My sister Jeannie complains that I don’t take her culinary skills seriously. I told her that I really do. Every new cooking experience she has turns into a disaster. Heck, last Thanksgiving, even her own oven rebelled and refused to be involved in her first attempt at hosting Thanksgiving dinner at her house.
We usually host the holiday meals at our place since it’s big enough for our large, extended family and a few unexpected guests. But last year, it was just Jeannie and Rodney, their son, Teddy, and our little family of four. Martha and Charlie had gone to Florida for a short vacation with Amanda’s grandparents and her father and Lois, so Jeannie decided that it was the perfect opportunity for her little trio to be the family’s Thanksgiving hosts.
Everything seemed to be going fine, despite my prognostications of doom and inedible food. That was until the potatoes boiled over on the stove, causing the self-cleaning oven to lock up and auto-clean with the turkey and dressing still inside.
We had to banish the kids to the backyard to play when Teddy innocently asked: “Why does Mommy’s dinner smell so bad?” And Melanie complained, “Momma, can I have a peanut butter sandwich instead?” Of course, our diplomatic child, Lorrie, didn’t help much either when she told the other two kids, “Well, at least the oven will eat Aunt Jeannie’s cooking.”
When Jeannie realized there was no way to save the turkey, she was mortified and vowed to make good on our Thanksgiving meal. Lex and Jeannie took off to the supermarket for whatever they had available. Somehow, I had visions of a Thanksgiving Spam loaf, re-shaped like a turkey.
No sooner did Jeannie and Lex pull out of the driveway, than her husband and I came down with an uncontrollable case of the giggles. Pretending to be the turkey, Rodney got down by the oven door and begged in a high-pitched voice, “Help me! Get me out of here!” Then we proceeded to tell every bad turkey joke we could think of.
Me: “Why doesn’t a turkey cross the road like the chicken does?”
Rodney: “It’s stuck in the oven!”
Rodney: “What do you have when your turkey gets stuck in a self-cleaning oven?”
Me: “Something really fowl-smelling!”
Still laughing, Rodney got his tool box out, and together we dismantled the oven door, wrapped the horrible looking bird in newspaper, and I made a quick trip to the nearest dumpster to dispose of the evidence.
By the time that Lex and Jeannie got back with our substitute Thanksgiving dinner, the door was back on the oven, the kitchen was clean, and the tools had been put away. As for the oven, it never cooked another meal. It simply refused to cook anything Jeannie put inside of it.
But Jeannie wants to try again. No way! This year, Thanksgiving is at the RockingW.