A reporter’s notebook on Thanksgiving dinner

  • thanksgivingI had Thanksgiving “off” this year. No minor thing for this reporter-girl. For many, many years Thanksgiving week has been the trifecta of reporter assignments:

*Wednesday, talk with busy travelers.

*Thursday, go to the mission where they’re serving up Thanksgiving breakfast.

*Friday, go talk with Black Friday shoppers. And don’t get run-over (they are a determined lot).

It’s exhausting, but in a good way. It’s a good reminder that I have a job. A good reminder that I had Thanksgiving dinner waiting for me at home, either courtesy a gracious relative or the deli department at the local grocery store. I hadn’t roasted a turkey since I was a mere newly-wed, standing in the kitchen asking my baby-sister if she knew which end of the bird I was SUPPOSE to stuff . . .

So this year, I found myself staring at the wrapped-in-plastic, 18-pound-challenge I had purchased, trying to remember how to roast the turkey:

  1.  Take off plastic wrap. This is VERY important.
  2. Take out neck and giblets. Equally important unless you want to include a little “extra surprise” in the stuffing.
  3. Stare at turkey.
  4. Call Mom for stuffing recipe. Realize that Mom’s stuffing was always the best because it includes an entire stick of butter. Spend half an hour laughing on the phone with mom, remembering Thanksgivings past.
  5. Go online to ask baby-sister if she remembers which end of the turkey to stuff. Spend half an hour laughing at the fact we had no clue.
  6. Decide to stuff turkey.
  7. Answer call from brother who needs the family-pie-crust-recipe. End up talking with brother about the awful event I had to cover – as a reporter – that still makes my heart ache. Realize talking with my big brother was exactly what I needed to do.
  8. Get off phone and decide I need to stop stalling over this whole turkey-thing, or we’ll be eating at midnight.
  9. Take a few moments to watch my sons escape video-game-zombies, because this will be useful knowledge in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse.
  10. Enlist sons to help with turkey, because if they can escape zombies, obviously they have some skills I have overlooked.

In the end, the bird was successfully-stuffed and roasted. It came out of the oven NOT picture perfect. It actually looked as though it had endured a week of black-Friday shopping and had barely escaped the zombie hoards. But it tasted OH so good. And I’ll always remember that Thanksgiving I had “off” from work, when I got to stay home in the Man Cave and make dinner … with the help of my entire family.

Happy Holidays to you and yours, from the Man Cave.   (What’s the Man cave? Read this.)

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