I have never roasted a turkey. Just the thought of trying it has terrified me throughout my adult life.
Not that I blame my mother, but I was imprinted early with the belief that it was an ordeal. Buzzing alarm in the morning darkness. Muttering when the thawing wasn’t complete. Thud-thumping as she wrestled stuffing into the turkey. Squeaking oven door for periodic basting. And a lot of sighing.
She turned out traditional side dishes to the click-click-ring of consecutive timers. Dessert included a pumpkin pie, chocolate cake, and enough whipped cream to frost The Alps.
With no dishwasher, everything piled up in the sink. And I mean piled.
There was no helping her. Teasingly, truthfully, my dad frequently said, “Betty goes after everything like she’s killing snakes.” We feared and loved her perfectionism and knew to stay out of her way.
She set a beautiful table with fine china, sterling silver, linens, flowers, tapers, and pilgrim candles that were never lighted, no matter how much I begged. (To her credit, my mother lighted them for Maggie’s first Thanksgiving. Of course.) A German carving set stood ready for my father to do the honors.
Then we held our breath for my mother’s final decree. If her first bite of turkey garnered, “Too dry,” it was a shrieking whistle on the field. Game over.
So you see why I turned scared early in life.
2019 is my feel-brave year. I have a recipe that I’ve been assured will work. I have a foil roasting pan in case this is a one-shot-only attempt.
And I’m reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection because I plan to meet my first turkey.