Monday, December 12, 2011

The True Story of the Last Thanksgiving.

Once upon a time in a far-away, dreary land, a young family struggled to get by.  The economy was bad at this time, but luckily the family remained mostly untouched as the father and husband of this family was still a full-time student and didn't have time for a real job anyway.  Don't misunderstand, he was a very hard worker and he still had a job, just not the kind of job that really gets affected by the economy. So though the family struggled, they worked hard, had a lot of love and recognized the blessings in their life.  They truly had a lot to be thankful for.
As the 4th Thursday of November inched closer and closer, this young family's thoughts turned to their blessings, and the traditional feast in which they would indulge to near vomiting.  Normally the family would travel to celebrate with their relatives, but this year they would remain in the far-away dreary land that they currently inhabited.  Several generous dinner invites were extended towards this family but Father, being wearied with work and school, decided that this year he would like to over-indulge in his own home, surrounded by the loving comfort of his wife and two small children.  Mother, hearing this plan, suggested they order-out chinese.  But Father insisted it would not truly be the blessed occasion of thankfulness without the traditional basting and roasting of a delicious turkey.  Several pans of rolls.  A few pumpkin pies and mashed potatoes.  Mother, loving her own traditions from childhood, couldn't bear the thought of eating showing gratitude without her beloved sweet potato casserole, green beans and pecan pie.  And so they set about making an entirely over the top dinner for only 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 5.
Father did the shopping.  It was obvious that one turkey would not be enough for his family, for Father wished to have a jalapeno injected turkey -- something that his children would find undesireable.  It was therefore requisite to purchase 2 turkeys.  A 15 lb turkey for his wife and 2 small ones, and a 6 lb boneless turkey for himself.    The night before the blessed event, he injected his turkey, so that it could marinate through the night.
"But Father!" cried Mother, "What of the 15 lb turkey?  Did you not purchase an injection kit for the family turkey?"
"Why no," replied Father. "I thought you could eat a boring turkey while I made my own personal fancy awesome one."
"This does bring me great displeasure," Mother sighed.
"Do not worry Mother," replied Father.  "A delicious injection we will make in the morning.  Already it is growing late, and truly all you need to make a magnificent turkey is butter.  Let us wait until tomorrow.  I will make some pumpkin pie."
So Father made not one, but two pumpkin pies.  And a chocolate cream pie.  Although he had purchased the wrong type of jell-o for the chocolate cream pie, mother tried not to be wroth with him.  Mother managed to make a slightly over-cooked pecan pie.  She was a little unhappy because she did not like pumpkin pie.  And her beloved pecan pie was ruined.
"It is not ruined," declared Father, plucking several pecans out of the top of her pie. "It is delicious!" But now it was missing several pecans off of the top. "By the way, I am going golfing in the morning."
Mother tried not to think of Chinese food as she slipped off to sleep.

When she woke in the morning, Father was gone.  And her two dear children were covered in chocolate cream and pecans.  Mother tried not to be angry, but she was.  For she was not good at making pie crusts, she didn't have any more, and the only two pies she liked eating were now ruined.  The turkey remained un-injected, the greenbeans un-braised, the potatos unmashed and the sweet potato uncasserolled.  The two dear children went crying into the tub.

Mother busied herself with the rolls first, giving them plenty of time to thaw and rise while the turkey cooked.  She placed the prepared pans of rolls on top of the stove, where the heat of the oven would help them rise.  Then she took the turkey out of the fridge and wrestled it into the sink.  It seemed much bigger than before.  She realized she had never actually cooked a turkey before, and was a little dismayed when she finally had to resort to scissors to get it out of the netting even though the turkey clearly stated, "easy open! no scissors/ cutting required!"

Raw turkeys are disgusting.  Mother began rinsing the turkey off because it seemed like the right thing to do.

Now her dear children were out of the tub, and their shiny, dripping bodies bounded all around the house, up and off the couch, in and out of the kitchen.

"Please settle down, my dears!" she lilted sweetly.  Mother never yells at her children.

Brother climbed up onto the couch.  Mother watched terrified as he began to lose his balance, and came tumbling off the arm of the couch, his arms reaching out wildly to catch a hold of anything.  They caught onto the floor lamp, which instead of steadying him came crashing down along with him.   The glass bowl of the lamp crashed suddenly into Sister's head, exploding dead bugs all over Sister and the kitchen floor. Both children let out terrible squeals of pain and fright.  Mother, only a little covered in turkey goo, gathered them up into her arms, cradling them together, trying to comfort them.  After a few minutes, the tears finally subsided.

"Is everyone okay?"

"Yes!" They wailed together.  Mother pulled them away from her body, then looked horror-stricken at daughter's face, smeared and streaked with blood.  Mother's shirt was likewise afflicted, as well as brothers neck and shoulder.  After a terrible search she finally located it's source, an angry, lamp-bowl shaped gash on Sister's crown.  Both kids went back into the bath, and Mother googled what kinds of head wounds required stitches.

Finally, once everyone's head wounds had been cleaned and doctored, children were dressed and watching the Macy's day parade, Mother went back to her turkey.  The turkey should have been in the oven an hour and a half ago, and was still un-injected.

"Un-injected it must remain," thought Mother.  And she went off again to google what would be a quicker, easier way to season the turkey.

A few sticks of butter, some salt, pepper, garlic and 35 minutes later, Mother contemplated the best way to get her true butter ball into the roasting bag.  She wasn't sure quite how it happened, only that instead of gliding safely into the bag, the turkey somehow wound up on the floor.  In a pile of bugs that had been expelled from the broken homicidal lamp.

Mother tried not to cry as she wrestled the turkey back into the sink, rinsed off all the bugs (and coincedentally all the butter, garlic, salt and pepper as well.)  30 minutes later she managed to get the turkey in the bag, and the bag in the oven.  She was only 2 and half hours behind schedule.  She only had 3 more dishes to prepare.  She was only covered in minimal amounts of turkey goo, bugs and blood.  She didn't really need to eat pie on Thanksgiving.  Father shouldn't have picked this moment to walk in the door.

Mother was a raving monster.  Father couldn't understand all she said but a few key phrases included "stupid pumpkin pies," "your own personal turkey," and "chinese food."

At that moment the rolls exploded.  And instead of cleaning up the debris in her kitchen, mother took a shower.

And that is the true story of how Thanksgiving stopped being a tradition in the Foutz household.