Since I first learned how to roast a turkey (courtesy of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook), I have made Thanksgiving dinner every year. My Thanksgiving feasts have served as many as thirty and as few as three. Didn’t matter to me, because I love to cook and I really love to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. And to tell you the truth, I was kind of legendary for my Thanksgiving soirees.
That year was no different. For the three days leading up to Thanksgiving, I did the shopping, prepped pies, cleaned the house and every other chore that would ensure a great Thanksgiving dinner.
So on Thanksgiving Day I got up not quite at the crack of dawn but early. Stumbled into the kitchen and made a pot of coffee and got to work. I pulled out the bird and made sure it was completely defrosted. I rinsed it and patted it dry. I pulled the innards and neck bone and put in some water to boil for the pets. I prepped the stuffing, stuffed the bird, tucked the wings, tied the legs, and rubbed it down with the basting sauce. And into the oven it went.
Throughout the day, I checked it, basted it, tented it, and checked the temperature. I prepped the potatoes and yams, the rolls and veggies, the salad and pies. It was going to be awesome.
The whole house filled with the smell of turkey and stuffing and yams and all the wonderful scents of Thanksgiving. The dogs were practically licking the air, it was so delicious.
The timer went off and I pulled out a bird that was that perfect, honey-brown and smelled of Heaven.
At four o’clock we sat down to dinner. My mouth had been watering for this meal for days and I was practically shaking as I raised my fork to my mouth.
The first bite.
I looked up at my room mate, still heaping his plate with all the goodies. “Why does the turkey taste like fish?”
Roomie froze with the mashed potato spoon poised in mid-air. “What?”
“The turkey tastes like fish,” I repeated pushing my plate away.
Roomie immediately took a bite of turkey. Then another. And then another. “Yep, it tastes like fish all right.”
So it was four-thirty on Thanksgiving Day and there was no way we were going to get another turkey and cook it. So we decided to make the best of it.
“Well there’s still stuffing,” Roomie said.
“Nope, that was in the bird,” I replied.
“There’s mashed potatoes and gravy,” he offered.
“Potatoes are okay, but the gravy came from the bird,” I reminded him.
He shrugged, “At least we have pie.”
Okay then, Thanksgiving dinner was mashed potatoes, sans gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, salad, yams, and pie.
By about six I was ready to go to bed because I was so carb’d out but somehow managed to watch a movie first.
Since that day I haven’t cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve ordered Thanksgiving dinner and it’s been fine. I’ve missed cooking Thanksgiving dinner but the thought of having another fish flavored turkey always makes me think better of it.
But this year. I’ll try again.
Wish me luck and pray that I can once again channel Fannie Farmer, or Martha Stewart, or somebody who can tell a turkey is bad and shouldn’t be cooked.
Oh and Happy Thanksgiving.