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Serving up a dirty bird

“What was THAT?” husband-head screamed from the living room where he was watching a Thanksgiving Day football game on television.I knew he was talking about the loud “thud” that had just come from the kitchen – not the game.”Oh, nothing,” I quickly answered back. “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about what’s going on in here.”But the noise had stemmed from the fact that when I opened the oven door to check on my turkey … well, let’s just say it was similar to an incomplete pass.The greased-up gobbler slipped right through my hands and landed hard on the ground.I silently gave thanks that I had just washed the floor with Pine-Sol earlier that morning. …After brushing the bird off, I stuck him back in the oven thinking no one would ever be the wiser.Last year’s turkey trauma occurred when I went to take the stuffing out of the turkey, only to pull out a little plastic bag from inside the cavity.”What’s this?” I turned and asked my girlfriend, who had come over with her family to eat.”Those are the giblets, you dummy – you’re supposed to take them out before you cook the turkey,” she said, crinkling up her nose. “Gross.”This year, husband-head and I were having a quiet Thanksgiving at home with just the two of us … and our pair of drooling dogs, of course. So instead of a big bird, I had simply purchased a small 3-pound boneless breast of turkey – that, ironically, looked just like a frozen football.That was fine with husband-head, who doesn’t like to eat anything that looks like “what it used to be,” anyway.After dropping the turkey, I proceeded to prepare the rest of the meal. Husband-head had requested that I make the traditional green bean casserole to go with our Thanksgiving dinner, although I don’t know why, because neither of us even likes green beans.”You just think you’ll like it because it has the word ‘casserole’ in it,” I accused. “You Midwest people will eat anything in a casserole.”Nevertheless, I agreed.Come to think of it, we don’t like cranberries or yams, either. We’re just fine with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and rolls.Clearly, it would have been much easier just to hit the local Kentucky Fried Chicken and call it good. …But tradition is tradition.After making the green beans with mushroom soup and petrified onion rings – which by the way, disturbingly resembles things my dogs have thrown up – I also made a cranberry Jell-O mold and then checked on my turkey again.He seemed to be doing fine, so I then looked in on husband-head, who was totally engrossed in the game.”Hey, what would you do if I told you I dropped the turkey on the floor?” I said in good-natured fun.Husband-head pried his eyes from the tube and looked me straight in the face.”What would you do if I told you I dropped a lot of stuff that I was grilling last summer?” he retaliated.Some things are better left untold.At the designated time, I took the turkey out of the oven and proceeded to assemble my side dishes.Let’s just say that a cranberry Jell-O mold has a high possibility rating of sliding onto the floor like the turkey, but this can be deflected by using your rib cage to stop it at the edge of the counter.The green bean casserole looked like – never mind …But the rest was a no-brainer. I love that about brown ‘n serve rolls.As we sat down to dinner, husband-head eagerly dug into his turkey.After taking a big bite, he had an odd look on his face.”Pardon me if I’m wrong,” he said apologetically. “Is it me, or does this turkey faintly taste like Pine-Sol?”Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column appears every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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