Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Turkey Wars
Jennifer Flaten

This year I am in charge of the turkey. That’s right I am in charge of the turkey. I admit I am a tad bit apprehensive.

For the past couple of years I’ve hosted Thanksgiving Dinner, Yet, I’ve merely been a figurehead when it comes to the turkey. You see, up until this year the turkey still belonged to my mother.

When my mother turned over the holiday apron to me, she was more than happy to forgo the dishes and the work associated with the meal, the woman is clever, but it seems she wasn‘t quite willing to cede control of the main star of Thanksgiving.

She made it perfectly clear that while I was fully in charge of the “trimmings” I couldn’t touch the turkey. I tried once and got my hand slapped, that woman has quick reflexes. 

My mother retained a tight grip on the turkey baster. Last year, she arrived bright and early to supervise my preparation of the turkey-the turkey she brought.

After ensuring the turkey was properly cosseted and actually, in the oven she left, only to return four hours later for the meal.

This year, I’ve wrested control of the turkey from my mother; it was a bloodless coup. Not because I’ve led three successful Thanksgiving campaigns in a row, no, because I am too far away for her to schlep the turkey over. Don’t think she didn’t consider making a two hour round trip to deliver the bird to me though.

I woke up on Friday ,yes, the Friday 6 days before Thanksgiving, and realized that I was in charge of the turkey this year. After a minute, okay, five minutes, of panic I hauled ass to Costco to buy the turkey. Once in Costco I set my GPS for the meat section and proceeded to snack my way back to the turkeys.

At the turkey cooler, I spent 25 minutes gazing at the flotilla of turkey icebergs. How do you know which turkey is right for you? It is not like you can have him fill out a personality profile, I am looking for a turkey who won’t let me down and who is willing to give our relationship his all.

I admit the organic turkey turned my head, simply because I wouldn’t have to thaw him out, but I couldn’t qualify for the loan necessary to buy him.

Currently, bachelor number 2 is slowly defrosting in my fridge. I have fingers crossed that he defrosts in time. I‘ve taken to poking the turkey every time I go in the fridge, I am happy to report he is squishier than when I bought him.

Of course, when I bought him he was frozen so solid I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to cook him or use him as a weapon against invading zombies. 

No matter what, I am determined to earn my Jr. Turkey badge this year. Extra gravy is on stand-by in case of dry turkey and I have left offerings to the oven gods to ensure my oven works that day.  Barring all that, I have a stash of frozen pizzas on hand and a lot of wine. 

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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