Ok, stick with me because in my head this post is hilarious. 🙂 It would actually be better if I could take a little video and recreate the whole adventure, but I will do my best with words.
So I need to give a little back ground on this story and tell a quick story about our 1st Thanksgiving here. We were living in the old walled city with no car. So our only mode of transport was a taxi, which was a 10 minute walk up hill and outside the city walls. NOT FUN with 2 little kids, so needless to say, we didn’t get out but once a week. (It wasn’t really prison, although sometimes it felt like it! Not gonna lie.) So I decided that we would be cultural and buy our turkey from the local turkey guy which was right around the corner. I went there, he showed me the “turkeys”, we negotiated the price and off I went with my “turkey”. All this time Jay is looking at this “turkey” with webbed feet, and trying to be supportive while knowing his sweet wife just got completely taken because she speaks very little arabic and this guy is laughing himself all the way to the bank with $25. Once Jay finally convinced me that it was absolutely NOT a turkey with webbed feet (no, Jackie, just because we are in a different country, does not mean the turkeys look different), I tried to take it back, with no luck and ended up putting our duck in the freezer and saving it for Christmas. (It was disgusting by then, and we still didn’t eat it. $25 down the drain, but a valuable lesson learned.)
So fast forward 3 years, we are now buying our Thanksgiving turkey from the local grocery store. So I go there on a Saturday to order my turkey, and tell them I will return on Wednesday afternoon to pick it up. Wednesday afternoon, I pick up my hyper kids from school and head to the store to pick up the turkey around 4. I grab a few things, head to the turkey counter, talk to the butcher…NO TURKEY. It is not the same butcher I talked to on Saturday. I asked to talk to THAT guy, so I can calmly (not yet panickly) explain to him the importance of having my turkey at that very moment. He is not there, and won’t be coming for another half an hr. So…what does a completely sane person do that desperately needs a turkey? I ask for his phone number. So there I am, in the produce section, while my kids are taking people out with the shopping cart, trying to explain to this guy, in arabic, why this turkey (for a holiday they know nothing about) is so important and why I need it TODAY. No luck, just keeps saying that they forgot to bring it and maybe by thursday they could get one. Ok, don’t panic, get creative.
So then I head to my turkey guy (who I should have gone to in the first place) and try and explain the severity of the situation. Let me set the scene for you. His shop is right on the street. So I park my car on the street outside and walk up to the counter. It is now 5:00. I have 2 hyper children who are supposed to be nicely sitting in the car, but in reality have rolled the windows down and are hanging out the windows of the parked car yelling “HALLELUJAH” at the people who walk by. Me, standing at the counter , trying to explain in Arabic, AGAIN, about the importance of this holiday and the turkey and why we celebrate it in the first place. My turkey guy (Bless Him!) is calling every friend he has in the city asking them to find him a turkey, bring it to him (alive), so he can butcher it for me, in the next hour. In the middle of all this chaos, a car and a motorcyle collide right next to us in the street. The motorcyclist flips onto the hood of the car and now there is a crowd. Great. TG (Turkey guy) finds one, but it’s across town. So I call Jay and ask him if he would be willing to drive to the other side of town, pick up a live turkey, put it in our car and drive it to our TG so he can butcher it. Jay doesn’t really feel like this even warrants an answer, because “no”, crazy wife(That’s what he is thinking), “I am not going to drive, during rush hour, to the other side of town to put a live turkey in my car. Bad idea”. Thankfully TG finds someone to bring it to him, and tells me to return the next day at noon. So, at noon the next day I show up, and he hands me my 17 KILOS turkey (39 lbs!!!). This is the smallest one he could find. “To your health and happiness”, he says to me as I walk away. Now I am having slight anxiety about fitting this monstrosity in my oven. Here is what we were working with:
This thing was huge. It barely fit in the oven, and I didn’t have a pan big enough. Someone mentioned sending it to the local bread oven to have it cook there, but that was a risk we weren’t willing to take. Jay finally had the brilliant idea of getting it cut in half, cooking half, and saving the rest for later. Brilliant! So after nap time, I loaded the kids and the turkey in the stroller (it was the size of a small child anyway)
walked to the TG, explained in arabic to more people, AGAIN, about why we celebrate this holiday and the turkey drama. Finally, 24 hrs after the turkey drama ensued, panic attack over, I was home and content with my 17 lbs half turkey. And the next day, it was delicious.
The moral of the story?! Always talk to the turkey guy first, or if you don’t have a turkey guy or can’t get a turkey, just eat pumpkin pie, be thankful and call it a day.