Thanksgiving dawned sunny and bright on the Gowannus canal, and thus, on my small apartment. We had, to my dissapointment, decided not to go to the parade (a childhood dream of mine) so that we could get the turkey in on time. The good news was that I got to sleep in. At 10, I yawned, stretched, and thought about what a great day it was going to be.
The first thing I saw when I wandered out of my bedroom was a raw turkey, spread eagle on the counter, with J's face disturbing close to the opening between it's legs. "Come here," he said. I furrowed my eyebrows and shook my head as a wave of nausea rolled over me. I hadn't even had my coffee yet.
"Look in there. Do you think I got everything?" I timidly cocked my head to the side to get a better view from where I was in the doorway.
"Uh, I don't know. Did you get the gizzards?" He reached in and pulled out something that I supposed could be called a gizzard.
"Is this it?" I shrugged. He threw it away and thrust his hand in again. "I don't feel anything else. Come look. Do you see anything else in there?" I didn't want to look, and I couldn't imagine that a small opening like that could really conceal anything else, but I did anyway. It was gross. And looked empty. And I wasn't about to put my hand in there.
Side note: Much, much later, when our friend Mike was picking the turkey clean, he pulled a plastic bag out of some dark recess of the bird and said, "Hey! Why didn't you guys throw out the innards?" Seriously, I have NO IDEA where they came from. And I hope no one gets cancer from us cooking plastic inside a turkey for several hours.
I pulled up Grandma's E-mail Instructions on Cooking a Turkey From a Woman Who's Done it 80 Bazillion Times and Made it Look Easy, and read verbatim to J while he pulled stuff out of it, rubbed stuff on it, flipped it around, put other stuff in it, and then tried to tie it all up with yarn because I don't have kitchen string. I am a helpful, thoughtful woman. Based on Grandma's calculations, we had 6 and 1/3 hours to burn once the turkey was in. The hot water in the apartment wasn't working for the fourth time that week, so I called the landlord and we sat around in our PJs drinking coffee and hoping the hot water would be fixed in time for showers before people started arriving.
It wasn't. And the good news is I believe I broke a world record for shortest shower in the history of showering. It was under a minute, people.
The rest of the day is a happy, warm (the apartment heated up to a balmy 85 degrees or so, despite opening the windows), glowy rush, with friends coming and going, good conversation, many bottles of wine, a turkey that just couldn't wait to be done (several hours early--though I refuse to blame this on Grandma's calculations and instead now believe that my oven is schizo), and a mad rush to make all of the side dishes before the turkey got cold. Granted, the turkey was a tad bit dry, and the green beans may have cooked a few minutes too long, and the football games--don't even get me started on how terrible the football games were--but nothing beats a big meal surrounded by people you love. And PIE.
And when the last couple of people left at 1:30 in the morning, and some (but by no means all) of the dishes had been washed, and the leftovers were put away in the fridge, J put on the soundtrack to "Charlie Brown's Christmas" and we sat in quiet happiness, ruminating on what we decided, on all counts, may have just been the best Thanksgiving ever.
I can't wait to do it all again next year.