The Turkey That Almost Wasn’t

My fondest memories of the holiday season revolve around the tradition of simply being together—like drawing names with relatives and friends, hiding behind the couch to watch my mom wrap presents, getting a bag of candy from church, white elephant gifts, and trying to dodge a turkey tryptophan coma. It’s hard for me to nail down one memory, but when I was asked to participate in the Holiday Blog Hop, one particular holiday stuck out. It was Christmastime a few years back. My husband and I had both our families over for the holidays along with some of our dearest friends. We divvied up the menu between us, and my responsibilities included the biggie—the cooking of the Christmas ham and a holiday bird. Sounded easy enough…right? I mean, you put a ham in the oven and with a turkey you just follow the directions. Anyway, my husband bought a twenty-one pound turkey at Costco (love that place) and a Reynolds Wrap roasting bag. Only a moron could screw that up. I thawed the turkey for two days straight in my fridge…saying no to salmonella. And when the big day came, I stuck the turkey in the oven bag, thinking all was right in Turkeyville. Christmas movies looped in the background…we laughed at Home Alone, A Christmas Story, and Christmas Vacation while we lounged around and conversed with some of our favorite people. Before long, the buzzer did its thing, and it was time to remove the bird from the oven. I was excited…it smelled awesome…and it had this really nice golden brown skin on top. While everyone stood around waiting for my dad to bless the meal with a prayer, I thought, Wow, this is a holy moment. We’re thanking God for our meal…and we’re thanking God for his Son. But let me tell you, folks, removing that bird from the oven was anything but holy. We carefully slid it out of the bag, and my husband pulled out his trusty electric knife that he uses once a year. He fired that sucker up, put it on the bird, and were rewarded with a loud BZZZZZZZ. I grabbed his gaze, he grabbed mine, and we both felt an impending doom. Once again, he fired up the knife, and we were rewarded with an even louder BZZZZZZ when the knife hit the bird’s spine. He tried another angle on the turkey…same result, no matter where he tried to slice. I thought, Dear Jesus…I’ve made the Christmas Vacation turkey…expecting the bird to implode and Cousin Eddie and his polyester suit to lie and say it was “Goooooooood.” I cursed the turkey gods. I cursed the Reynolds Wrap bag people, and I cursed life in general. There are a lot of things one can do when you realize you’re in the middle of a crisis: pray to dissolve in the ether, blame it on someone else, or raise your hand as the moron. I turned around and simply said, “I hope you all like ham,” adding a nervous giggle. Good thing was, my friend is the best cook in the world…between she and my mother, we discovered that the turkey wasn’t over cooked…I’d simply cooked it upside down! Its legs and wings were reversed from what the picture on the oven bag looked like. The bird was so big it literally took all three of us to flip it over, but that moment of teamwork resulted in the best tasting turkey ever. Merry Christmas, my friends! May your holiday season be filled with good food, great memories, and kitchen accidents that turn out in your favor. xoxo AJ


One Response to The Turkey That Almost Wasn’t

  1. Hilarious! I think I’ll try turning mine upside down next time!

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