Flour flurries filling our house the day before Thanksgiving. “In the bowl, Peanut. Put the ingredients in bowl,” my mother shouted. “Honestly Peanut! More flour went on you than into the pie crust.” Despite her protests, she was very happy having Peanut baking by her side that day. Even with the mishaps (which our dog happily ate), we had four pies and an assortment of breads at the end of the day. Smiling, my mother brushed the flour out of my hair and said, “Well done Peanut!”
That evening, Teddy and I were sent to bed with visions of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy dancing in our heads. Every creature was stirring in our house. Teddy and I dreaming of our feast. Scooter planning his strategy for beating Hank this year in the family Thanksgiving football game and Lindsey rolling up her hair in curlers for the perfect Farrah Fawcett hair style.
The next morning we loaded the car and we were off to Uncle Teddy’s house. It was over the Merrimack River and through the woods to Uncle Teddy’s house we went. He was the cool uncle who drove a 1969 Stingray Corvette and motorcycle, which we were always begging to ride. As we entered the kitchen at our uncle’s house, Teddy was overwhelmed by the smell of the Turkey roasting in the oven. To keep us occupied until dinner, our aunt gave us carrots and apples to feed the horses and said “Here bring these Thanksgiving treats to the horses. They deserve something special today too.”
When we had finished feeding the horses, we came back to get ready for dinner. As we entered the kitchen, the dogs tried to race us through the door. “Stop!” my aunt yelled. “Get those turkey thieves out of here. Keep them out on the porch.” We pulled the dogs outside and carefully closed the door behind us. They continued to bark and scratch at the door. The noise grew louder when my aunt took the turkey out of the oven. They continued ripping at the door trying to get to that turkey. “I’m glad they are outside,” my aunt exclaimed with relief.
Finishing the mash potatoes and gravy, our aunt began to fill the server bowls with mashed potatoes, squash, green beans, stuffing and peas. She had placed sticky notes on the dining room table to tell us what to place where. Filling every inch of the table with our feast, my aunt brought the final platter filled with freshly carved turkey. Everyone, including the five cats who had been hidden around the house all day, was now circling the table.
All of the serving dishes filled to the brim and arranged on the table, it was now time for the feasting to begin. Gathering around the dining room table, we went around the circle saying for what we were grateful. And, just as my brother Teddy said that he was grateful for the turkey, we heard a loud crash in the kitchen. Running into the kitchen, my brother screamed, “’Nooooo!” Curious, we all joined him to see why he was screaming. Our beautiful turkey was moving around the kitchen on the floor being dragged by the cats.
Earlier, when my aunt left the kitchen, the cats jumped up on the counter to attack the remaining turkey in the pan. A fight broke out among the cats, sending the turkey crashing to the ground. Now, they were wrestling each other for the turkey dragging it back and forth on the kitchen floor. Horrified by this site, my brother started crying. He waited all year to stuff himself with turkey.
Always ready with a joke, Uncle Teddy asked “Anyone want seconds on the turkey?” Taking his cue from Uncle Teddy, Scooter said “I have five bucks on the Calico to win. Any takers?” Suddenly, we all burst out laughing. With tears of laughter in her eyes, Peanut said “at least we still have the pies.”