Corbin H. Crable
As I write this, my parents are packing their bags for a cruise next week that will take them to Jamaica.
And next week, as my parents inevitably get their hair braided while drinking beverages with small paper umbrellas in them, my younger brother and I will roll up our sleeves and make Thanksgiving dinner for them, to be served upon their return home on Thanksgiving Day.
And I have yet to tackle that most succulent and elusive of Thanksgiving Day delicacies – the turkey.
To be honest, my experience with preparing Thanksgiving meals – turkey, specifically –is a work in progress. Two years ago, when I lived in Nebraska, each employee at my newspaper was given a coupon for a free turkey, which I bought, took home to my apartment, and cut up to toss into a Crock Pot. At one point in the turkey carving, with turkey goo and blood on my hands – and a lit candle and open windows in my living room – I left my apartment to take a bag of garbage downstairs. When I heard my front door close and lock behind me, my heart sank as I remembered that my keys and cell phone were still inside. Luckily, I lived within walking distance from the newspaper, so I had to walk there – it was 1 a.m. by this time – and thankfully, one of my co-workers was still at her desk.
She was gracious enough to let me borrow her car so I could drive halfway across town and wake up my landlord and his wife. They were as kind as they could be as they wiped the sleep out of their eyes and handed me a spare key.
At this point I had still forgotten that I had dried blood and turkey guts all over me, but they were likely only half awake, because they didn’t ask any questions.
I drove my co-worker’s car back to the office and ran back to my apartment, fervently praying the entire building wouldn’t be engulfed in flames. It wasn’t, and I never again forgot to take my keys with me whenever I stepped outside.
Despite the shenanigans, the turkey still tasted decent.
Last Thanksgiving, I was still in Nebraska, but I didn’t have time or energy to prepare a turkey. I instead made all of the side dishes – green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and stuffing – and bought a great amount of fried chicken from Wal-Mart (not a traditional Thanksgiving entrée by any means, but I thought it worked out OK). I brought all of the food to a friend’s house, where several of us ate and enjoyed the company of one another.
This year, I’m back in Kansas after being laid off from my job in the spring. I’m excited to be back, but I’m also looking forward to making dinner because it will help take my mind off of the friends I left behind in Nebraska.
My brother and I are going grocery shopping this weekend and will be armed with a list. I think our parents are apprehensive about eating a turkey prepared by us – as well they should be – because someone in our household has already bought a turkey breast and refrigerated it, a subtle message that someone believes this year is not the year that I should try to attempt to perfect a turkey.
Drat. Foiled again.
I wonder if there’s still time to order fried chicken?