I hope today finds most of you enjoying time with food, friends, and family (and maybe some football, if that’s your thing). However, I’ve been storing up a guest post that’s suitable for only one day a year, and today happens to be that day. So if you are browsing the internet while you sit around anxiously smelling stuffing cook or are subjected to a football game you’re not all that interested in and you stumble across this page, I hope you find a little entertainment value in it.
So without further ado, my mom’s account of Thanksgiving, sometime around 1990:
I’m inviting myself to guest blog today for Natural Comfort Kitchen, because I’m not sure I will ever receive an invitation in the traditional sense, and certainly not for the topic at hand. I received a text today from my daughter that she will be preparing her first duck this weekend for Thanksgiving with her youngest sibling and spouse. I find this gesture of hospitality quite overwhelming as a mom hundreds of miles away from her three daughters. Especially since the previously mentioned sibling is off to Paris for the holiday with her husband of six months – no bitterness in this family – nope, not one bit. Anyway, the text chat bantered about the cruelty of serving such a friendly creature for dinner (I live in Minnesota – the land of 10,000 lakes – which equals at least 100,000 ducks I’m sure). All the banter was in fun until I recalled a very distinct memory from the life of the star of Natural Comfort Kitchen, my extremely talented firstborn daughter, Tessa. The event went something like this:
It was our first Thanksgiving not trekking to the grandparents on either side. I wanted to have my own family for Thanksgiving dinner, three little girls, my honey, and me; cook it myself with no running about – and all the leftovers in our very own refrigerator. I had no idea how to prepare a turkey so I kept my own mother on the phone with frequent questions that I’m sure she found quite entertaining. She made repeated mentions to be sure to remove the neck and packaged innards from the bird before roasting – at least 3 or 4 times I think. Perhaps she made that mistake at some point. I’m sure you are gathering that Tessa comes from a line of culinarily gifted women – well, let’s go with culinary interest, the gifting seems to have fallen in a concentration on the current generation.
Anyway, being the eldest, I hoisted Tessa up on the counter to sit with me while we prepared the turkey for roasting. I’m guessing she was about five years old. She was helping me to stuff the bird, and I thought it might be a good time to explain the general anatomy of our featherless friend. We completed the stuffing and began to tie up the legs. That’s when I began my anatomy class – that’s when my first Thanksgiving took a plummet over a cliff. I can still see that little face framed with all her little light brown curls, sitting there in some home-crafted Christmas sweatshirt I had embellished with great effort and bottles of tulip fabric paint (a completely different chapter that will never appear on a public blog space). As I tied up the legs, I said something like, “see, these are his legs, this is his tummy, these are his wings….” And I’m pretty sure I held up the detached neck from the sink and said, “and this is his neck.” Disclaimer: I was probably around 27 years old and lacking any parenting skill or discretion as of yet. She looked up at me with her Gerber baby round eyes and said, “What do you mean his legs and wings? Is this a bird? “
“Well yes, honey, he used to be a turkey on a farm.” (stupid mother replies continue)
“Probably last week or last month, not too long ago”
“This was a real turkey?”
“I’m not eating this.” Water filling lower eye lids.
Yep, we were one blink away from a total meltdown and my solution was this: “Oh honey, it’s fine we eat the cows from grandpa’s farm every day and all of them used to be alive too.”
Demands to be removed from the kitchen, you get the idea.
I just thought you should know – she’s come a long way wanting to prepare this duck!
So I guess now I know where my inclination to a meatless diet comes from!
Whether you’re cooking duck, turkey, lasagna, or a meatless feast today, enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!