And guess who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year?
Why do I dread it?
It's not the cooking....which I don't claim to be a great cook, but I have a fantastic recipe book for all the Thanksgiving fixing.
It's not that I don't like to have all the company! I do. If there is one thing that you should know about me....I'm loyal as loyal can be. I LOVE my family and enjoy every second being with them.
BUT hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner for twenty was taken away from me six years ago.
Well...they never said, "Um....Tonya, you can't have Thanksgiving anymore." They were a little more subtle, "Your sister is going to have it. OR Mom is going to do it this year."
I guess I couldn't blame them. After all, six years ago I did screw up Thanksgiving dinner.
This is how I dreamed of my turkey six years ago. It was going to be a grand dinner. After all, me and my guys had just moved into our new house, the paint was barely dried on the walls, and the house was going to be filled with overflowing love.
Our new neighbors were having a WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD party for us the night before. (The night before Thanksgiving is a BIG party night in the town that I live in. I mean all night parties!) And we were very excited about meeting all the new families and celebrating the upcoming holidays.
Carefully I put my 30 pound uncooked turkey in the sink to help finish the thawing process before I put it in the oven overnight for slow, tender, juicy cooking. We have a fabulous wood burning stove, which was blazing because of the four inches of snow we had on the ground. There is nothing better than warming your bum with a wood burning stove! I added more wood to the fire and made a mental note to send one of my guys to check on it during the party. After all, we JUST moved in and I didn't want to burn the house down!
After letting the dogs out to go potty, off the six of us went, with a cocktail in hand, we made our way to the neighbors.
Plenty of food and drink to go around. Everyone was so welcoming and inviting! It was fabulous! Two hours into the party, I glanced at my watch. It was time. Quietly, I called one of my guys over and begged him to go check on the fire and dogs. Of course he protested at first because he was in the middle of some XBox game with another neighborhood kid, but I sent him anyways.
Minutes later he was running into the party, flailing his arms, screaming my name. "Oh my God, Mom! Come quick!" I yelled for my husband to follow me. I didn't even bother to thank the host for having us, I just knew I had to get home.
Frantically I raced to the house, sure it was on fire! My guy had ran ahead of me, I didn't get a chance to ask what was wrong. I just ran....like Forest Gump.
"What? What is wrong?" I asked my son as I looked around the inside of our house. I didn't see smoke, I didn't smell smoke.
"There!" He pointed. I followed his finger to the worst scene imaginable.
My dogs had gotten the turkey out of the sink, dragged it into the family room and feasted on my uncooked meat right in front of the wood burning stove!
Raw turkey and dogs.....Throwing them in the car, I rushed to the emergency vet clinic. They told me to watch them and wait. So....$100 and one hour later, I put them back in the car, with Thanksgiving on my mind. The Walmart sign off the interstate caught my eye. Surely they would have some Turkeys!
WRONG!!! Completely out!
The next day I got up bright and early, going to every single grocery store you can possibly imagine in the greater Cincinnati area. NO LUCK!
Defeated, upset, and mad, I noticed the Cracker Barrel Restaurant was booming. They had Thanksgiving dinners! I whipped my car into the parking lot and with hope in my heart, jogged right on in and up to the hostess stand.
Long story short....it was too late to order a dinner for over twenty people.
With less than one hour until my guest arrive, I did the only option I had left. No turkey for Thanksgiving.
I already had the hors d'oeuvres made, sides for the dinner and the desserts. Thanksgiving would go on without the turkey.
Hours later, after me pushing the snacks, we were all seated at the beautifully designed table scape. I didn't say a word and neither did my guys (because I threatened them with their lives!) and we passed all the sides around. Everyone's plates were filled to the edge, there wasn't room for turkey anyways.
Then....my dad....."Give me a leg." He rubbed his hands together with a smile on his face.
"Where is the wishbone?" My niece gleefully asked. It was tradition that she got the wishbone every year because she is the only girl in the family.
I gave my guys the eye. You know...THE EYE! And continued to shovel the sweet potato casserole in my mouth, with a roll chaser. But the questions were followed up by my mom heading into the kitchen to look for the turkey platter. The slam of the over door could've been heard from three houses down.
"Tonya, where is the turkey?" She gave ME the eye! Yep....you know...THE EYE!
"Funny thing about that turkey...we decided to go without this year." I continued to eat.
"You know, Tonya dear." My aunt patted my uncle's hand, and whispered, "She's an artist. Sometimes they eat meat, sometimes they don't. Just fill up on the rolls."
Now after SIX loooong years, I finally get to host a REAL THANKSGIVING DINNER in our house. This time the turkey will go straight from the refrigerator to the stove!
Do you have any funny Thanksgiving tales? I'm giving away a copy of my new book COLOR ME A Crime (out Thanksgiving week) to one lucky comment! Winner will be picked on Thanksgiving night!