I’ve been pretty bummed lately that, because of those proverbial supply chain issues, one of the restaurants my lovely bride and I frequent hasn’t been able to serve me turkey. There, I admitted it: I like to eat turkey even on dates located nowhere near the fourth Thursday of November.
In fact …
I like it in May. I like it all day. I eat it with yams. I prefer it to hams.
If pressed to explain my affection for this culinary option, I would confess that my fondness is rooted more in personal history than in its palate-pleasing prowess.
I particularly recall that the few times all my family gobbled the gobbler coincided with the few times all my family got together. The immediate clan – Bill, D.Anne, Yale and Leta – would get a knock on the door (several knocks, actually), and suddenly we were in the presence of Grace and Don and Rose and Stella. Those names represented grandparents and great-grandparents. And each was, indeed, grand in his or her own way.
Grace was my dad’s mom, and God might have created a better woman, but I haven’t met her yet. Don was my dad’s stepfather, a WWII veteran who cussed before cussing became fashionable, but I’ve never met a better teller of tales.
Rose was mom’s mom and the finest chef never to wear a big hat. Stella, Rose’s mother, was the family matriarch, and given that I once saw her shoo a coyote from the hen house with a broom, I don’t have to wonder if I’ll still have some spunk left during my Golden Years. Not if spunk is genetically transferred, anyway.
Every Thanksgiving, the same routine would transpire. We would play catch-up at first, then Rose, Grace, Mom and Leta would excuse themselves to go to the kitchen to prepare “the bird.” Don, Dad and I would move into the living room to turn on the Lions game. Detroit always played on Thanksgiving, and, in those days, it featured a future Hall of Famer for whom I had a particular fondness, a fellow by the name of Yale Lary.
Stella would take one look at the television set and ask, “Are the Green Packers playing?” (No, I didn’t leave out the “Bay”; it didn’t matter what game was on, she was convinced one of the teams must be the Green Packers.) Then she would join the other females in the already crowded kitchen and show them the error of their ways with regard to the preparation of Thanksgiving “fixings.”
Eventually we would dine. And the turkey was fine.
It still is.