Thanks to People Who Just Get it.
by Jessica Ehlers, November 23, 2012
The night before last I made the cornbread stuffing. I was telling my boyfriend how there is nothing to it but an hour in, (I was working really, really slow) it was clear that his Stove Top method really was wayyyy easier. Easier perhaps but sometimes you have to work for greatness. I did not bake the cornbread from scratch. It was the yummy Trader Joe's mix. Still, it was more involved than I remembered but it turned out awesome and pre-cooked so the turkey could have the oven to itself in the morning.
I prepped the turkey for the morning and then tried to get some sleep. But there was no sleep til brooklyn this night so when the alarm went off reminding my about the turkey at 6am I wanted to cry. You know when you don't sleep and your eyes feel like someone rubbed glass in them? That's kinda how I felt. However, there was no time for tears. A tradition was at stake. It wasn't as dramatic as I am making it sound but I am a creature that can't function properly without sleep. It would be like trying to run a car without gas. Some people can have a couple cups of coffee and sally forth, but I woke up fragile and remained fragile for the rest of the day but the turkey turned out awesome. So there's that.
I have a method for Turkey since I am now over 30 and have cooked a few. They are not hard at all, it turns out. They are very simple with a formula that I use which involves a hot heat for the first 20 minutes and a low heat for the rest of the time. I also stuff under the skin with chopped herbs and butter under the skin, left it sans-stuffing (remember I already made it the night before) and put it in the oven with the fancy-pants new roasting pan that my dad bought us for the occasion (usually I borrow their's but they were cooking a ham).
I had plans about how I was going to get the turkey in before everyone else woke up and I could go back to bed. I always have these involved plans about how I think things should go. Needless to say, everyone was up before I had time to turn the turkey down. What else could be done besides showering and putting on coffee?
4.5 hours later-ish, the Turkey was done. I warmed the stuffing nice and hot and packed it into a large box and my man put it in the vehicle. We picked up my niece and headed south, to Albion for dinner at 2pm. (Why are we supposed to eat Thanksgiving dinner @ 2pm?)
The food was epic. It was a quieter feel than usual. My boy was with his dad so my nephew was the only kid under 18 in attendance. I climbed into the dishes once the meal was over in an effort to avoid falling asleep on the couch and that seemed to help. Relatives catching up, cribbage, lots of dishes.
Post-dessert and coffee discussion it was decided to go see a movie even though I had kindof planned to go meet some friends in the harbor. You know who you are. The Life of Pi was in 3-D, why? I have no idea. I can't stand 3-D movies. They make me ill. Maybe you loved it. Maybe I would have too but with this particular backdrop of one of the longer and more emotionally exhausting days, I wasn't feeling it. Even though the story was pretty cool. A man on a lifeboat with a Tiger? Pretty awesome.
My family means well. They really do, but they don't understand and sometimes I can't explain it even if they wanted to know. When I got home, I curled into a little ball on my bed and sobbed for 20 minutes. Afterward, I felt better and a friend reached out asking me how I was. I told him. He said he had been doing the exact same thing. We both laughed. Then we shared some stories from our hippy high school days at MCHS.
It is important to have family. I am grateful for mine. So much love and so many lessons. It is also important to have friends who hear a tone in your voice and are like, "Yep- me too" without having to explain why or how. Maybe it is tied into the fact that there is no familial baggage associated with this kind of support. I could play "maybe" all afternoon. The point might be that sometimes (all the time?) you have to go through stuff in order to get to the other side. It's nice to have a familiar face when you come out of it.
And when you're not through it all the way, it's always nice to have staunch supporters in your corner rooting for you because sometimes it really does feel like just too much.