Christmas traditions. A behind-the-scenes glimpse.
I don’t know about you but every year at this time I tell myself: “next year I’m starting my shopping in September.”
I never do.
In fact the only thing I buy in September that’s “Christmassy” is a turkey because that’s when they go on sale. My mother and I have an unwritten contract: I buy the turkey; she cooks it. This is a win for the whole family.
So I buy a turkey – or two if I’m hungry while shopping – and into my freezer it goes with the intention of taking it out about a week before the big turkey day. Or until my mom reminds me.
Which I realize sounds great in theory except that it turns into a three-step process for several days leading up to the 25th:
My mother calls to remind me to take the turkey out of the freezer.
I promise to take it out “right away”.
The next day the pattern repeats itself. In my house, this defines The 12 Days of Christmas.
And then on Christmas morning I go over to my mom’s house with the still-frozen turkey and say, “I don’t know why it’s still frozen. It’s been in my fridge since American Thanksgiving!”
Every year I get the same eye-rolling response from my mother as she takes the turkey and puts it in her sink with cold water for a few hours. Apparently cold water helps things defrost quicker. Go figure.
PS. In my family, eye rolling is a form of sign language. It means ___________(INSERT SWEAR WORD HERE)
Anyone who comes over later that morning will find my mother and I wrestling the turkey to the ground as we build up a sweat trying to pry the damn thing open because stuffing.
I’m going to assume that you’ve never experienced this labour-intensive way of cooking a turkey because you’re more organized and prepared than I am. Also you don’t have to depend on me to be responsible with a turkey. To which I say: my mother envies you.
So to help you grasp the level of difficulty that comes with trying to pry open a still-frozen turkey, even a free-style alligator wrestling champion would agree: frozen turkeys are a tough bird. They also cause brain-freeze in your hands.
Speaking of turkey, I better go take it out of the freezer while I’m thinking about it. (Thanks for reminding me, dear readers!)