So, tomorrow is the holiday where we give thanks and obviously we are lacking in the thanks department this year. I have been anxious about these next few days for a while now so I thought I’d better get myself prepared for it. I decided that I must make the turkey for the thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws. So, if you don’t know this about me already, I was a veg-aquarian (yes, a made up term for those who eat veggie but also eat fish) for like 20 years before I got pregnant this year. As soon as I got pregnant, I started eating chicken, turkey, sausage, bacon,etc. I am not eating cow but I never liked any of the cow meats ever anyway so I have no desire to try them now. Anyway, for a former veg to take on the turkey is a big feat. Chris wants nothing to do with me and my turkey making. He thinks I’m crazy. But I deliberately planned this to help me get through this holiday. As soon as I realized that I could purchase a heritage turkey from a local farm, I was in. If I’m going to eat turkey, then I need to know how it was treated- no hormones, antibiotics and free to wander. When I made this decision and ordered the turkey, it didn’t occur to me what I would have to go through to actually prepare it.
A friend who was also a veg-aquarian like me, who also started eating meat again, told me when she recently cooked a turkey she was not prepared for what it entailed. I never thought about the fact that I’d have this huge bird on my counter that I had to clean and massage and stick my hand into. So this past weekend I watched the Food Network for hours, taking in all the Thanksgiving shows from all my favorite chefs. I learned all the tricks to cooking a delicious turkey. So the big question for me was- to brine or not to brine? It seemed overwhelming to me to brine so I wasn’t going to do it. Another friend told me about a dry brining method that seemed to be all the rage- so I looked it up. It was the perfect method for my frame of mind, so my 21lb turkey is now covered in kosher salt and brining in the fridge. Luckily the farm cleaned out all the insides and the neck and put them in a ziploc. I just had to do a simple rinse and dry. Though as simple as it may sound, its pretty heavy and has all sorts of weird parts. I haven’t been this close to a full huge dead animal like this since I was a kid. Even then, I didn’t pay much attention- I didn’t have to actually do anything to it, it was all my mom. It turned out not as bad as I was expecting – I even tried to think of a name for him as I cleaned his legs and wings. Somehow that didn’t seem appropriate since we’d be eating him. So I just thanked him for giving us his life to feed the 20+ in the Gallagher family tomorrow.
Cooking is one of my favorite things to do- and while pregnant I pretty much stopped altogether due to nausea & laziness. After Silas died, there was no way I could even muster up any energy to even consider cooking something for us. It got to the point where I was feeling so crappy for not eating well, that I decided to take over in the food department. So a few weeks ago I started again. I now food shop, check out recipes, and make a conscious choice to put healthy foods back in my body. I went through a period where I felt like I didn’t care so much- like, I’m not pregnant or breast feeding, so who cares what I do to myself? But I know I need to keep my body feeling & working good if I am going to grow another baby. And its so much a part of who I am that I think I was fooling myself when I thought it was ok to eat poorly.
I’m a bit nervous about this turkey, but I think it will go alright. Its not like this whole Thanksgiving dinner depends on my turkey or anything- ha!
As far as thanks go, thats a hard one. We do thank those of you in our life who continue to call, email, chat, comment and hang in there as we go through this horrible time in our lives. As sad and angry as we are, we are lucky and thankful to have each other and the life we’ve made together. I am trying to be thankful that Silas was in my life at all, even though it was so brief. Obviously I feel it is not enough and its hard for me to find the thanks for even having that short time I did with him. So for the next few days, I will be thankful to be surrounded by those who love us and for the meals we get to share together. And of course for the turkey who was lucky enough to be prepared and eaten by a former veg-aquarian.