My first turkey dinner

The first time I prepared a turkey dinner was Christmas, 2001. Previous holidays had been spent with family, but after losing Emily in 2000 and having Kiddo#2 in 2001, I wanted to be home for Christmas.

My Patient Husband was fine with this. His mother and brothers came to us, and we hosted.

In general I do the grocery shopping for the Philangelus household, but for some reason my Patient Husband did the Christmas dinner shopping. It could have been the postpartum hormones plus the stress of shopping for a CC family. Regardless, he compiled a list, checked it twice, and ventured to the grocery store.

He returned with bags of food, looking a little stunned. “I think I made a mistake.”

Before I could ask what, he brought into the kitchen a turkey that would have felt perfectly at home during the Jurassic Era.

At the frenzy of the grocery store, he couldn’t decide what size turkey to get for five adults and two children under age four. It was either a cornish game hen or a 26-plus pounder. He decided on the larger category, hefted it into the cart (using a forklift?) and hauled it to checkout. The first sign of trouble was not when the shopping cart lay flat on its belly, sobbing for mercy; it was when the cashier said, “Wow, you must be having a LOT of people for dinner!”

While yes, we have seven angels in the household (and did then too, because of the guests), it’s already been established that angels don’t eat. At least, I’ve never been able to coax them to no matter what I’ve offered.

I didn’t give my husband a ration of crap for this. After all, he’d done the shopping, and I’d never made a turkey dinner before. So without complaint, I looked up how long one must cook a turkey, figured out the correct number of minutes per pound, dutifully arose at 3 o’clock in the morning to warm up the oven, stuffed it with the contents of an entire wheat field, and shoved the bird into the oven so we could have dinner at about five pm.

Keep in mind that not only was this my first turkey, but my in-laws were there. And although this kind of story requires a culinary disaster to top it off, I’m afraid it was just a long-lasting, many-many-many-leftovered turkey, and it was delicious.