I wrote this true fictional story about a couple’s first Thanksgiving together. It was a comedy piece I put together a few years ago. I say fictional, but if you know anything about comedy, then you know there is always truth to the matter.
Austin’s and my first Thanksgiving wasn’t too far off from this account.
Thanksgiving Menu Planning
“Honey, your mom just called and said she is coming for Thanksgiving dinner,” Traci said as she got off the phone.
Her husband, Troy was poking away at a document for work. “Ok,” Troy answered, trying to keep his focus on the task.
Traci opened the top cabinet drawer in her kitchen, pulled out a notepad and pen to write a menu for the meal she committed to preparing. After jotting down a few staple foods like ham, collards, and dinner rolls, she decided to ask Troy what he thought she should add to the list.
“Hon,” she called out, “What do you think I need to make for Thanksgiving, besides ham?” Troy lifted his face with a confused look, “Why would you make ham?”, he asked.
Now Traci was equally confused, “Why wouldn’t I make ham?” With a bit of a laugh, Troy gave his response, “Well, because Thanksgiving is referred to as Turkey Day for a reason. Besides, if you have ham, what kind of gravy do you make for the mashed potatoes, and without mashed potatoes what am I supposed to use to pick up my corn with?”
It became apparent to Traci that she and Troy grew up eating very different Thanksgiving dinners. “Troy, I’ve never cooked a turkey,” she said plainly. “How hard could it be babe? Just look up how to make one or ask my mom,” he told her.
Now Traci felt anxious about having her in-laws over for a major holiday. She didn’t want to ask her mother-in-law because she knew that she would just come early and make the turkey herself.
Making a List and Checking it Twice
After Traci revised the list and walked in to where Troy was working and asked, “Troy, is there anything else I need to buy besides a turkey, potatoes, gravy, and corn?”
“Yeah babe, you need stuffing for the turkey, cranberry sauce, and a pumpkin pie for desert,” he answered back.
“Stuffing for the turkey?” she asked in confusion. “You know, stuffing, to stuff the turkey with,” he told her.
Traci could see this wasn’t going to be an easy task. “Troy, I’m going to go to the store now. I’ll be back in a little bit,” she said, then she leaned down and kissed him goodbye. With list in hand, Traci headed out to brave the grocery store hoping that there would be a turkey left, since Thanksgiving was only four days away.
Going to Buy a Turkey
When Traci arrived at the grocery store and she didn’t see a single shopping cart in the corral, she knew this would be a long shopping trip. After grabbing a hand basket, she headed to the back of the store in search of a turkey.
She started down the frozen food section, looking at every sign to find one that would indicate where turkeys were located. Carefully looking in each section of the freezer case, she came up empty handed.
Then she was in search of an associate that could help her find the turkeys. After walking several aisles to find someone, she saw a young guy bending down to the bottom shelf stocking cans of tomatoes.
“Excuse me, do you think you could help me find the turkeys,” Traci asked him. He looked up, “Yes ma’am, I can take you to them.” He walked with Traci to a cooler in the middle of an aisle.
“Thank you, I would have never thought to look here,” she told him. She looked at each brand of bird in the case, with no idea what kind to buy or what the difference was in brands.
After what seemed like forever, she decided to buy a Butterball turkey, since that was the only kind of turkey she had ever heard of. Then she went in search of the rest of the items on the list.
By the time she made it to the register, she could barely hold the basket in her hands.
Panicking About the Dinner Preparations
On the way home, she had visions of preparing a beautiful holiday dinner for her husband and his parents. Now that she had the groceries in the car, she felt more excited about the day. The day before Thanksgiving, Traci got a text message from Troy while he was at work: Mom, Dad, Michelle & Rusty will b here @ 12 2morrow.
Traci was in shock, she didn’t know that Troy’s sister and her husband would be coming, also. She texted back, “I didn’t know your sister was coming.”
After a few minutes, his response text read: Of course she is because my parents are coming.
Traci became more worried that maybe she didn’t have enough food for everyone.
First Thanksgiving Blooper Reel
The day arrived. Traci got up earlier than normal to start the dinner preparations. With frilly apron wrapped around her waist and cookbook in hand, she took to the kitchen ready to make her first holiday meal.
