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Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This …

When Thanksgiving dinner goes really bad

POSTED: November 23, 2011 4:00 a.m.

Granny has always been known for doing two things really well: Cooking and quilting.

Before arthritis completely crippled her hands, she could make the most beautiful handmade quilts ever seen. Her skills in the kitchen were even more impressive.

After I had been preparing the Thanksgiving meal a few times, Granny decided she was taking back the turkey. She preferred me handling our Christmas meal instead.

The words "control freak" came to mind, but I didn't say a word, least Mama remind me how much me and the old lady were alike.

So off we went to Granny's for Thanksgiving two years ago, empty stomachs aching for turkey and all the trimmings. The car drive seemed longer than usual when you are hankering for golden, moist turkey.

When we arrived, there was no sweet smell of the bird that should have been cooking since the night before. Usually, the aroma of Granny's turkey filled the house and wafted out to the yard.

"Her oven gave out," Mama said in greeting.

"Did she still cook?" I asked, wondering if I needed to run to town to get us all something to eat.

Mama nodded and didn't say another word.

"Where's the turkey?" Lamar asked. "I'm ready to eat. I've been thinking about Granny's turkey for two weeks."

The turkey was in Granny's gigantic pressure cooker which in case you don't already know, is not the ideal way to cook a turkey.

"It'll be good," Granny said, stabbing pieces of slimy looking turkey out of the pot.

It was not.

There was no dressing, thanks to the defunct oven, but Granny had managed to heat some brown and serve rolls; her pies had been made the day before the oven had bit the dust.

"Has Granny forgotten how to cook?" Lamar whispered to me. There was none of the savory goodness we were used to and expected - it was a tasteless, rubbery mess.

When we went to leave a few hours later, Granny shoved a huge Tupperware container in my hands.

"I'm sending you some of this turkey home. Ain't nothing like a turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving."

Oh Lord, it was coming home with us. At least maybe the dogs would appreciate it.

But not even Pepper the Beagle - who eats everything - would eat that turkey. And since we were still starving when we got home, we ended up making a couple of cans of tuna.

Not much better than the turkey, but enough mayonnaise makes just about anything tolerable.

When Mama said Granny wanted to know our Thanksgiving plans this year, I asked her if she planned on pressure-cooking the turkey again.

"Quit picking on her about that," Mama scolded. I guess I shouldn't pick on her; she's 90 years old and has only made one thing that was inedible as long as I can remember.

But I'm packing a can of tuna, just in case.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist and certified life coach. She lives in the north Georgia mountains with her family and four insane, but fairly well behaved dogs.

 

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