Sunday 11 Dec 2016

Unsealing a Turkey
Jennifer Flaten

Thanksgiving is by far the worst holiday for the mathematically challenged person, such as me. Every part of the whole process from buying the turkey to cooking it reads like some damn word problem on a tenth grade algebra test.

Turkey x is 22 pounds. His train leaves the station at 9am. The guests are in train B traveling at 35 miles per hour. Who likes whipped cream on their pumpkin pie? Even a little geometry sneaks in there, as you try to cram a vaguely ovoid 22-pound turkey into your definitely rectangular fridge.

It is also a terrible holiday for procrastinators, *cough* like me *cough*. Sure, I have a list. In fact, I have many lists. There are lists of food, lists of chores, lists of prep times, but that can all wait. I am at a good part in my book; I have plenty of time.

Oh damn, Thanksgiving is two days away. Don’t laugh; I am sure this happens to other people. Am I right?

Ah, heck no one is going to look behind the couch for dust bunnies. I know I will distract them by having the kids put on a Thanksgiving production.

Every Thanksgiving I sit down with my cookbook, a piece of paper and a calculator. Thirty minutes later, I say to hell with it and I end up at the store staring at the cooler of frozen poultry, with only a vague idea of what size turkey I need.

Eh, I am sure it will work out okay. The kids don’t eat much turkey anyways; they always load up on the olives and pickles.

How does one choose the perfect turkey? Frozen they all look the same, so I usually close my eyes and grab one. This year I have one that is roughly the size of a small dog. I took my selection to the self-checkout and discovered that the turkeys don’t have barcodes. That’s right you can’t scan the turkey, you must key in the turkey’s super-secret code. Whatever, I just want my bird.

This year, just like all past years I brought the turkey home and shoved it into the fridge. A 20-pound turkey takes up a lot of real estate in the fridge. Although, I suppose the turkey works as an anti-theft device, I can hide my cupcakes behind it and no one will think to look there.

Now I will spend the next couple of days poking the turkey every time I open the fridge door. Why am I poking the turkey?

Well, I am testing it, to see how it is thawing. This is completely pointless because the turkey, sealed hermetically, resides in a layer of plastic so thick you think you need the Jaws of Life to remove it.

Still, I poke it every day, and every day I fret that the turkey will not thaw in time for Thanksgiving. I picture spending the night before Thanksgiving bathing my turkey in a cold-water bath. I suppose I could bring a book, so it wouldn’t be too bad. Maybe a cupcake or two will solve my problem.

This year I considered purchasing a fresh turkey. Alas, my piece of mind is not worth an extra dollar a pound. Besides, I was a little concerned how long I could warehouse a fresh turkey. According to Miss Manners, poisoning the guests with “off” turkey is a big no-no during the holidays

Perhaps, I will make extra desserts this year. Everyone likes pie. I forgive many transgressions in exchange for a nice slice of pie, especially, if it has a ton of whipped cream on it.

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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