11/20/07

Hey, Jewels Julie

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? You cooking? The first time I cooked a turkey by myself, I had to call my mother and ask if they were really serious about sticking my hand in "there" and cleaning, wiping with salt, then filling it with dressing. I was already a good cook, thought I knew everything, but Mom always cooked the turkey. I can not, nor will I ever cook my dressing in a turkey. Since then, I have many memories--good and bad--until I realized I can make them good no matter what. For instance, once I forgot to buy the turkey, so we had pizza in the middle of creamy potatoes, cranberrie sauce, etc. Once I decided on ham out of rebellion but had a zillion kids running around and forgot to take off the outer covering. (Oooo, my sister's won't let me forget that one.) Once, my first Thanksgiving with Jim, I came running down stairs (my mother's rule was turkey in oven no later than 6 AM, which by the way is not true, but she was coming to dinner, ), and Jim had already washed, salted, and STUFFED the turkey. I was aghast, walked around in confused circles, then grabbed the keys for my office, where I sat still and quiet for an hour, trying to find my misplaced identity--oh yeah oh yeah, I remember who I am, I'm fine, didn't disappear, no problem, before I drove home to dress kids and cook yams and potatoes. How many Thanksgivings have I been through? Only 60? It seems like many many more. The basic problem for me is I don't like to cook in chaos. I especially hated cooking at 5:00 everyday when everyone's hungry, ornery, and complaining. My family got used to me cooking in the middle of the night--big bowls of home-made Chile, lasagna, manicotti--then we'd eat that all week. I like quiet when I cook 'cause it should be an art form, and I want to be completely present and in the moment without worrying about who just spilled grape juice on the carpet, who swallowed pits from the olives, who's yelling from behind the locked bathroom door (I almost left him in there until company came, and why not? What could he do besides take another bath, which never hurt anyone). OK, so if you're cooking, I have to warn you about this gross sack of gross stuff in this gross place in the turkey. Some people think it'll flavor the gravy? Naw. Not worth it. Then check the stupid neck, because there's another sack of stuff in there also wrapped in paper that you don't want cooking in salt. Salted paper isn't really on a thanksgiving menu. Good luck. Keep up a running chatter. I'll be home reading books, except it's my turn to cook--actually there's no one else now. Maybe take David to a fancy restaurant. Or don't forget candles. We miss you. EmPo will answer soon. She and Bryndie just went through major trial with graduation, as in not.

4 comments:

Chan said...

Sis. Morgan, what do you mean when you say we should go back to our earliest memory, and then back one further? Is that hyperbole, or do you really mean that? How can we write about that? Are you sorry you even told me?

Sky said...

Nope. No hyperbole. I believe sometimes our minds are too lazy, so they'll offer us the first thing they think we'll take. In the case of memories, it can be tricky because we remember pain more than good times. (Pain must stamp our neurons harder than sweet times.) So, I always push a little further for a topic. I don't take the first one; unless, of course, my mind gives me a run around and starts sifting through, judging, tossing and rejecting, etc.--No, no that's not good enough, yes, maybe, no, not profound, etc. Then I do take the first one. Now aren't you glad YOU asked?

Leanna said...

My mom and dad came up for Thanksgiving this year because Lance had to work. Mom and I wore matching aprons (gag if you want) and she showed me how to cook a turkey. I was utterly grossed out, too, Sis. Morgan, that there are two bags of who-knows-what inside the turkey. Yuck! (And we don't cook our stuffing inside the turkey, either.) And I realized something this Thanksgiving--I don't remember a single Thanksgiving that my mom hasn't complained about the turkey. It's always "too dry," "too raw," or "too done." And every year everyone truthfully tells her that it's "really yummy" while she only turns away each compliment with a "Yeah right. You're just saying that, but you don't mean it" kind of comment. And now I wonder--is this what I will be like whenever I cook turkey each Thanksgiving for my family? Is it that by becoming a mother your tastebuds become more refined? Because it seems to me now that every turkey every year tastes just as good as the one before. Hm.

Leanna said...

p.s. I just burnt the apple pie even though I followed the directions. Maybe I really will mess up every turkey I ever make.