I confess, I never cooked a turkey and trust me when I tell you I don’t intend to start now.
When I was married, the husband did the turkey, I did the rest. But wait. It’s not like we woke up one Thanksgiving morning and became the prefect chefs/hosts, what ever you like to call us. Nope. As a matter of fact, I remember that very first turkey like it was yesterday. I met and married my former spouse in Europe and we lived there for a while before settling in Phoenix, so turkey day didn’t enter my life until we settled in Arizona.
Finally we had our own cute rented apartment decorated with the furniture and accessories brought from Europe and the husband decided it was time for our very own Thanksgiving. We invited a couple we knew from way back in Germany.
I remember we did the shopping together the ex and I. He told me about history, tradition, and the Pilgrims and then we bought a Butterball because of the popping thingy. Our chores were clearly split; he was in charge of turkey, stuffing and gravy. My job was potatoes, rolls, vegetables, cranberry and pies. Our guests were to arrive at 2 p.m. so he started on the bird by 9:30 and that’s when something odd happened. He found a little package inside the bird, looked like a turkey neck and some other bloody, disgusting things. Since he got rid of the bird wrapping the evening before, we had nothing to go by and back then I didn’t own any American cooking book. We decided it may have been a mistake made at the packing plant and discarded the neck and such along with the rest. By 1:30 pm the thingy had popped and so did a few corks. The place smelled heavenly and our friends arrived, excited and hungry. Time to make the gravy. The husband tried to channel his mother as he was too embarrassed to actually call her on the phone. I assume our guest, who always bragged about his cooking skills, sensed the host’s hesitation and offered to make the gravy. And that’s when it all went down the drain. He asked about ‘the giblets’. I batted my lashes and looked around, I had no clue what a giblet was. Apparently neither did my husband because we found out the ‘disgusting package’ he threw out was generally known as giblets, a very important ingredient for good gravy. So we lied. We swore there was nothing inside the bird, that damn packing plant had sabotaged our first Thanksgiving dinner we claimed. Luckily for us, back then the grocery stores were closed on Thanksgiving because our friend, the self proclaimed chef, wanted us to get into our car and go demand our giblets.
To this day I get a big smile every time the word giblets pops up.
Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and lots of giblets.