into that either. I simple provide the muscle to schlep the turkey crock from car to garage.

Therefore, the turkey is arriving at my house the day before Thanksgiving and will slumber deep in the briny depths of the crock in my garage until Thursday. There’s no peeking at the turkey or me before the big event. That’s bad luck.

My sole responsibility, turkey wise, is to turn the oven on. I am, cough, thirty-nine, as was Jack Benny, and I am not yet a turkey master, merely an apprentice. My mother is buying the turkey, prepping the turkey, stuffing the turkey with her has a super-secret stuffing recipe and shoving it into the oven. She certainly can’t take the risk I might do that wrong.

If I am good, I may be allowed to assist with the basting the turkey. Someday, perhaps when I grow up, I hope to be worthy of a baster of my own. On Thanksgiving, my mother will arrive early; get the bird in the oven and leave only to return a few hours later as a “guest” to eat the turkey.

I fully understand if something should go wrong with the turkey, it will be my fault. After she slides it into the oven, it becomes my sole responsibility. If something should go wrong, she will disavow any knowledge of any turkey, except for me.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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