Hm. This is usually the sort of post I might write on a Sunday morning, but apparently the Thanksgiving days off have me confused.
Thanksgiving day started off with an hour-and-a-half cardio kickboxing class at the dojo my sister goes to. Now, I’ve run a couple 5Ks this year, and I have another one coming up, but I am certainly NOT in the great shape I could/should/would like to be in. So when I found out the class was an hour and a half, part of me was a bit, well, concerned.
But – I did it. I survived it. I did not embarrass myself by running out of the room in tears, or by vomiting. It was brutal, but it was also one of the best things I’ve done for myself in ages. So after it was over, and I was still alive and all, I was really, really happy. And the cost to participate? A non-perishable food item. All of the donations went to the local food bank – another thing to feel good about.
After that it was onto my parents’ house to get the turkey stuffed and in the oven. It’s tradition every year – my sister and I meet up there and chop bread and onions and celery and chat with my parents and then, once the turkey is in the oven, we go to our own homes to finish up whatever side dishes and desserts we’re bringing. Then we all reconvene an hour or so before it’s time to eat.
This year went mostly the same way, except that a week or so before, my mom fell and broke her shoulder. Actually, her upper arm. The ball part of her arm bone that goes in the socket of her shoulder. So she was in a sling, and scheduled for surgery the following morning (which would be yesterday) to have pins put in. So she stayed mostly in the living room, keeping her arm as still as possible, and we took care of the stuffing.
I arrived first, and started chopping onions and celery first, so they could soften in some melted butter while I browned sausage and chopped bread. Moments before my sister arrived, I was chopping bread when IT happened.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I always feel a bit awkward working in someone else’s kitchen. Things are in different places, knives are different, maybe the counter is a little higher or a little lower…stuff like that. And my parents have only lived in THIS house for about 6 years, so it’s not the same as cooking in the house where I grew up used to be. You know? Plus, I was rushing a bit, and I hadn’t eaten yet, and my arms were probably rubbery from all the punches and push-ups…and I was careless, and so I cut off a little chunk of my thumb. Just a little one. But still. It hurt. It bled. It was a dumb thing to do. But I got a band-aid (and then a second one) and my sister took over the bread chopping part. Dad found a box of finger cots – you know, those little rubber things that look like…well…teeny tiny prophylactics. So I ended up with one of them on as well, which kept the band-aids on my thumb and out of our dinner.
You know, as primates, we take our opposable thumbs for granted, I think. It was amazingly awkward trying to maneuver the turkey and fill it with stuffing while simultaneously doing my one-handed impersonation of the Fonz. But I persevered, and my sister laughed at me, and all was right with the world. Though at one point a big glob of the sausage stuffing (which goes in the neck) fell and landed on my foot. I thought I’d got it all off, but when I got home I noticed I’d missed some.
I’m ever the fashion plate.
Anyway, the turkey went in at just a few minutes past nine, which was perfect. Extra stuffing went in a bowl, I put the neck and heart and some onion and celery and stock in a pot to simmer gently for the gravy (no liver??? what kind of turkey is this??) and my sister and I headed off to our own homes.
Dinner was yummy, as always, but the best part was before dinner when my Dad, who, by law, is the one to carve the turkey and scoop out the stuffing, was spooning out the sausage stuffing from the neck, when all of a sudden he pulled out a tannish, squashy-looking something.
It was the bag with the liver in it.
Usually those things are in the body cavity with the neck and other innards…but this one was in the neck. Ah well.
After dinner and dessert and hanging around a bit, my sister and I and our families started putting on coats and gathering up our share of leftovers when my sister (I think it was her) noticed a weird smell coming from the kitchen. Like a hot, plastic wire kind of smell. Like, not a good smell at all.
The little light on the stove was still on – it warns you that one of the heating elements was still hot – but we’d turned everything off HOURS earlier. The smell was coming from the stove somehow, so my brother-in-law and my husband pulled the stove out and unplugged it. And, perhaps, prevented a fire from breaking out that night. So glad we were all still there to smell it and to be able to pull the stove out from the wall.
Something to really be thankful for.
Yesterday I hobbled around the house in some pain from the kickboxing, but not as much pain as I’d expected. Pretty much every muscle is sore, but not so sore that I could lie on the couch and watch cooking shows all day. I’ll have to push myself a little harder next year, I guess.
And by the way, doesn’t Scratchy look psychotic? He was flopped out on this chair yesterday, so I disturbed his relaxing by taking a bunch of pictures of him.
I’ve saved the best for last.
Here it is. Cat paw lovers, this is for you:
Today I’ll be working on a little project that I hope you – some of you, at least – will like, and I’ll also be getting started on the Christmas cookies. I’m starting with the Springerle.