We don’t bake Thanksgiving turkeys anymore.
In those days, my wife and I played to conversations between the living room and the kitchen, speeding back and forth between family and friends—and the timer. Waiting. Everybody waiting. On a lifeless oven.
How much longer? someone would say. Two hours and thirty-seven minutes, sayeth the mighty Chronos to us hosts serving between time and our people. All the while, bellies groaned with frustration over food anticipation, behind the facade of jovial conversation. And to think that any of us, at one time, thought this enjoyable. Oh, what we were missing.
Until deep fried turkey.
We surround the stainless steel pot like hobos encircling a fifty gallon drum…Lord, bless them, every one. We are warm. We are satisfied by the aroma alone. Life spits and pops and gurgles amidst the peanut oil drowning of a Meleagris gallopavo, and its resurrection thereof—a juicy, tender, deep fried turkey. Laughter and libations amplify our connectedness. We huddle for about forty-five minutes, give or take. Quality minutes, either way.
And while carving this delicious delight—oh my. I’ve since come to witness a far greater degree of communal picking and pulling and tearing than I ever did with its baked counterpart. And more smiles. For sure, more laughter. And certainly, more community.
When we finally sit to eat, and each dish passes from one hand to the next, it seems we have all become guests, to something more than what we were before. And I have found the turkey is pretty good, too.
Featured image courtesy of Paul Burgdorf. Modified by Brock Stephen Henning.