Boxing Day

Bubs’ Porcupine Quill Birch Bark Box

This Boxing Day, how long are the return lines are at Macy’s?—Argyle Sweater 

Last night, I was exhausted after Christmas. So much cooking, so much eating, so much social interacting, a hermit can only take so much. So, we slept in this morning, which felt so good. I awoke in the middle of a dream, a travel nightmare of sorts. We were flying out for the holidays, all Home Alone style and I had just driven with my family up to the terminal, when I realized that I had to go back and park the car. As in such dreams a series of missteps ensued, mistakes piled upon mistakes, until missing the flight seemed like the least of my worries. Fortunately, when all seemed lost, I woke up and all of my anxiety melted away. Do you think that is the purpose of such dreams, reliving tense, if imaginary situations, so that you can feel that very real sense of relief?

The main instigator that precipitated the need for such a cathartic moment was probably the carving of the turkey—murder most fowl. Anne and I had been slaving together, in the kitchen all day, to cook this bird and in the end it all came down to me. Using the two wooden spoon method, one stuck down its neck and the other up its ass, I deftly extracted the bird from the broiler pan and plopped it on the cutting board. Where it immediately began to bleed grease.

Our next-door neighbors once quipped that they always knew when we were cooking for the holidays, after the Roto-Rooter man arrived to snake out our drain. The grease from the resting turkey was already flowing towards the kitchen sink’s drain. A frying pan was placed below the tilted cutting board in order to catch as much grease as possible, but this was a monster bird, the largest that I have ever carved, almost Rodan sized. Eventually though, the turkey was dissected and I threw the remains of its now boney carcass into the garbage. Except for what was to be served, the rest of the meat made it into Tupperware, to be frozen. In the end, I filled two empty half-gallon cartons with grease and greasy water. They spent the night in the freezer and this morning went out with the bones. I’m sure that some of the grease made it down the kitchen sink drain though. Anyway, we’ll be eating turkey for some time to come. Gobble-Gobble!

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