Today happens to be my favorite holiday of the year. I love that there is no hype, no expectation other than hang out with family and eat yourself into oblivion (if you so choose). Plus it gives me the opportunity to post this, the best Thanksgiving story ever, again. My mother is a wonderful person, and the fact that she readily admitted her "error" also shows what a great sport she is. Believe me when I say we laugh WITH her about this, not at her.Happy Thanksgiving to all, especially Mom!
(The following was written in late November, 2004)
Is that a neck in your turkey, or are you just glad to see me?
I would like to apologize to my mother in advance, for being unable to resist the urge to tell this story...
My fiance and I had Thanksgiving dinner at my mother's home this year, with the rest of my family. My mother is an excellent cook and has prepared many wonderful holiday dinners throughout the years. This year was no exception.
Wednesday afternoon I was home as Mom placed the frozen turkey in the sink to began preparations to cook it. At one point as I was walking through the kitchen, I heard her say that something was missing.
I don't know anything about cooking turkeys.
I looked at the turkey in the sink. Mom had removed two packages from inside, which I assumed to be giblets and something else, a liver maybe, since it was dark. My mother and I then had the following exchange:
Mom: Doesn't it look like it is missing something?
Me: Um, the head? I hear they usually get rid of it before they sell them.
Mom: I mean from the inside. There should be something else.
Me: I don't know what's normally inside a turkey.
Mom: It's male parts, it's missing it's male parts.
Mom: The male parts of the turkey aren't inside like they usually are.
Me: (Just now understanding what she is talking about) What? I'm never eating turkey again...
As I said before, I know nothing about cooking turkeys. I can identify the parts of the turkey after it is cooked, but I have no idea how one is packaged. So I did a little research and found that when you buy a turkey, there is supposed to be a package inside containing the giblets and the liver, and also the turkey neck. For all I knew before, I thought the neck was still attached and you just cut it off when you prepared the bird. I don't even know what the point of including the neck is.
Then it hit me.
My mother, who later told me that she has been cooking turkeys for over 40 years, has always thought that the neck that is normally included inside the turkey was instead, um, "something else."
That something else being what puts the "Tom" in turkey.
This explains why the neck has never been part of a holiday meal in her house.
And why I will never not laugh at the sight of a turkey, live or dead, cooked or uncooked, again.