Thanksgiving Turkey Disaster and a Book Update

Thanksgiving Turkey Disaster and a Book Update 

This Thanksgiving story* that is now a family classic. Wince, chuckle, enjoy, and please share with me any of your family’s turkey traumas! Check out the P.S. for the latest on my next book. So grateful for your support and encouragement!

My sister Rachel and her family had flown in for their annual holiday visit. I wanted to create a special meal for them that included family favorites and a few dishes with a new twist.

As a Food Network junkie, I’d found the perfect kicked-up side dishes—a sweet potato casserole that included cinnamon roasted bananas and a risotto recipe that was actually barley-based with vegetables.

But, the star of the show was to be a maple-roasted, bacon-topped turkey. I’d watched Chef Tyler Florence’s Thanksgiving episode on the Food Network and was impressed with the combination of flavors, as well as the amazing presentation.

It was beautiful.

The recipe included a video with step-by-step instructions. I asked my daughter Brittany, her then boyfriend Brian, and my son Peter, to sit with me and watch the 4-minute, 37-second recording to see exactly how to prepare this festive bird.

We executed each step to perfection. With the side dishes complete, we set the table, including special wine glasses for the teens’ sparkling apple cider treat. After 4 hours and 35 minutes of basting, the turkey was done.

Brian carefully placed it on the table.

“It’s awesome, Sissy!” Rachel exclaimed.

“Wow, Aunt Becky! You outdid yourself,” her daughter, Ashley, added.

Then, all 6 feet of my nephew, Adam, grabbed his glass, thrust it in the air and bellowed, “Cheers everyone!”

And the unthinkable happened.

Beneath his thundering voice, there must have been a faint crashing sound. But at the time, our first clue of the disaster was Adam’s bewildered face as he slowly lowered his hand, now holding only the stem of the glass.

“Uh-oh,” he whispered.

“Adam, what happened?” I stammered as I rolled my wheelchair closer to the table.

“Watch out!” Brian said. “Glass is everywhere.”

Everyone froze as we realized what had happened. Adam’s exuberant toast had crashed into the low beam of my vaulted ceiling, shattering his glass into hundreds of slivers.

Adam was unhurt, but my prize turkey now glistened with more than a maple glaze.

It was covered in glass.

My mind joined my paralyzed legs as the shock shut it down.

“I’m so sorry, Aunt Becky,” Adam said.

“It’s OK, Adam,” I managed to reply, trying to absorb the scene.

My family quietly began the clean-up of the blanket of glass while the turkey sparkled in all its glory.

“Maybe we can clean it off,” someone suggested.

But a closer look revealed embedded glass. I postponed the inevitable, sending the wounded bird to the top of my washing machine while we pulled out lunchmeat trays I had prepared for the next meal. At least the side dishes were safely in the kitchen.

Somberly, we began our hodgepodge dinner. “Someday, we’ll laugh about this,” someone said. I nodded and smiled, knowing it would not be that day.

But after dessert, we wandered back to the laundry room and gave that glorious bird one last look before we bid it farewell to the trash can.

I haven’t looked at that turkey recipe since that day — until now. Maybe it’s time to try that recipe one more time.

And make sure Adam has a plastic glass.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Update: New title! “Staying On the Upside” is now “Morning Fuel—Daily inspirations to stretch your mind before starting your day.”

  • Progress: Thanks to your help, 372 entries have been revised and are going through one more selection round. Book summary and book intro have been finalized. Book cover in process. Publication date: October 2024. So excited!
  • Next Steps: Final editing of 365 entries, then proofing. Finalize book cover and copy. Start thinking about book launch gatherings. (Let me know if you have ideas!)
  • Current Mantra: Finish strong. The number of revisions can be overwhelming at this stage in the process. I’m continually looking for ways to strengthen my resolve to keep pressing forward so please share any tips you may have for staying strong.  
  • Final editing requirements: Each of these 365 stories or quotes MUST:
    • Inspire
    • Encourage
    • Or make you think.

If it doesn’t, it’s out.

That’s it for now. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’ll be checking in with a progress note when I have more to report. Meanwhile, keep the thoughts, prayers, and encouragement coming. I value every morsel!

*This column was originally published as part of my “From Where I Sit” series in the Towson Times.

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