We hosted Thanksgiving this year for the 4th year in a row. Over the past 4 years we have had varying attendance as some family has been here, some has been with in laws or out of town, but never, have we ever served turkey. We always opt for a Honeybaked Ham. I dare you to find a more delectable main course for your holiday meal (as would the hundreds of people lined up outside their doors every Thanksgiving and Christmas).
*And no, this post is not sponsored by Honeybaked Ham, but if the good folks over there would like to throw some honeybaked goodness my way, I would gladly take it.*
So this year, as we were talking about what to serve and who was going to bring what, the conversations went a little like this. I said I was going to prepare stuffing, fall to your knees mac and cheese, and Ruthie Crickmer’s corn casserole–and no, we have no idea who Ruthie Crickmer is, but we bless her name every Thanksgiving when we eat her corn casserole. My aunt said she would be happy to bring the ham, make a pumpkin pie and some sweet potatoes. I then added dreamily, maybe I’ll make a turkey this year…..
Cause here’s the thing, the hospital I work for gives us a free turkey every Thanksgiving, and I’ve only even picked mine up once. And that time I gave it away. I don’t even like turkey, and I knew that even if I made a rockin’ turkey, if it was sitting next to a Honeybaked Ham, it would remain mostly untouched. I think I was imagining the turkey as a domestic status symbol. I was going to emerge beautifically from the kitchen with my perfect turkey as my family murmured to each other that the baby of the family had certainly turned into quite the domestic goddess. They would all forget that a few short years ago, my apartment refrigerator only held Mike’s Hard Lemonade, cheese and Snickers bars. It wasn’t about the turkey.
But a few days passed and the boys were rowdy and the house was messy and company was coming and I was tired. What was I thinking making a turkey? Let’s scratch that. Besides, the day that we had to go get the turkeys, I had to go to Macy’s to get new boots….with boys in tow. Yes, I had to. Do you see these boots? Look at them–I’ll wait…..
So I laid my dreams of domestic diva-hood to rest and just decided it would have to be enough that I looked hot in my new boots while making the side dishes on Thanksgiving. Which was FINE.
My fatal error was not telling my aunt all this. So she calls me on Wednesday with a tremor in her voice. You didn’t tell me that you decided not to cook a turkey.
Which led her to buy a small ham. You know–to be an accessory to a turkey. A turkey I did not have. Things got pretty tense. She opened the ham. Counted the slices. We did a head count. Did some quick math and figured that each person would get 2 pieces of ham. Realized that this felt very unacceptable and knew that I had ruined Thanksgiving.
(hanging head in shame)
By Thursday I guess we all realized that there was nothing to do but laugh about it, so I decided to make a sign to put near the ham platter……
It turned out to be either a miracle of the proportion of the fish and loaves or the slices were much bigger than we initially thought, because there was plenty of ham to go around and even enough for leftovers.
However, the jokes continued. I made this sign for our refrigerator.
We made constant references to the ham famine and ham rationing. I offered Jason my ham portions in exchange for him taking over childcare duties for the evening. We cautioned each other to stop in the name of ham. I think we might even get some t-shirts printed up saying “I survived the Great Ham Famine of 2010”. We laughed and laughed and laughed, until you wouldn’t have thought it was funny anymore….until it shouldn’t have been funny anymore….but it still was. Maybe it really wasn’t that funny except that we were drinking all that wine….all that wine Aunt Chris bought that was supposed to go great with turkey.
Anyway, it was a great Thanksgiving and I still stand by my decision not to cook the bird.