Meleagrisphobia: Why I Fear a Roast Turkey

Normally, I love turkey in all forms, from the deli counter to a whole bird roasting in an oven. I grew up with culinary master magicians, who could turn a bag of groceries into the most delectable Thanksgiving Dinner. You know what I mean, real mashed potatoes, stuffing from scratch, sweet potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, and so on. That was my former life.

These days, I’m forced to live with a new tradition. Thanksgiving means a day off from kitchen duty. No, we don’t go out to eat…I wish. It is because Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when my wife dons an apron and makes an attempt to cook a traditional dinner.

turkey

Public Domain Image Courtesy of Pixabay

My new holiday traditional dinner consists of Stove Top stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce from a can, a boneless formed Turkey, canned yams, etc. I think you get the picture.

She can burn a pot of water!

The first time she cooked, I barely made it to the bathroom for a puking session reminiscent of a drinking binge which makes one “pray to the porcelain God.” At another time, I cut into a thick slice of turkey smothered with the perfect amount of gravy. I took that first succulent mouthful and almost spit it out. My darling-domestically-challenged-wife had accidentally purchased a Cajun spiced turkey.

Some things in the culinary world were made for each other like lamb and mint, hot dogs and mustard, bread and butter. So there we were with a horridly flavored hunk of turkey that had no mate on the table. Trust me, Cajun flavored turkey clashes with everything and anything on a traditional Thanksgiving table. Even that green bean casserole made with Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup didn’t stand a chance.

How can a grilled cheese sandwich have a bone in it?

Get ready, here comes Thanksgiving 2016! Yes that’s an exclamation point, and yes, I am excited.

This year, my wife has decided to go into training, like an Olympian going for the gold. She has developed a somewhat healthy curiosity about the culinary arts. She cuddled on the couch with me and watched a cooking show. Then, I caught her in the kitchen peeking inside the drawers. “Oh that’s where the spoons and forks come from.” Later, she browsed through the gadgets.

Another aspect of her rigorous training was an attempt at a meatloaf. She managed to transform two pounds of 93% lean ground range fed beef into an amorphous dark brown blob. The aroma wasn’t promising either. The most horrid moment came when I stuck a fork into the “meatloaf,” and I could swear it moved! Have you ever experienced that one?

I don’t think meatloaf is supposed to glow in the dark!

O.K. my initial excitement about Thanksgiving 2016 has dissipated back into dread. 😦

Tell me about your Thanksgiving Day. Doing anything special? Going someplace special? Got an unusual tradition? Got a good culinary horror story?

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What is the Secret to a Great Thanksgiving?

Is it Grandma’s stuffing recipe? Or is it the size of your turkey? Neither. The real secret to a great Thanksgiving is actually taking the time to give thanks.

So maybe you don’t own a sleek European sports car…well neither do I. Maybe you don’t have a mansion…well neither do I. Remember it’s about giving thanks. It’s not about ruing over what you don’t have or what you’d like.

I have a loving wife, two adorable cats, a nice warm roof over my head, cars, and plenty of food. I shouldn’t complain.

TD

Photo: The TURKEY! by Cheryl used under CC License

Here’s how I came to my revelation.

My wife can’t cook. Thanksgiving Day is the only day that she’ll rattle a few pots and pans. So my Thanksgiving Day dinner will be a boneless turkey breast, a box of stove top stuffing, a jar of turkey gravy, a box of instant mash potatoes, a can of cranberry sauce, and that green bean casserole.

When I was growing up, everything was made from scratch. My mom used to buy a bag of cranberries and some plain gelatin and would make her own cranberry sauce. The same painstaking effort was put into every item on the table. She used to cook and break up some country sausage and bread for the stuffing. I think you’re getting the idea.

Yet, I’m thankful for what I have, and for the loving wife that I get to spend the day with.

Also, I don’t know about Protestant denominations, but I do know, that my Catholic parish will celebrate Mass for Thanksgiving Day, and I’ll be there. It is not a standard daily Mass either. The Mass for that day is specifically titled for Thanksgiving Day. That’s one way of giving thanks.

Another secret to a great Thanksgiving Day is to do something for others.

We’ll be feeding about 10 airmen from Mtn. Home AFB. They’re alone, no family nearby and therefore, no place to go to celebrate the day.

So how do you plan on giving thanks?