Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful. It’s in the name.
However, Thanksgiving could also be a time for stress, awkwardness, too much food, and hilarity. To prove my point about the last one, here are three real-life stories from Regent students.
In the middle of suburbia a family was preparing to eat their Thanksgiving meal.
“Well, here’s the turkey!”
Glen placed the steaming bird in the center of the table and smiled around at everyone. “Kim, you did a wonderful job cooking it this year.”
“I hope everyone enjoys,” she replied, beaming at all the relatives. She meaningfully folded her hands as one of the younger family members reached for the cornbread. “Glen, will you pray for the food?”
With every head bowed and every eye closed, Glen began. “Heavenly Father, we thank you for this wonderful day that we can gather together to thank You for the wonderful blessings You have…”
Immersed in his prayer, Glen did not notice the whispering begin.
“…And we pray that You would bless this meal…”
“Glen,” Kim whispered urgently, pulling on his sleeve.
He looked up and saw what everyone else was looking at.
Just outside the large dining room window, staring through the glass with a look no one could quite describe, stood the largest wild turkey any of them had ever seen.
They all gazed at it mutely for thirty seconds of silence.
“Is this common?” Uncle Joe finally asked.
“No,” said Glen. “No, that’s…not.”
The bird blinked at them and remained immobile.
“Is it looking at…?” began Cousin Vicky.
They slowly turned to stare at the bird decorating the center of their table, brown and toasted, still steaming, a knife lying beside it on the plate.
“I think,” began Kim slowly. “I think…it’s judging us.”
“This is awkward,” said Glen.
And so it was.
Eventually the bird left and the family settled down to the meal, but somehow the turkey meat did not taste as good as anyone might have hoped.
– Courtesy of Marissa
Fried Turkey Fail
Mark struggled out of the house carting a huge turkey. The sun was beating down on his head.
“Why is it so hot? It’s the end of November,” he growled.
“I’m telling you, we should just cook it in the oven!” his wife called through the window.
“I want to fry it!” he replied, placing the tray with the large bird on the grass. Nearby, over a specially prepared fireplace, a vat of oil sat on the coals, hot and ready for deep-frying.
Mark gripped the bird by the two drumsticks and tried to lift it. It was heavier than he anticipated. Wet and slippery, it fell back onto the tray.
“All right, we are doing this,” he growled to himself, beginning to sweat in the heat. With the turkey in a firm grasp, he lifted it, dripping, over the large pot.
A drop of water landed in the vat of oil.
“Oh, man, I gotta do this quick,” he gasped, as it began to sizzle. He hastily began lowering the bird into the fryer.
With crackles and snaps the oil started spitting drops of boiling liquid out of the pot. The bird was halfway in when Mark glanced to the right and saw a speck of burning oil land on the grass. With the dry heat, it was obvious what would happen. The spot of grass caught fire and the flames licked upward. They started spiraling outward, the fire getting larger and larger.
Mark dropped the rest of the turkey into the oil with a cry and leapt over to the flames. He jumped into the middle and began stamping on the fire with his sneakers. Within moments he succeeded in putting it out. The air smelled like burnt rubber.
Mark wiped his brow, glancing back towards the house. His wife was not in sight.
“I can live this down,” he panted.
Needless to say, the deep-fried turkey turned out great. As his wife took another bite from the drumstick she said, “I’m impressed it came out so well without an incident.”
“Uh, yeah. Me, to,” said Mark.
– Courtesy of Mark
Ground-Cooked Turkey Fail
Everyone has “those friends.” So did our family. Our friends were the Marks.
“You know, every Thanksgiving we cook our turkey in the ground,” Mrs. Mark told my Mom.
“What? How is that possible?”
“Oh, trust me, it’s great. You know, we could show you how! If you let us come cook our turkey in your yard, we’ll cook your turkey with ours.” Mrs. Mark smiled.
The Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving the Marks came over to our house armed with shovels and picks and a turkey covered in tin foil.
“So, here’s what we do,” said the oldest Mark child, Jim. “We season the turkey and cover it with tin foil. Then we dig a hole in the ground, bury the turkey inside, and build a fire over top of it. After a couple hours we put out the fire and leave the turkey overnight. The next day we unbury the turkey and it’s cooked perfectly!”
“That sounds too good to be true,” said my brother, David.
We covered our turkey in tin foil. They dug the hole.
When it was finished David dropped our bird inside with a thud and Jim placed the Marks’ turkey on top. The hole was covered, the fire started, and we had a grand time sitting around the flames as they licked the night sky.
Eventually, they put the fire out, said goodnight, drove off, and everyone went to bed.
Thanksgiving day was bright and beautiful. The Marks arrived to help us unbury the turkeys. We waited excitedly for the ground-cooked meat.
“I’ll bet it tastes fresher than the oven-baked kind,” said Sarah, my younger sister.
“Oh, it does,” Jim agreed, carefully removing the first turkey with his gloved hands. “Still warm!” he added. He lifted out our turkey next. “Ooh, guys, looks like some of the foil came undone.” He held it out to David.
“I don’t have gloves,” David objected.
“It’s okay. It doesn’t feel that hot.”
The Marks drove off with their turkey and a “happy Thanksgiving!”
We all trooped inside to inspect ours. We were having guests and the meal was only a couple hours off.
“Looks like we didn’t wrap the bird well enough,” Mom said. She peeled back the foil and we could see the caked dirt all over the breast meat and one of the drumsticks.
“We can cut that part off,” David said.
Mom got a knife and started cutting the meat. One inch down she stopped and stared. “It’s raw!”
We taste-tested the outside part that was cooked.
“Mom, it tastes like mud,” Sarah stated.
“Our Thanksgiving ground-cooked turkey is ruined,” moaned David.
We let the garbage can devour the entire turkey.
Our Aunt Breanna came to the rescue with turkey breasts she had cooked. The Thanksgiving meal was enjoyed by family and guests alike, even if everyone got a smaller helping of meat.
We called up the Marks afterwards.
“How’d your turkey turn out?” asked Mom.
“Oh, it was delicious! Perfectly cooked and one of the best ones we’ve made so far,” Mrs. Mark enthused. “How was yours?”
My mom looked at all of us and gave a dry smile. “It was interesting, for sure! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Hope you had a great day. Bye bye, now.” She looked at all of us. “Praise God for ovens,” she said.
– Courtesy of Maggie
Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at the Daily Runner! Enjoy the holiday and your turkeys.
(Some names have been changed and/or added for the sake of privacy and limited information.)