No morals or contemplations on the greater things in life tonight. Just the story of the strangest Thanksgiving I’ve ever passed, because this needs to be recorded for posterity.
“Poor Allison has finally cracked,” you’re probably thinking. “It’s not even Thanksgiving.” This is true, but I celebrated today for several reasons. 1. As I’m currently living and working in England where they sadly don’t give Americans a day off on Thanksgiving to properly celebrate, I had improvise and move the big day to a weekend. 2. Next weekend I’ll be packing to go HOME!!! (God willing) and 3. I inexplicably became convinced at some point that Thanksgiving fell on November 19th this year. Don’t ask how this happened. I realize now that it’s actually impossible for Thanksgiving to fall on the 19th (the 22nd is the earliest) and there were many signs that hinted at my mistake. But I literally didn’t notice until I wished my family a happy Thanksgiving on Thursday and my brother pointed out that it’s next week. By then it was too late: the turkey had been bought and thawed. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure God inceptioned this date as a prank.
I woke up today to find that the plumbing for our kitchen sink, which is touch-and-go on its best days, had fully given up the ghost. Unfortunately while a small mountain of dishes from the previous night’s dinner had yet to be washed. I was mad enough to spit, because it threw a major monkey wrench in my plans of blissful Thanksgiving cookery, but I did some quick inventory and realized that nothing I needed was in the pile, and that I should be able to manage the cooking if I was careful with my dishes. So I started peeling some apples for a pie, which is fortunately a soothing activity and calmed me down. My landlady called a plumber, I finished the pie and whipped up a green been casserole, and things were looking up. Then it was time for the turkey…
The plumber was supposed to come “sometime between now and 6:00 pm,” so I couldn’t risk waiting on his arrival to wash and commence cooking the bird. I peeked at the turkey. I could see the blood pooling in the bottom of its bag; it definitely needed a rinse before cooking. If nothing else it needed to be unbagged somewhere with a drain. The sink was full of water with a truly horrific scum of last night’s dinner floating around. So that was out. The bathroom sink? Too small. Right. So it would be the shower then. I knew what I had to do but wrestled with it for several minutes because I couldn’t shake the icky feeling of mixing my food preparation with where I clean myself. I figured the turkey would be pretty thoroughly sanitized though, and I would sanitize the shower and bathroom after showering the turkey. I delayed some more, for decorum’s sake, and then got to it.
I got the bag open and the turkey didn’t look quite like I expected. I realized with horror that I didn’t know what to expect with an English turkey. Do they sell them with their entrails? With their feet still attached? Head? I investigated. Fortunately, everything was as normal – neck and small bag of giblets in the cavity – with the exception that the legs had been included to the second joint instead of the first. Just needed to cut the bottom bone off.
As I sat in my shower sawing off a turkey’s legs with the paring knife I had brought in to open the bag, I realized that this was one of the more ridiculous moments of my life. I also realized that it was hilarious. I was living National Lampoon’s European Thanksgiving. I couldn’t help feeling like this situation should be some sort of extremely ridiculous television challenge. Announcer: “The situation is this: You’re cooking a large dinner tonight and need to wash your bird and get it in the oven. Unfortunately, the sink is clogged and you can’t use it. The plumber isn’t due for hours. What do you do?” Contestant: “I’ll just ring the neighbor!” Announcer: “Oh, I forgot to mention that there’s a lockdown and you’re not allowed to go into anyone else’s home.” Contestant: “Ummm…I guess maybe go outside with a tub and a pitcher of water…?” Announcer: “You live in an apartment. And it’s raining.” Contestant: “Seriously?!“
So I finished dismembering my turkey, gave it a shower, poured two kettles of boiling water and a load of bleach all over the shower, and finished cooking. I’m happy to report that the dinner was, in the end, and amazing success! Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, sweet potato soufflé, and two kinds of pie were all done (early!!) and all hot at the same time. (Except the pies…which didn’t have to be). It was a Thanksgiving miracle. And it felt good to laugh at the absurdity of it all. As I said, I feel like maybe God knew I needed a little absurdity in my life. Today I’m thankful for those stranger-than-fiction moments in life that make the best stories. Feel free to leave one of your own in the comments 😉