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The Turkey that Was Late for His Own Funeral

I know some of you are probably waiting with bated breath to find out what I messed up for my Thanksgiving Dinner. Because, you know it’s inevitable.


I don’t like meat items that still look like the original animal. Frog legs? No. Clams? No. Squid? No. Hogs head? No one’s ever offered, but no.

So a turkey is really stretching it for me. Because it’s just a naked, headless bird. So weird.

And last year it wasn’t even completely naked, because it still had one little feather sticking out of each of the wings. Horrifying.

This year was my 3rd time cooking thanksgiving dinner. (My sister claims it’s my 4th, so either she’s crazy or I’m blocking a traumatic memory.) So I SHOULD have it down. But that’s actually where I’m at my worst. When I’m like, “Oh, I know how to do this. No biggie,” that’s when things go horribly wrong.

So the day before Thanksgiving, I checked the turkey cooking chart on the box of my turkey-cooking-bag. Don’t judge me, it’s only my 3rd (or 4th) time doing this. Later that evening, without looking at the box, I asked Chris (who is my personal calculator) to do the math for me, “It’s supposed to cook for 10 minutes for every pound, and then add 15 minutes. And the turkey is 20 pounds.” He said that meant about 3 and a half hours.

We were planning Thanksgiving Dinner for about 3:00. And we were kind of locked into that, because, not only were Chris’ parents at our house, but we’d also invited some friends over.

Thanksgiving Day, I was feeling pretty chill, since the turkey only needed to cook for 3 and half hours. I lazied around, drinking coffee and watching the beginning of the Macy’s parade.

Around 9:30, I decided to get a jump start on the turkey. I was feeling really proud of myself for being proactive and not waiting until the last minute, since it didn’t really need to be in the oven until 11:00.

First thing I did was to check the box instructions again.

Guess what? The cooking chart said 15 minutes for every pound and then add 10 minutes. Now, I’m no mathematician, but I knew that when I had transposed those numbers, it drastically affected my cooking-time calculations. I checked it on my iPhone calculator, since Chris wasn’t around. 5 hours, friends. 5 hours.

And if I could have just popped the turkey in right then, it would have been fine. But it’s never that easy.

Because, even though I’d looked up on the internet how long it takes to thaw a 20 pound turkey in the fridge, the turkey was still frozen. The internet lies.

I panicked-ly enlisted Chris’ help. Because we needed to get the nasty stuff out of the inside of the bird. (Anyone know of a turkey company that just throws the neck and giblets away? Please hook me up.) But all of the turkey’s holes were frozen shut AND it had it’s legs crossed. It wasn’t giving up without a fight. When we got it all unfrozen and unhooked, we pulled out the neck (ugh) and went digging for the giblets. No giblets.

After we’d both groped around inside of a dead bird for awhile, we called Chris’ mom. She wasn’t super interested in sticking her arm inside (can you blame her?) but she eyed it a little and said, “Well. I don’t know. They should be in there.” We discussed whether maybe they’d forgotten to put the giblets in. But I could never be that lucky. Then in a moment of genius or something, Chris found them in the OTHER hole. So awkward.

So we finally got the turkey in its bag (stop with the judging!) and into the oven. And it only threw our dinner itinerary off by about 30 minutes.

Everything else went pretty smooth. I did manage to fling some sweet potatoes around the kitchen, but that wasn’t much of a story, comparatively.

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San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers


My family came to visit us for Thanksgiving and I did something I’ve never done before… I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner! Yes, the dressing came from a box and the turkey was in a bag. The cranberries were canned, the gravy came in packets, and Pillsbury made the pie crust. But the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes were as homemade as could be! And everything tasted good. So I felt proud of myself!

Isaiah could barely wait to get through Thanksgiving for the Christmas season to start. Unfortunately, he thinks he should get presents as soon as the Christmas tree is up (which it is, minus decorations). Every time Chris leaves for work, Isaiah asks him if he is going to the store to get presents. He lists off to his Grandparents every train he is in need of, so they will be sure to know what to get him. Today he was asking about presents for the millionth time. Chris told him he had to wait until Christmas and Isaiah responded, “But Daddy, I’m going to die!” We assured him that he could wait and it wouldn’t kill him.

Our son isn’t totally focused on the material aspect of Christmas. Since his birthday is not long after Christmas, he has gotten a little confused on which holiday is which. The other night I asked him who’s birthday Christmas was, to see if he could remember our previous conversations. At first he answered, “Mine!” Then he tried, “Mommy’s!” I told him it was Someone even more important. Then he remembered and proudly exclaimed, “Jesus’ birthday!” Then he said, “An’ it’s going to be Jesus’ biggest, best birthday eber!”

Isaiah is full of imagination and he’s starting to see things that I totally miss. We were piling in the car to head off to Library Class, when Isaiah said, “The tree has a cross face,” (he watches Thomas, which uses older British expressions like being “cross”). I was in a hurry and casually brushed him off saying, “No, the tree doesn’t have a face.” “Yes he does!” Isaiah argued, so I made him point out what tree he was talking about. Sure enough, the fir tree in our neighbor’s yard had big gaping holes in exactly the right place for two big eyes and a crabby grin. I assured Isaiah that the tree was silly-cross, and that seemed to satisfy him.

Leah has become very interested in music lately. Whenever she hears music playing, she starts clapping, swaying and lifting her hands. She’s a little worshiper, which is funny because I realized the other night, that one of the reasons I liked the name Leah, is because the Leah in the Bible learned to be a worshiper. So names really do have impact!

Leah isn’t quite walking yet, but she has taken a couple of steps before she realized what she was doing. Then she promptly sat down. She’s been eating up a storm lately, so maybe she’s building up her muscles. As for talking, she mostly says, “Checher” or “Chesha”. She can say the names of everyone else in the family too, but she’d much rather talk about the dog. She says “dan-do” (thank you) and I got her to say please once. She says, “look-it” and copies other words we say as well. With her brother’s teaching, I’m sure she’ll be saying “present” pretty soon!

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