Giant Dead Bird
There have been many Thanksgivings in my life, spread across continents and states, shared with friends and family. This is the first year that I've been the primary cook for one of the largest meals of the year since my Mom is still recovering from major surgery.
A 24lb bird sat thawed and ready to be prepped in my kitchen this morning. I'm feeding roughly 13 adults. I'm sure it'll be more than enough but I was raised by a woman who cooks enough to feed 30 at a Monday night dinner for 4.
In the past my Mom would either be up all night or up at 3AM . I'm not a super hero and I love sleep. If I had to choose between a million dollars and sleep...well I'd chose the million dollars but it would be a really close thing. I mean, SLEEP. You know, right? It's a precious, precious thing. Now if only I could convince my toddler and 3 month old that their worldview could be improved with an extra long nap.
I don't have a Thanksgiving memory that sticks out. They all run together, several generations around the table eating and talking. It's a slideshow of years, faces aging in the blink of an eye, hair graying. The constant has been my Mom, a whirl of activity in the kitchen. The smell of onions, celery, and carrots sautéing in butter; casseroles and pies, poultry seasoning and brown sugar.
Several years ago, now I can't tell you exactly when, my Mom bought a turkey too big for her oven. It's become a running joke, one of those things we all laugh about and say, "Remember when Mom bought that turkey?" My Mom, master of improvisation and desperate measures, lined the slightly open oven door with tin foil and cranked the oven up as high as it would go. It came out just fine, after cooking longer than expected and with incredible waves of stress rolling off my Mom.
Today, I hope things go smoothly. Today, I'd like to avoid having anything happen to laugh about later. Today, I will survive cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner and remember latex gloves next year so I don't have to actually touch the giant dead bird.