A friend asked me on e-mail Sunday morning how the holiday dinner had gone. I replied:
We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house on Friday, sandwiches last night, maybe some hot version tonight.
It was our counter-move to SIL preparing the dinner on Thursday. When we arrived I saw the bird was already out of the oven, but grayish yellow in color. I figured it would go back in for browning but instead it sat on the counter-top for an hour. She then pulled out a Santoku knife, which impressed me. I mentioned we have a new one in the set I bought us to replace the knives my mom gave us 36 years ago at our wedding.
As is her wont she proudly announced it was a Henckel and that she had always wanted a good knife. I asked if she were going to carve it, as being rather traditional, I think only the experienced should cut the bird. She said she was going to do it.
Slumping a bit in my insides, I hoped that it was to outdo the departed husband who always mutilated them. It was never possible to say "I'd like a slice of dark ( or white) meat please " as he took to a bird with an electric knife and didn't stop until there was a pile of nearly uniform chunks unidentifiable as turkey. He was an engineer who liked things precise.
I was wrong. Kind of anyway.
She picked up the knife, and yanked some of the gray skin back until the large end of the breast was exposed. She pushed down with the knife, in a slow guillotine move until it gave way. She did that again twice until putting the knife down. I will say that nothing I saw indicated any need for a high quality knife. She then went at the entire bird for 10 minutes like some sort of deranged serial killer dismembering a body with her fingers.
The result was a pile of shredded strings of turkey. Nothing that even remotely looked like a slice of turkey.
The dressing had raw chunks of celery and onion she called "sautéed". The bread was hard.
The mashed potatoes were cold but the burned spots where they had stuck to the pan they were cooked in provided a textural interest.
She forgot to put the giblets in the gravy.
Wait !!!! I forgot. She deftly shook the cranberry jelly out of the can without harming the little indentations I had believed since childhood were there as a slicing guide and then dug a serving spoon into it !!!
Their step-dad picked at hors d'ouevres, licking his fingers each time before reaching in again. Who needs mixed nuts, olives and such anyway I resolved myself to accepting.
The pie was a success, even though the insides were some sort of calorie conscious pumpkin foam. The cook declared, "I added my own touch to the recipe on the Libby's can"....whatever that means.
Mrs. thought the day went beautifully until I gave her an accounting of it from my perspective which made her howl with laughter.
All in all it went nicely. Thanks for asking.