After opening the cookbook to the page about turkeys, she took the bird out of the refrigerator and set it on the counter. With a pair of scissors she cut the plastic surrounding the cold mass.
The bird didn’t look like what the cookbook said it would. There didn’t appear to be any legs or wings, and certainly not an opening to stuff with the bread mix she bought.
“Troy,” she yelled, “Troy come in here and look at this turkey.” Troy came trotting in the kitchen, “What’s wrong? Why are you yelling?”
“What is wrong with this bird, Troy? There aren’t any legs or wings,” she said to him after he came around the corner into the kitchen.
He had a perplexed look on his face and after inspecting it he said, “Well Traci, the problem is that you didn’t buy a roasting turkey, you bought a turkey used for lunch meat.”
Traci was so frustrated. “Great,” she said as tears started to well up in her eyes, “Now what am I supposed to do?”
“I guess we slice it thin and put it on rolls. I really know what else to tell you,” Troy said with a sound of disappointment in his voice.
“I’m really sorry I bought the wrong thing,” Traci said with a slight sob. Troy pulled her close to him and hugged her, “It’s ok. I think things will be good anyways.”
Crying Over Spilled Stuffing
Traci was still drying tears out of her eyes when she went to open the box of stuffing. She struggled to get the plastic open and in the process ripped the bag apart throwing bread crumbs all over the kitchen floor.
“Oh no!” Traci said in exclamation. Troy started chuckling and bent down to pick up the little pieces of bread and put them into a bowl.
“What are you doing?” Traci asked. “I’m picking the stuffing off the floor,” Troy grinned. Traci could feel the tension lift, and she started laughing.
“I just won’t tell mom our secret recipe when she says how awesome this stuffing tastes,” Troy said with growing laughter. He always knew how to make Traci laugh when things were not going well.
When Troy had finished picking up every salvageable piece of bread off the floor, he took out a broom to sweep the rest up and throw it in the trash.
What is Cranberry Sauce Anyways?
While he was working on that task, Traci pulled out a can of cranberry sauce, opened it and dumped it into a bowl. Troy walked passed the wiggly red substance that took the shape of a can.
“What is that?” he asked as he pointed his finger. “That is the cranberry sauce you requested,” she answered.
“That is not sauce, it is jello,” he retorted. “It is not jello. Look here on the side of this can, it has a picture of cranberries,” she responded sarcastically.
“That is not the kind of cranberry sauce my mom made; hers has real cranberries in it and you scoop it out with a spoon,” Troy told her.
“Well, this is the kind you carve with a knife,” she said with a laugh. “Do you think you can make some tea while I peel these potatoes?” Traci asked.
“I guess so, tell me what to do,” Troy said as he went to the pantry and got out sugar. “Start by adding water to that pot and bring it to a boil. Just fill it up about two inches from the top,” Traci answered and then turned back to peeling potatoes.
The Pie Disaster
Troy filled the pot with water and set it on the stove. Then he took the pumpkin pie out of the refrigerator and set it on the stove.
He then began searching through every drawer in the kitchen looking for a pie knife. “Where do we keep our pie knife,” Troy said in frustration.
“It is in the dining room in the china cabinet,” Traci told him.
Troy looked at the stove and realized he forgot to turn the burner on to boil the water. After he set the knob on high he walked out of the kitchen into the dining room.
After a few minutes, he came back in and asked, “What’s burning?” Traci looked up from the potatoes and said, “I am not cooking anything.”
They both looked at the stove at the same time and saw the pumpkin pie smoking. Traci ran to the stove, turned off the burner, took a pot holder and grabbed the pie off the stove.
“Well, I’m not sure we can get by with serving this like we are with the stuffing,” Traci told Troy. He just shook his head and walked out of the room quietly chuckling with pie knife in hand.
The Family Arrives
The doorbell rang; Troy’s family was at the door. Traci and Troy walked to the door together to greet the family. “Hey everyone, come on in. It is so good to see you,” Troy said warmly.
Traci’s mother-in-law, Barb, handed her a pumpkin pie. When she and Troy saw the pie, they both began to laugh. “What is so funny?” Barb asked.
“Come on in Mom and we’ll tell you,” Troy said as he hurried everyone inside and closed the door.
Hope you enjoyed my mostly true retelling of Austin’s and my first Thanksgiving. What about you? Do you have a blooper reel?