I tend to dread the holidays. Jeez O’Pete’s, yesterday just proved why. After staying up half the night baking (because I love my family) and socializing (because I just can’t help myself) I finally fell into bed. I was so excited to claim my three hours of sleep before it was time to get up to start Easter dinner, that it took me forever to finally drop off. Eight came way too early, and I literally rolled out of bed. I stood there for a few minutes, swaying on my feet, hair on end, my eyes still closed, but determined to find the brain capacity to shuffle out of the bedroom and start the day.
I bumped my shin.
It hurt, but I managed to keep plodding. The usual morning routine went off without a hitch (or tripping over Boo, which is unusual.) By that point, I was starting to think it might actually turn out to be a good day.
There are reasons people tell you not to count your chickens before they hatch.
The neck was still frozen inside the turkey. After rummaging around inside the thing for what felt like hours and gagging, I realized I have one of the few turkeys in the world where they forgot to include the giblets. I’m okay with that. I never use them and just holding the bag makes me feel squeamish. I got the bird in the pan, got it covered and started cooking.
Life was good.
The house was starting to smell wonderful. My stomach was growling in anticipation of food, and the valiant effort not to raid any of the pygmy human’s baskets in my perpetual hunger for chocolate. The skin was starting to crisp on the turkey. I burnt my hand checking on it. Nothing new. I was still determined to stick with the positive vibes and keep my head above water. I peeled a mountain of potatoes and diced them, soaked them in my seasoning blend and started to boil.
Okay. I got this!
Or so I think. I go to drain the drippings a short while later and pause. The liquid isn’t clear. It’s thick now, almost like gravy already, dark, and it smells like damp cardboard. I sniff the turkey. It smells the same, but stronger—worse.
Enter panic mode.
I cut off a small piece, and sure enough, the whole thing tasted just like the smell. At this point, I’m numb and in a state of shock. After the week I had, this really couldn’t be happening, could it? Surely, fate wouldn’t be so cruel as to give me a spoiled turkey after my computer had locked up, Windows had crashed, and I had to delete every single freaking file I had. I’d already spent the entire week scrambling to reformat and save data, including two books…endless, tedious hours, respacing entire documents because my computer was brand new and I hadn’t had the mindset to back anything up, because I foolishly thought I was safe. Right?
Wrong. It could be that cruel and it was.
I stood there, shaking, and eventually breaking into tears. I slumped over the stove and cried my poor little heart out. It was Easter. Everything in my tiny little town was closed, including the Chinese place. Everything but one lone pizza shop.
So…we had pizza, homemade mashed potatoes, corn, bread, and bakery—for Easter. Yep. True story. But hey, at least the cake and stuff turned out good.