A friend of mine whose name is Bonnie, lives alone but wanted to fix Thanksgiving dinner. She went to the local grocery store and bought a small turkey and all the fixings, figuring she would make dinner and then invite a few friends to just stop by for a plate of food or a sandwich. Therefore, she called a few friends who all agreed they would stop by that evening, even if they could only stay for a little while. Just trying to be a gracious neighbor and friend, you understand? Even so, it had been several years since she had fixed a full dinner for more than one person.
Unfortunately, her actions trying to put dinner together that day, especially fixing the turkey was akin to watching Curly from the Three Stooges.
First, she had to thaw out the bird so she put it in a pan of water and left it in the sink. Since the turkey did not seem to be thawing out quick enough, she performed physical therapy on the turkey’s legs, moving them back and forth and running warm water over the frigid limbs. Finally, about two hours later, the bird was limber enough to reach inside of it to pull out the bag of parts.
When she opened the bag, she noticed that only the neck was there, but did not think much more of it. She fixed her stuffing, dried the bird off, stuffed it, and stuck it in the roasting pan. She rubbed it with butter and some herbs, tied the legs together, placed the roasting pan lid on top, turned on the oven, and started cooking the turkey. Almost everything else was already done and only needed a bit of reheating. The gravy, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes with marshmallows – everything was ready to go.
Deciding to read a book while the turkey cooked, she went to sit in the living room when she suddenly realized that there should have been more turkey parts besides that lonely neck. She rushed back into the kitchen, rechecked the bag the neck was in, and knew for sure the turkey people had shorted her the heart, liver, and gizzard. She was steaming and cursing the turkey and about to call the store when she realized that the missing parts were probably in the other end of the turkey.
Turning off the oven, (because it was fully heated now), she opened the oven, pulled the turkey out, and set it on the counter. She carefully untied the legs, pulled all the stuffing out and put the stuffing in a bowl. Yes, hidden in the back of the front cavity was another bag. Sighing, she pulled out the bag, rinsed off the turkey, and started to re-stuff the bird when half of the stuffing slid out of the turkey and hit the floor. Not having enough ingredients to make more stuffing, she now stuffed the turkey with the remaining half of the stuffing mixture, and put the bird back in the oven. She returned to the living room and picked up her book.
Moments later, another thought had wiggled into her mind. The string she had used to tie the turkey legs together with was made of ….. string. Didn’t that mean it could catch on fire? Going back to the kitchen, she read the instructions, which said to not use the string that had tied the end of the turkey packaging together. Sighing, she pulled out the turkey from the oven, removed the string, found the one that was included in the original bag, and retied her turkey legs.
Rechecking all the steps, she finally decided the turkey was ready, even if now only half stuffed. She put it back in the oven and decided it was time for a nap because she was tired from pulling the turkey out of the oven and then having to put it back so many times. Therefore, taking her book, she went to her room to lie down on the bed, and read until she fell asleep.
Four hours later, she woke up. Excited about eating her first homemade turkey in years, she hurriedly changed clothes and got ready for her visitors. Entering the kitchen, it dawned on her that there was a lack of cooking smells. Hmmmm??
When she went into the oven to check on her turkey, she realized she had forgotten to turn the oven back on. Nothing was cooked!
It was only two hours before her friends were supposed to arrive. As she stared around her kitchen, she wondered frantically what could she do now? Suddenly, she knew. Getting busy, she soon has that turkey fixed up to a T. The dressing was cooking, everything else had been warmed up, and the smells were wonderful – even her fresh baked pumpkin pie. Her table was already set and everything would be done just about the time her friends were to appear at her door. She made her way to her bedroom and got dressed in her Thanksgiving Day finest and patiently waited for the evening to begin.
Just before it was time, Bonnie pulled her turkey out of the oven. It smelled soooo good! The pie was ready and the cool whip was chilled. She washed the fresh cranberries, sliced some cold cranberry sauce into patties, and decorated the turkey. She re-covered it with the roasting lid to keep it warm. The dressing was golden brown, the potatoes were whipped and creamy – yes, everything was ready and completely cooked to perfection. She placed all the food she had so painstakingly prepared on the table.
When her doorbell rang, all of her friends had arrived at once and every one of them claimed the house smelled just like Thanksgiving. Welcoming them in, she put their coats away and proudly let them to her dining room, loaded with all kinds of Thanksgiving food. Everyone sat down and she said a prayer of thanks for all her fantastic friends and the good food. She asked Ben to slice the turkey for her. As Ben lifted the lid, everyone was pleasantly surprised. In the pan lay a beautiful turkey meatloaf, prettily decorated with cranberries and golden mushrooms.
Thanksgiving dinner was just wonderful.