One year, I had friends over for Thanksgiving and they saw the rubber gloves still out. Oops. I had to explain why I hated cooking turkey. I said I felt like I was violating a dead animal by reaching in there and removing parts. I explained I was no turkey gynecologist, but I always used rubber gloves for the examination. I hated touching that dead bird with no feathers or head. It is true. I do use rubber gloves. That bird spread out looked obscene. I think they thought I was strange.
It was always something wrong with cooking the turkey too! No matter how many packets were inside, I always left one in there. If there were three, I removed two thinking I had them all. Who thought of the dumb game “ Hide Little Bags of Weird Turkey Parts That I Have to Throw Out” inside the turkey? What kind of mind does that? Couldn’t they just put it in one big baggy for those people who use giblets and necks and those other packets of unknowns? Saving out turkey parts sounds like a perverse goal.
It was always a great phone conversation I had with my mother across the country every Thanksgiving?
Me: “How many of those little bags are in a turkey?”
Me: “Oh no!”
Mom: “Why? How many did you remove?”
Me: “Only 36. Now I have to get that damned turkey out of the oven, let it cool down and look for the other 11 packets.”
Mom: (Laughing) “I love Thanksgiving. I wish you were here to let me cook the turkey. I love you, dear.” Me: “I love you, too, but why do they keep on adding extra plastic bags of weird parts every year and shoving them up the turkey’s ass?”
Mom: “Watch the mouth, but your turkey will be just fine. You cannot ruin a turkey.”
I miss that insane conversation that I had every year with my mom about the turkey. She was right. You cannot ruin a turkey, but my meal was always haunted by that troubling encounter prior to cooking. I hated touching that poor old, big fat, ugly bird with no feathers or head. I sure as hell never stuffed that poor pitiful yucky thing. I am sure that it violates some law of nature and religion. If it doesn't, this is a sick word we live in.