I have survived another turducken feast. I’m a little bit terrified that this will become a family tradition for my mother’s birthday. It all started last year when she announced she wanted to order a turkey, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with a duck. And she wanted me to cook it. Being a turducken virgin, I listened wide-eyed, mouth agape. People really eat such abominations?
It turned out to be much less grisly than I thought. You can read an account of Turducken: Year One here.
This year, things did not go as planned. A few weeks ago Mom informed me that she’d ordered two turduckens with seafood stuffing. I reminded her of Kory’s shellfish allergy. She rang up Cajun Grocer and changed the order to pork-stuffed turduckens. That’s right, turkey, chicken, duck AND pork. Oh, my!
Imagine our surprise when two giant Styrofoam crates containing FOUR turduckens landed on our doorstep last week. The Cajun Grocer shipped both orders, and I had four, obscenely-filled birds to wrestle into my freezer. Luckily I hadn’t been to Costco in awhile. Mom’s assistant, Becca, and I rearranged, hoisted, hauled, and grunted all that poultry into the chest freezer. At one point I thought of sitting on the lid while Becca tied it down with a rope, but in the end we declared victory over mutant barnyard fowl.
Our two extra turduckens found homes of their own without us having to set up a pen in the Wal-mart parking lot, trusting their cuteness would ensnare passersby.
We cleaned and cooked all weekend and Sunday evening our guests arrived. The five boys immediately suited up in a mixture of Clone Trooper gear, knight costumes, and Nerf weaponry. Then they staged a medieval Star Wars smackdown before dinner. In the process, 7-year-old Chunky got his feelings hurt. You know how these political conflicts can be.
We sat down to eat, and I noticed Chunky sitting in an armchair, refusing to take his place at the table. But I was too busy serving to deal with it. A few minutes later I looked over and he’d vanished. I found him in his room, underneath his giant pillow pet, bawling. He explained the situation in Snot Cry, which most people can speak but very few can interpret. Distracted, I gave him a hug, delivered the you-have-a-chance-to-forgive speech, and told him to come down to dinner when he’d finished crying.
I returned to our guests wondering how I could get Chunky into acting and siphon some of the drama from his personality. He never came down to dinner, so when all the other kids finished eating, I called Monkey over and told him to go up and tell his brother that the others were done and he should come down and eat.
Moments later Monkey returned with a note from Chunky. It said, “Tell her to bring it up.”
I laughed. Ah, the audacity of a wounded 7-year-old. I sent Monkey up again but he returned with another note.
“And bring a table.”
Clearly Chunky was enjoying his role as little lord of the manor.
I sent Monkey up again and after awhile he came back with yet another note from his brother.
“I’m still hungry.”
This time I went up. Chunky and I had a chat that included more Snot Cry. Eventually, he pulled it together and appeared, pale and sniffing, to devour two turkey legs. Drama makes a boy hungry.
Thankfully everyone else behaved much better and we had an enjoyable evening. When our friends went home I collapsed on the couch, only waking when Kory said he was going to bed.
This morning I awoke to a terrible realization. I never put the rest of the turducken in the fridge. All that meat gone to waste. I felt like a pile of discarded gizzards as one by one my family members asked, “Where’s the turducken?”
I can only hope this means that next year I will not be trusted with the bird of many names. With my luck, we’ll go luau and I’ll have to roast a pig in the back yard. Can I just say now that I don’t want to wear coconuts and a grass skirt in November?