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Copyright by Pegg Thomas 2009-2015


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Nov 25, 2010
I'm a pretty good cook. No, I'm not bragging, just being honest. I am a pretty good cook. Thanksgiving at our house is typically a satisfying affair. The pies look and taste like Betty Crocker made a house call, the meat both tender and savory, and the sides colorful as well as delicious.

Not this year.

Our homegrown chickens replace the traditional turkey. This year's bird was eight pounds of symmetrical perfection. I stuffed Mr. Chicken and had him properly trussed and nestled in the roasting pan in the oven. I turned my attention to washing and cutting up potatoes. The last chunk of potato hit the pot when the lights flickered for the first time. Then they flickered again. Then they died.

We had no power.

Michael brought out the Trivial Pursuit game and we passed the next hour frustrating ourselves with questions about foreign makes of cars and Polish borders after WWII. I kept looking at the clock and thinking about my uncooked chicken sitting in the cooled oven. I decided to put Mr. Chicken on gas grill to cook. I put him in the middle of the grill and turned the gas on low. I've cooked many chickens on that grill... surely a stuffed bird would do fine.

Or not.

We returned to our game after Mr. Chicken was ensconced on the grill in the garage. After fifteen minutes I checked on the grill only to find our own little towering inferno. Stuffing that tamely resides under the neck skin of a roasting bird in the oven apparently doesn't behave itself on the grill. Flames licked hungrily around the entire bird, blackening the skin as the fat sizzled and popped.

Thanksgiving dinner looked like a burnt offering.

With the flames under control and the bird back in the roasting pan, I returned Mr. Chicken to the grill, roasting pan and all. Thirty minutes later, two and half hours after it left us, the power winked back on. Mr. Chicken came into the house again, looking worse for wear, and dinner preparation continued in the kitchen.

Mr. Chicken was not presented on a family heirloom platter this year, gracing the center of the table. Instead, I peeled off his charcoal wrapping at the counter, out of sight of the table. I cut up the tender and surprisingly tasty meat underneath. Dinner was salvaged and we have a memory to retell for many years to come.


Janet said...

Sounds like a "GREAT SAVE" on your part! Congrats....another great story to tell in the coming years!!!!

Cecilia Marie said...

And another holiday adventure joins the family archives....Thanks for sharing.

Sylvia said...

How fun! You can even embellish the tale for future generations! LOLOL I'm glad it was tasty, though.

Faith said...

Instead of "I caught a fish 'this' big" you'll be telling tales of "the flames were 'this' high". Glad the chicken meat was still yummy.