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How Not To Share Your Turkey Dinner

“Since you’re cooking that turkey anyway, why don’t we invite somebody over?” my hospitable hubby asked as he saw me wrestling the giant bird into the roaster. “Sure,” I said. “Call around and see who can come on short notice.”

He did, and soon we were expecting our friends Pat and Claudette for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. As the afternoon wore on, it dawned on me that I could only smell the faintest hint of turkey. Shouldn’t there be a wonderful aroma wafting out the windows by now? I opened the oven. It was almost cold, the turkey barely half-cooked.

Hubby checked it out. “Looks like the element is shot,” he said.

Now what? Can’t get a repair guy on Thanksgiving Day. Borrow a neighbour’s oven? Haul it over to my sister’s? Move the party to Pat and Claudette’s?

“Why don’t you cook it on the barbecue?” our 17-year-old son suggested as he headed out the door in search of a more interesting environment.

“Hey, that’s not a bad idea,” I thought. I lit the barbecue and loaded the turkey, roasting pan and all, inside. It just fit. I went back inside to peel potatoes.

When Pat and Claudette arrived, Hubby went out to check on the turkey. It should be done by now. It would have been too, had the wind not blown the barbecue out.

The guys moved the barbecue around to the sheltered side of the house and relit it. The turkey was far from cooked and we were all getting really hungry. Besides, the potatoes, vegetables, and stove-top stuffing were ready!

Claudette got an idea. “We’ve got all the trimmings. Why don’t you boys go pick up one of those rotisserie chickens from the Co-op?”

While they were gone, Claudette made a salad and I made gravy from the little juice the turkey had produced. Just when we were expecting the guys to walk in the door, the phone rang. It was the boys calling from Sobeys.

“Co-op was out of chickens, so we tried Sobeys. They’re out, too. What do you want us to do?”

Fifteen minutes later, the boys came back with a bucket of KFC and we sat down to chicken with all the trimmings. By the time Pat and Claudette said goodbye that evening, the turkey was mouthwatering. That is, our mouths would have been watering had our tummies not already been stuffed. We ate turkey leftovers for a very long time.

Many of you will have your Thanksgiving dinner already planned and with any luck you won’t experience the misfortunes Terri describes. But the success of any meal isn’t measured by how fancy or perfect everything is, rather by the fellowship shared by those who are gathering around it.

Here’s a small sampling of favourite recipes that have been shared for enjoying all the trimmings of a Thanksgiving dinner. Let’s be grateful for the wonderful home cooks who prepare this traditional meal for us each fall, and for the farmers who produced this food for us to eat.

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