Friday, November 27, 2009

A Virginia Thanksgiving

       Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll! I hope you all had a wonderful day with family and friends giving thanks to God for His mercy and grace in establishing our great nation. We have been privileged to live under His protection and blessings since the founding of our country...I thank God every day for that.
     If you're wondering where I've been, it's because of the turkey. I decided this year to try brining my turkey before roasting it, and if I do say so myself, that was an excellent decision.  It was, however, a time consuming process, leaving me little time for anything else.
      I sent a grocery list to my husband, Chris, prior to our arrival back home. It listed all the ingredients and items I would need for the holiday feast.  A twenty pound Butterball was at the top of the list...the one he purchased came in at 19.50 pounds. I let him slide on the extra half pound because he had done such an excellent job on everything else (turned out we didn't need that extra half pound anyway...we have enough turkey left over to last til Christmas.) I had researched brining recipes on the internet, had come up with a combination that suited our tastes, and was ready to turn ole Tom into a pickled perfection of poultry.
      I unwrapped and washed the big fellow, properly preparing him for his 24 hour soak in a five gallon bucket of salt and spices.  The bucket was lined with several layers of trashbags, Tom took a nosedive in, and we didn't hear from him for the twenty four hours. After his long, slow soak in the refrigerated tub, he was ready for a rub-down with oils and spices and a long slow roast in the oven.  I'm telling you, when I pulled that bird out of the oven, it was a Thanksgiving moment at it's best, Tom's golden swan song, his Oscar performance. He would have been proud of the way he went out, if only he had lived to see it.
     While I was busy with the other preparations, making gravies and sauces and casseroles and pies, I was watching the news on the counter-top television.  As I was popping Tom into the oven, a story came on about a woman who had rescued a holiday-doomed turkey.  She was pontificating about how she had saved his life, how much she loved that bird (?), and the health problems he was now facing.  The rescued turkey may have missed the hatchet, but he was suffering from a debilitating case of cataracts. The young rescuer was pleading for donations to cover the approximately $2600 cost of the operation. A link on the news station's website had been set up to make donations.  I sent her an email and told her for $1.29 a pound I could cure her bird's problem forever.
     Our relatives and guests arrived for the feast about one o'clock. We had three single females on our list and had invited one single male to round out the table. Our friend, Jim, arrived with a platter of marinated shrimp, stuffed clam shells, barbecued scallops wrapped in bacon, and grilled tilapia. He had spent all morning preparing the hors d'ouevres-- chopping clams, grilling fish, mixing spices.  He had even made his own special sauces to accompany each morsel.  He took a peek at my turkey, then told me how he had just brined a turkey on Saturday with a recipe that gave me a run for my money.  A single man who cooks? I predict his status will be changing very soon.
     We thanked God for our country, our service men and women, our bountiful blessings, our family and friends, and sat down to a feast that would have saved the entire band of Pilgrims during that dreadful winter of starvation. We've come so very far since those adventurers first landed on the shores of this new world...we are fatter, richer, warmer, healthier, and more blessed than they could have ever imagined. I pray that our hearts are as thankful to God Almighty as were those of the original Pilgrims.    
     Happy I'm off to start getting ready for Christmas!

No comments:

Post a Comment