On December 23rd, Brad ran out to get a few essentials from the grocery store to get us through the next few days when everything would either be maggoty with last minute shoppers or closed all together. He got mix, obviously, some booze, Christmas cookies, chips, and chocolates. He also got a loaf of bread, some eggs, and milk for me to add to my Bailey's. Perfect. We were set. We sat peacefully by the tree that evening when Brad looks at me and says, "What are we going to feed our families when they come out on the 26th?
We were going out for Christmas Dinner to my Aunt and Uncle's cabin (that's absolutely beautiful) not far from here. Because of that we would have no leftovers to throw together some hash or make a few hot turkey sandwiches. I started to panic. And then it hit me... There was a turkey in the deep freeze.
When we bought our turkey for thanksgiving (a turkey that Brad's mother cooked, I might add) they were buy one get one free, so we bought two. Brad tossed Tommy Turk Volume Two in the deep freeze out in the garage, and we left it at that. Brad even suggested we donated it this Christmas. But that was before we needed to feed the five thousand, also known as Brad's immediate family.
I took the turkey out that day to give it ample time to thaw. I had never cooked a turkey before but I knew those suckers froze like the devil, so I assumed popping it in the oven frozen, a state that I prefer to cook most of my meals from, was probably not going to fly.
At Christmas dinner I bragged and bragged about my turkey cooking prowess. This was going to be a breeze. That was until my uncle dropped the bomb that I had to clean it. Sick. Who wants to clean a dead, beheaded, gutted, bald bird? Not this kid, I'll tell you that for free.
That night we put Avery to bed after a very long day. We hit the sack by eleven and Brad was so tired he even fell asleep without sexually accosting me. This is a rare and celebrated occasion. I set my alarm for eight so that I could get up after a good night's sleep and tackle the murdered barnyard fowl carcass that lurked in my refrigerator. What a day it would be!
I fell asleep at around midnight and was awoken by a strange sound coming from Avery's room at 3:00. It was her singing. Superb. She was awake. However, because she wasn't calling out or crying, I let her be. Soon after I began to doze again though, Liam woke up, dying for some boob. By the time I got him straightened away, Avery started throwing out some "feelers".
"Feelers" are when she sweetly will call out, "Mommy? Daddy?" and see what kind of response this elicits. Normally it gets nothing, so she tries harder by calling out louder. I begrudgingly got out of bed, telling Brad to come get me if Liam woke again, and trudged over to her bedroom.
I'm not going to get in to the gritty details of what went on between the hours of 3am and 6am, but basically after musical beds and a lot of frustration, we finally figured out that Avery wanted the "princess slippers" that came with a dressup chest that my parents had given her for Christmas. At 5:40am I was in the living room, rummaging around under the tree like an effing raccoon looking for those godforsaken slippers. As soon as they were placed on her tiny little feet, she was content. I went back to bed, and the insomnia kicked in.
All I could think about was, "If I go to sleep right now, I'll get this much sleep... ok, if I go to sleep now, I'll get this much..."
By 7:15 I gave up on sleep and in my exhausted state went down over the stairs to size up the bird. I took it out of the fridge, still in the bag, laid it in the sink, and poured myself a coffee. I stared at it for a while, coffee in hand, and then decided I should go about this in a strategic manor. I got the scissors and cut open the bag that the turkey was in. There was some blood in the bag. Terrifying.
I remembered that the turkey needed to be washed, so I ran the water and carefully took the turkey by the plastic thingey and picked it up to rinse it. A bag fell out of its asshole. Or maybe it's neck? Who knows. All I know is that what appeared to be a small placenta was sitting in my kitchen sink where I wash my toddler's sippy cups. I turned the turkey the other way, and a skinned penis fell out. What the hell, man? What is going on with this thing? I'm not awake enough for this shit.
Time to call my parents.
I'm going to put it out there, that my parents are not the people to call if you need any advice with regards to cooking anything at all. My mother's oven smells like burning when you turn it on because it's used so infrequently, and you can perform minor surgery inside it because it is that clean. The only reason she has one is to fill in the awkward space between the two counters.
Mom attempted to cook a turkey one time. On that occasion, it was so under cooked that my father feared somebody was going to phone the SPCA and report her for torturing the animal. Also, my Uncle Randy swears she called him and said, "Ok, the vegetables are ready. When do I put the turkey in?"
They also eat out at nice restaurants probably five nights a week. When my sister and I lived at home they acted like there wasn't enough money for two ply toilet paper. Now that we're gone though, they have a sports car, a brand new motor home, a house in Florida, and never have to cook. What a load of shit. But I knew they would be awake.
Dad answered. Oh God.
"Dad. I have to cook a turkey. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm exhausted."
"What do you mean? Put the turkey in the oven. Turn the oven on. Press start. What more do you want? Check it's wing. Does it have a pulse?"
My father is not known for his patience.
"Dad... put mom on the phone."
Thankfully mom was able to talk me through what she's seen other people do with turkeys. There was some salting and some savory and some onion. There was also a turkey baster involved, those things are all kinds of a good time.
My mother was less than impressed with my reaction to having to put my bare hands on the raw animal. "Lauren, you're a nurse. You've had your fingers in other people's orifices. How are you so disgusted by this?"
In my defense, I have had my fingers in other people's orifices. I've probably seen more private parts than a pretty experienced prostitute, and I've also been paid to put my fingers in and on those parts, so maybe I am also a prostitute. I don't even know anymore. However, I have never put any of these people in the oven at 325 degrees after I've violated them and then served them to my family members.
I managed to get the turkey in the oven and after so long my house started to smell like deliciousness. A few hours later I took the sucker out, basted it, and left the top off the roaster that I couldn't believe I owned. When Brad's family got here, it was beautiful. Tommy Turk was brown and lovely, and tasted amazing. I basked in the glow of the perfectly cooked bird for the remainder of the day while phoning all of my family members to make them aware that I had not inherited my mother's cooking skills. It was glorious.
Because of my amazing work, I decided I deserved a little treat. "Brad," I said, "I need a nap today. I've only had three hours sleep and I spent most of the morning in the kitchen with my hands inside a dead bird."
"That's your own fault. You should have been up in the bed with your hands on a live one."
Siiiiiiighhhhhh. There is no rest for the weary.