One year, feeling a bit more Martha Stewart than usual,I volunteered to host the thanksgiving meal. My mom, sisters, nieces, nephews were all present (yes, all in my 750 sq. ft. cottage!) and the sounds of laughter and anticipation filled the air as I worked busily in the kitchen.
Our meal was to begin at 2 pm...and around 12 noon I started hearing murmurings in the living room..."Why can't I smell the turkey? That's half the fun of Thanksgiving is smelling the turkey..." "What about the pumpkin pie? Do you smell any pumpkin pie?" "She DID say she was making turkey and all the fixings, right?"
As the concern began to reach its zenith, I proudly announced "Dinner's ready!" The starving troops began making their way to the table...as they did so, my husband noted that the turkey didn't look quite as brown in the bag as he had expected. "Oh, it's done" I assured him. "Just wait til you cut open the browning bag and smell it!" As he cut open the bag, no glorious smell came wafting forth. In fact...he said, "Hmmmm." Concerned, my mom and sisters looked at him then looked at me quizically..."what's the matter?" "Uh....I don't think it's done." "What do you mean it's not done? The directions said 2 hours..." "Well, it's still very pink right here...and...ewwwwwwwwww. It's frozen on the inside..." "Frozen?! That's impossible...look."
I quickly grabbed the cookbook and showed him, "Cook turkey in microwave for 2 hours on high..." He said, "YOU TRIED COOKING A TURKEY IN THE MICROWAVE?" "Yes." I replied mousily. "It SAID..." trying to justify my actions, "That cooking in a brown-n-bag 'assures your turkey will be golden brown'"... The turkey had an unnatural shape...more like a cube than a turkey. The bird was apparently a little large for the microwave and I had to kind of "stuff it" in and slam the door closed. "Well, at least there's dressing, that should be done..." someone said with false hope..."Oh yes, I put the dressing in it..." As I got a spoon and began to scoop out the completely uncooked dressing, a piece of paper came out..."What's this?" I asked....
"The giblets" my mom replied. "You didn't take out the giblets?" "Take them out...from where?" She stuck her hand in and pulled out a bag of frozen meat...I stared in horror as she took the neck and other "body parts" out of the other end of the bird. "That's just disgusting" I say...almost in tears.
"Fine...I'll just put it in the oven for a few minutes and let it get brown"
"BROWN?! It needs to COOK!"
Chagrined, I replied, "Well, okay, while it's cooking, why don't we go ahead and have dessert? Pumpkin pie anyone?" I proudly remove the whip cream covered pie from the refrigerator and began slicing. Well, TRYING to slice. It actually ended up being more of a dipping motion. "Hmmmm" I said. "It didn't set up in the frig..." "My mom said, "SET UP?!?" "Well, yeah...isn't that how you make the pie all firm and stuff?" Stifled gales of laughter began emanating from the group..."WHAT? You didn't COOK it?" "Well, YES I COOKED IT...the pie crust...look!" I showed them proudly the golden edged pie crust...however it was little consolation for the gooey orange mush that was now oozing over everyone's plates.
Realizing something had gone terribly, terribly wrong, I said quickly, "The can SAID "READY TO EAT PUMPKIN" Gales of laughter. "What?!" I look around and see everyone's disappointment now fading into hysteria..."Look" I show them the can, so as not to be made out to be a liar...I read aloud: "Libby's, Libby's Libby's READY TO EAT PUMPKIN." "AND there was NO recipe on the inside of the label...how was I to know?!"
Suddenly we realized we were all standing in water..."What the...????" The water pipe under the sink burst and water was leaking all over everything..." Suddenly visions of Ziggy are dancing in my head...
The story of the "ready to eat pumpkin" and the "cubicle turkey" is now told annually at each Thanksgiving. And when I ask the family what I can bring...everyone says in unison, "THE DRINKS!"
Grateful for a family with a sense of humor...