O.K., since I thought ALL Thanksgiving meals came with a maitre d', I’m probably not your “go to person” for help with the holidays. I don’t want to tell you how old I was before I even attempted a bird on my own. It wasn’t pretty. One look at that bag of guts, and I was making reservations, looking for linen tablecloths, and calling out: “Garçon!” Which brings me to one of my most wonderful and memorable Thanksgivings — a traditional one, held at the home of a woman who’d managed similar feasts for more than 40 years. She is your “go to” person. I love her to pieces because she is so adept. She has a gift for effortless entertaining, pulls off the most complicated repast without breaking a sweat, and seems to have everything under control. I covet her calm!
So I was thrilled when she invited me to join her for Thanksgiving. WOW! This was going to be like getting an internship with Wolfgang Puck! It was about four o’clock Thanksgiving Eve when she said to those of us gathered about the fireplace, “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go prepare the turkey.” Smart mouth that I am, I said, “No need, he’ll find out soon enough.” And that was that.
In an instant the small gathering of loved ones had grasped the same visual — a perplexed and befuddled bird questioning his fate on a cold kitchen counter. Soon everyone was chiming in. So to the best of my recollection, this is how you prepare the Thanksgiving bird:
“Break it to him gently.”
“Or don’t tell him at all, keep him in suspense.”
“O.K., Mr. Bird, be calm and this will go easier for you.”
"Be still, I'm just going to spread a little of this on you so you don't burn.”
“Listen, Turkey, this is going to hurt me a lot more than it’s going to hurt you.”
“Now you are going to feel a prick, it may sting a little. That’s just the meat thermometer, pay it no mind.”
“So at first, you’re going to feel a little warm, then you’ll probably get a little drowsy.” “O.K., let’s just open you up…”
“Don’t fight me, it won’t help.”
With the first comment, there was laughter. Then, with each add on, a little more. As the conversation got wilder and more out of hand, the giggles got louder and the belly laughs harder. It is one of my greatest memories of a collective laugh-until-you-cry-and-beg-for-mercy guffaws. Imagine my excitement knowing I will be with this same bevy of funsters celebrating Thanksgiving this year. I am beside myself!
I wish each and every one of you a hearty belly laugh with the ones you love! Happy Thanksgiving!