Thanksgiving dinner out still meant cooking for Mom

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

We got to go out for Thanksgiving dinner this year, but it didn’t mean Terry got out of cooking completely.

That’s because we didn’t go out to a fancy restaurant or holiday buffet – we went to Thanksgiving at Ethan’s new place put on by out sons and daughter-in-law.

It meant that Terry was requested to make a couple of the dishes for the dinner and bring them along – which she didn’t object to very strenuously.

The highlight of the dinner was the deep-fried turkey prepared by our other son, Alex.

I have to say it turned out quite well and, despite many fears to the contrary, it didn’t even explode, the boiling oil didn’t go up in flames and nobody lost any eyebrows.

I did get a frantic call from him the night before when he couldn’t find the basting kit he needed for his turkey and he asked me if I could go get one for him.

Being a dutiful father, I interrupted the basketball game I was watching on TV and ran out to get him what “we” needed.

Who am I kidding, duty had nothing to do with it – I didn’t want to face a Thanksgiving dinner without turkey.

I should add that, along with Terry’s dishes, we also donated the turkey to the proceedings – we had one in our freezer that was commandeered for the dinner.

Anyway, I didn’t find a turkey basting kit for deep frying at the store, but I did find an injector needle and a basting mix packet, so I picked them up to keep the dinner from falling apart.

There were actually several types of basting injectors, but I went with the simple plastic one.

There was a fancy metal job that looked like something out of a grade B horror movie, but I didn’t think I wanted to trust something like that in the hands of our youngest son.

Terry spent the night – and the next morning – preparing the several dishes she was bringing to the party, after which I packed them all up in the car and we headed over to Ethan’s to watch football, play with the grandsons and wait for dinner.

My running, however, was not over.

It turned out that we had to revive one old Thanksgiving tradition – the kiddie table, since Ethan’s dining room table was just big enough to handle the adults on the dinner list.

That meant I had to run back to our house to dig out a card table to serve as the kiddie table – what else.

As I said, it’s been more than a few years since we’ve had to set up a kiddie table – when we have Thanksgiving dinner at our house, our table is big enough to accommodate all the members of the family, whatever their age.

By the time I returned from that mission, Alex had the deep fryer going strong and had the turkey in the drink – make that oil.

However, we soon encountered another problem – the propane tank Alex had for the deep fryer ran out of gas long before the turkey had reached the right temperature.

We could have started chopping some wood and built a fire around the deep fryer to keep cooking the bird, but the neighbors probably would have frowned on that – not to mention the local fire department.

So Alex and I went off in search of someplace where we could buy a tank of propane on Thanksgiving Day.

Luckily for all of us, we found it at a nearby gas station/convenience store and we were all saved the prospect of eating half-cooked turkey for Thanksgiving.

With the last crisis met, dinner was soon ready and everybody dove into the meal – including me at the grown-ups table.

Alex and Ethan tried to banish me to the kiddie table, but even if it was Ethan’s house, that’s one edict I wasn’t going to stand for.

Fortunately for me, Ty, Nolan and Aiden all took my side – apparently they wanted to keep the kiddie table all to themselves.


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