Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Turkey Issue

This has nothing to do with Middle Eastern politics, but everything to do with the Christmas dinner.

The issue comprises of a number of factors:

• Snow
• A dislike of driving on icy roads
• Frozen turkeys.

No matter how much I plan to get Christmas organised early, it always ends up as a last minute dash around the shops. Add a few inches of snow into the mixture of shopping lists, long queues and the scarcity of goose fat for the roast potatoes and the stress level hits the stratosphere!

I have a friend who just loves driving in the snow. Well, perhaps he doesn’t love it, but he doesn’t cling white-knuckled to the driving wheel with a hundred different scenarios running through his head that all end up with the car upside down in a snow drift. I rarely drive when it has snowed. I tried it on Monday and didn’t enjoy the experience. The car has been left undisturbed for the past few days.

I have been using the busses all week. They just don’t necessarily go to all the places I would like to get to, but the bus driver is better able to negotiate all the roads that have not been gritted and snowploughed than I am.

That gets us to the turkey issue. Our Christmas meal – the preparation of it, the cooking of it and the eating of it, has over the last fifteen or so years taken on a familiar pattern. The menu is the same, the choreography of the dance of the two of us around the kitchen from fridge to counter top to knife drawer to cooker is so well rehearsed we could do it blindfolded!

The turkey, frozen and usually defrosting nicely in the sink in the downstairs toilet (which is far too cold for human use this time of year – visions of bum frozen to toilet seat) hasn’t been bought yet. I have Bernard Matthews’ issues and he seems to have a monopoly on the frozen turkey market. I am not sure just how turkey friendly his farms are. So, one needs to find someone else’s frozen turkey.

Supposing I find the turkey, I have to get it home and in the sink before the end of the day. Tomorrow is too late to ensure the bird will de defrosted. The mechanics of it all – getting it home via the bus system, is a whole new level of stress.

I ran an idea past the husband this morning – the possibility of abandoning a whole turkey in place of a much smaller turkey joint. They do them is little foil trays that you slam into the oven for an hour or so. His face said everything that his lips didn’t say.

“OK, if you have to,” said the lips.

“Christmas is rapidly going down the drain,” said the face.

Despite what the lips said this morning, my husband believes in miracles. He believes quite firmly that I will find a frozen turkey, that said turkey will have no association with Bernard Matthews and be in the sink by the end of today, that the Christmas dance in the kitchen will not have to be re-choreographed and that, somehow, I will stop Christmas from going down the drain.

The gauntlet is on the floor. I can never resist a challenge!

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