As you should know by now, we had a lovely Thanksgiving sharing it with four delightful Americans who are living here for various amounts of time. Per customary procedure, each person asked what they could contribute to the dinner. One of our dear friends, offered to order and cook the turkey.
Getting a whole turkey here is a tremendous challenge, but we offered to buy it ready cooked from one of the hotels that were catering the holiday. She insisted that her turkey cooking methods were beyond comparison. Finally, she had me believing that if she did not cook the turkey, we would repent for years to come. The agreement was that we would pay for the bird and she would prepare it.
The preparations turned out to be monumental. The turkey had to be brined the day before. I had never brined a turkey, had no clue why a turkey had to be brined, but from the sound of it, I was just grateful I was not the one having to do it.
Thanksgiving Day, the turkey and the cook arrived via taxi. The turkey was stuffed as we soon would be on the entire dinner. Everything was lovely. Praises went to all of the contributing dinner cooks and thanks were given for the turkey.
Our turkey cook was not satisfied with what she sensed were meager accolades, so she later e-mailed me to get my honest reaction to the turkey. Again, I sent thanks for assuming the chore and saying how lovely the turkey turned out. Since not appeased, she wrote me yet again wanting minute details on every thought I have ever had about turkey basting, stuffing, and roasting including all ingredients ever tried and the polls taken after each. This is how I responded to the last e-mail.
Reading your e-mail right before going to bed is not healthy for my sleep cycle. I had two dreams about you in succession, each causing me trauma.
In the first dream, you had hauled me off to witness a line up like you see victims doing in the movies. After being warned that this was a one-way mirror and I could not be observed, the veil lifted. However, instead of six potential criminals standing in front of height charts, one waiting to be pointed out as the culprit, there were six cooked turkeys hanging by scales. Each scale pointed to weights ranging from 7.8 to 9.1 kilos with minor differences in between.
As I stood there facing the turkeys, you tell me to point to the turkey you cooked for Thanksgiving dinner. You demanded that I should be able to pick it out from the rest. My mind was reeling with numbers trying to remember the pre-cooked weight you had told us the turkey was, but then I had to try to calculate the weight lost from a hot oven for hours.
Attempting a guess based on the color of the golden browned skins was nearly impossible as they were all as beautifully tanned as a devotee of a solarium salon. The only thing that allows me to rule out two of the six was the telltale pop-up timers jutting out of the thighs of those birds. That spelled Butterball for sure and not free range. There was nary a speck of grass or a partial gigerium that could be harboring a pebble giving trace evidence.
I failed in this task, so you walked into the room with disgust and flipped me the bird that I should have chosen.
After waking in a cold sweat from this dream, it took forever to return to sleep, but later I wish I hadn’t. Again, you penetrated my dreams. This time we were in a courtroom. I was on the witness stand. You were the persecuting attorney questioning me.
You: Dr. James, do you see the turkey you were presented for Thanksgiving in this courtroom?
Me: No, the only thing that was left was the carcass and we used that to make soup.
You: So, remembering you are under oath, would you say that this was the best turkey you have ever eaten?
Me: No, I cannot say that, because over the course of my life I have eaten hundreds of turkeys.
You: But, wouldn’t you say this was one of the most flavorful and moist turkeys in your memory? Now remember you are under oath.
Me: No, I am sorry. If you had six turkeys lined up and had me blindfolded, I could not pick this one out from the rest while doing a taste test.
You look at me with carving knives flying from your eyes and give me both the bird from both hands.