The things I for which I am grateful this holiday season are numerous. For Thanksgiving this year, it was collectively decided that we would celebrate at home with just the immediate family. Our thanksgiving consisted of simply me, my husband and my two sons oh and I cannot forget our cat and dog. I love the holidays. I love seeing the family all together. I love walking into the nice, warm, house of a loved one. The fragrant smells of essential yumminess wafts from the kitchen. Everyone greets you warmly. I also love hosting holidays. I love cooking for everyone and hearing all of the conversation emitting from other rooms in the house. That being said, this year we ditched the turkey and had chicken….what?! Egads the horror! Hey it’s my thanksgiving and I will have it the way I want. We all just played games with each other for the majority of the day. I looked around at my husband, the kids, our house, the dog and the cat and thought how incredibly lucky I am. My life has been one big chaotic mess and I’m ready for normal. I crave normal. This led me to remember another Thanksgiving story that wasn’t so pleasant.
The year was 2011 and my husband at the time decided we should have a turducken for Thanksgiving dinner. He also decided it would be a good year for us to start hosting Thanksgiving. Both of our families would be in attendance. I looked up exactly what it would take to bring this to fruition. One deboned turkey, a layer of stuffing, one deboned duck, another layer of stuffing, and one deboned chicken and another layer of stuffing. Psh, I can do this. I look back on poor sweet naïve me from the day before Thanksgiving of that year and chuckle. It’s like that time I thought getting a brand new puppy at the same time as having a newborn would be a great idea. We purchased all of the meat from a local butcher, I memorized the directions and early that morning I began to assemble everything. My ex was so excited. There were three different kinds of stuffing about to be smooshed between three different birds. I had everything going. The sweet potatoes with praline topping were going to be great and I just knew this turducken would be perfect. I laid down the turkey then put the Cajun stuffing on top of it. Then came the duck. The mushroom stuffing would go on top of that. Then the chicken and plain stuffing on top of that. All of the layers were complete. Now to simply tie it all together. Planning ahead the required string was already under the turkey. There were three different strings I would have to tie around all of this to hold it together. I tie the first one. All seems ok at this point. I tied the second, kinda, barely. I went for the third and it would not stay shut no matter what I did. As I was trying to pull the two ends of string together, the stuffing spooged out of one side and directly onto my shirt. Just as I’m looking down at myself in my stuffing covered glory, the first string broke. I laughed to myself. Now I have to get some string back under the turkey on that side. Cool, cool. I lift the one side up to slide the string under and I tripped. I tripped on nothing. I tripped on flat ground when taking one step forward. The other string broke at that same moment and the chicken topped with stuffing began to slide out of the concoction. I managed to grab it with one hand on my way down to the floor. So now I am lying on the floor, holding a stuffing covered chicken in the air, covered in stuffing myself, ready to just throw everything away and serve soup for Thanksgiving. I persevered. I put everything back together and had my ex come in the kitchen to help me tie the thing together. Two strings only. The third string kept breaking. It will be fine he says. It was not fine. Two strings that barely held onto each other made for a turducken that split open and dried out. The top layer of stuffing was dry as was the chicken. When I pulled that out of the oven, I began to cry. Except I can’t let anyone see me cry right?! So now I’m in this odd state of holding back tears whilst smiling and pretending that everything is ok while talking in a weird voice when everyone inevitably asked me if I was ok. This went on for almost the entire dinner. I didn’t want to see anyone even touch that turducken I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t look at it. I ended up spending the majority of that Thanksgiving in misery for no reason. The only person that cared that much about it was me. This year I stayed in my pajamas all day and we had stove top stuffing. Oh how far I’ve come from that miserable young person, lying on the floor, covered in stuffing holding a chicken. Cheers to her, to all of you and I hope all of your Thanksgivings were wonderful.