Many years ago, I invited my parents and my brother over for Thanksgiving dinner a couple of weeks ahead of time. In most families there is an “acceptance” of the invitation which may be followed up with “Can I bring anything?” Not so in my case. Most of our family interactions are a lot like the ones in “Everybody Loves Raymond.” That’s why I love that show so much. As outrageous as “Marie” acts, I always know what she is going to say and do.
So, my mother accepts my invitation and wants to know what I am making. I tell her turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and brussel sprouts. She adds, “Don’t forget the Italian bread.” Ok, fine, and the Italian bread. She asks, “Did you get the turkey yet?” I reply, “No, I am going to the butcher to buy two turkey breasts today.” And, you might think that is the end of it…but no.
I go to the butcher and inquire about buying two turkey breasts. He advises me to get a certain brand, maybe Shady Brook Farms, that has fresh turkey breasts that aren’t injected with fat. I decide to buy two of those, weighing 7 to 8 pounds each. I’m glad that is out of the way.
I get home and the phone rings…it’s Mom. “Did you order your turkey breasts?”
I answer, proud of my decision, “I just got back from the butcher and I got two fresh Shady Brook Farm breasts.” Mom replies incredulously, “You got WHAT? Why didn‘t you get Butterball turkey breasts?” I repeat what I just told her, adding that the butcher assured me these breasts would taste a lot better. “Well, if you aren’t cooking Butterball turkey we are not coming to dinner!” The call ends and I am exasperated.
The next day the phone rings, it’s Mom. “What are you making for Thanksgiving? Did you get Butterball turkeys?” I answer, “I told you I am making the fresh turkey breasts I got from the butcher yesterday. They will be fine.” Mom: “Then I am not eating!” Later that day I rant, rave and vent to my poor husband about the Butterball drama. He shakes his head, but never has a bad word to say.
The following day the phone rings. It’s Mom. My husband happens to be nearby. Mom says, “So are you getting Butterball turkeys or not? I have to know where I am eating for Thanksgiving.” My husband says, “Oh man, she is still talking about the Butterballs?” I repeat, “I am making the two breasts I have in the freezer on Thanksgiving and I do not want to buy two more!” “Fine“, mom says, “we’ll just stay home.” “But what am I supposed to do with all this turkey now?” I ask. “You should have gotten Butterball! That’s what we always have and that’s all I’ll eat!”
I talk to my husband. I am in tears. We decide I will go out and get two Butterball turkey breasts and make them for Thanksgiving. I can save the other breasts for us to eat, one at a time, it’s a long winter and we like turkey. I buy the Butterballs. My mom calls and before she can say a word I announce I have the Butterballs for Thanksgiving. “And what are you going to do with those other two turkey breasts?” she asks. “What do you care what I will do with them? You will have your Butterballs for Thanksgiving and I’ll worry about the other two breasts” I answer.
We have a nice Butterball Thanksgiving.
P.S. About a month or so later I defrost and cook one of the fresh turkey breasts.
My three year old daughter takes a bite and says, “This tastes better than the turkey we had for Thanksgiving!” Out of the mouth of babes!!!