Twenty four and a half pounds of turkey is a lot—especially when your dinner party suddenly shrinks from nine guests to four. Our turkey hunt down the holiday aisle at the supermarket bagged a 31 cent per pound bird and today I realized he will feed us for quite a few meals to come.
We always boil the carcass down to pick off the bones—and this morning when I arrived home after feeding the neighbor-on-vacation’s cats, I found my long legged lover in the kitchen pouring broth into plastic containers to freeze for soup starter. He was raised on a farm which means he can pretty much do anything.
The bigger bits left over from the original carving had already been sealed into vacuum pack bags and stowed in the freezer. He picked the remainder of the boiled bones clean and put that into the Vitamix, producing something that looks like gravy. Broth topped off each container, and we’ll remember this holiday for the next three years at least.
In a normal year we would have eaten half, sent the other half home with the guests, then done the soup-starter thing. But—this has not been a normal year and between contagion concerns and a not yet house-broken puppy, this year’s opportunity to celebrate bountiful blessings of the harvest focused down to very, very immediate family—as in my husband and my parents. None of whom will fill a plate more than once.
Last week, we loaded up the back of the big red truck with 144 donated turkeys and headed out with the church group to distribute. (Side note: a bunch of lovely folks did a whole lot of donating, packing and planning – we just got to participate.) Often bored in church as a child, the good Lord has seen fit to reverse that curse in my late adulthood with a foray into a church startup in a distressed neighborhood. Distressed, as in you would not feel safe walking down the street in daylight, much less after dark. Several blocks of apartments in various stages of entropy bump up against the respectable neighborhood the church building we rent faces. Church plot and parking lot buffer between chaos and comfort zones.
The arrival of several vehicles loaded with sacks of Thanksgiving dinner groceries each to be married up with a turkey and distributed boiled up buzz that spiked into swarm. Tears were shed and prayers prayed as sack after sack and turkey after turkey disappeared away into dwelling places.
“I was praying this morning about what were we going to do for Thanksgiving …”
“I’m a former marine. You all are doing something really good here …”
“You are really brave to come out here and do this …”
“I don’t do hard drugs, I just drink beer …”
“I don’t like pumpkin, can I have that lemon pie …?”
“Make sure Miss B gets some …”
“You can pray for my cousin’s girlfriend—she’s in rehab and trying to get her kids back …”
“Honey, did you get some for us …?”
“This is so unexpected, thank you so much …”
At my house that cute little butter turkey designed to make the grandkids giggle went back into the refrigerator untouched. Ta-ta turkey. We’ve given away leftovers, secured our soup future and celebrated with great gratitude.
I wonder what kind of leftovers are still around down on “A” street?
Next: When Friends Fly Away
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