Another year, another turkey. Another hundred exclamations of “I HATE cooking turkey.”
(I do hate cooking turkey. So much pressure to cook it just right. And such a track record of doing something wrong.)
This year, I couldn’t find the neck and worried (a little) throughout the four hours of cooking, wondering if cooking the turkey with the neck inside would somehow alter the flavor or the outcome. I thought I could look online to find out but never made it out of the kitchen to do so. I considered telling my husband — but figured the bird was stuffed and cooking before he got home from work and saw no need in two people worrying. (Or one worrying while the other scolded or laughed.)
As it turns out, the neck wasn’t inside the bird. We never did find it.
It was a day filled with cooking. A day thinking of people I should call to wish them a happy Thanksgiving. A day of thinking as I worked that I should be thankful — without taking the time to officially do so. As I surveyed the continual supply of dirty dishes and considered the long list of tasks ahead to complete the food preparations, I thought of the plaque my mother had in her kitchen:
“Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell.
While other folks go hungry,
We’re eating very well.
With home and health and happiness,
We shouldn’t need to fuss,
For by this stack of evidence,
God’s very good to us.”
Indeed, God has been very good to us — evidenced by the ever-present work in this kitchen of mine and the number of people who share my table — and I was thankful, am thankful. I pulled a lovely, browned turkey from the oven — and breathed a sigh of relief. Another Thanksgiving, another successful turkey, and yet my yearly announcement as we sat down to eat: “I hope you enjoy your last turkey made by me.” (I keep hoping someone will take me seriously.)
I suspect tomorrow when I am making stock with the turkey carcass and getting creative with leftovers, I will again remember how much I hate cooking turkey. But tonight I can just be thankful for God’s many blessings — and the fact that I don’t have to cook another turkey until next year.