Happy Thanksgiving everybody! When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of turkeys. And when I think of turkeys, I can’t help but think of my Aunt Janet.
My Aunt Janet’s turkey is infamous. All my friends know about her turkey because I talk about it constantly. It is one of the greatest creations known to mankind. Think I’m overselling it? Believe me, I’m not. What makes Aunt Janet’s turkey so amazing is that she cooks the turkey the day before, cuts it up and then lets it soak in gravy overnight. It is so juicy…and yummy and amazing (I’m salivating now just thinking about it).
I stopped going home to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving several years ago. Flying is a nightmare and I’ll be home a month later for Christmas. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been able to enjoy Aunt Janet’s turkey. That’s because I have absolutely no shame. None.
Exhibit A: A few years ago, my cousin Marian (and Janet’s daughter) was in New York for business. During dinner we were talking about the upcoming family reunion and how difficult it is for the “trinity” to make it (out of the fourteen Eulberg cousins, there are three of us – Marian, Mary Beth and myself – who are far away from home). Then Marian and I decided to write what would be known as our manifesto. My demand in order for the “trinity” to make it to the reunion? You guessed it, the turkey. I believe I wrote: “One turkey prepared with love by Aunt Janet.” But as I later told Aunt Janet, I didn’t care if she made the turkey with spite, as long as she made it.
Exhibit B: I was informed earlier this year by my mother that Aunt Janet is retiring her turkey. This made me very upset. I believe my mom said, “For heaven’s sakes, Elizabeth, she’s 78 years old, she doesn’t need to make you a turkey!” I really don’t see her point. So when I was in Chicago for some events, two of Janet’s children – Lee and Pat – attended and we started talking about the upcoming family reunion. It was also Pat’s 50th birthday so Pat really wanted my mom to make her infamous Baked Alaska, which she also retired. So we made a deal, if I got my mom to make the Baked Alaska, they’d have to get their mom to make the turkey. They weren’t sure that would work, then I said, “I’ll put it in a book and do a blog about it.” And as you can see, I am a woman of my word, so is Aunt Janet.
The big day came. The last time I was ever going to have Aunt Janet’s turkey. Fortunately, everybody let me go first in line (it’s almost as if they were afraid for their lives if they were ahead of me). And it was as good as I remembered.
Before I leave you all to dive into your turkey dinners, I’d like to mention that my mom also makes a mean turkey. My love (and that of my sibling’s) for Aunt Janet’s turkey can sometimes be a sore subject. My dad once sat us all down and told us to cool it on the Aunt Janet turkey talk. My mom is an amazing cook and baker. She always makes me a cheeseball when I come home (actually she makes two: one for me and one that is technically for everybody else, but I usually end up eating it anyways). She also makes really yummy lemon bars and fudge (Hint! Hint! I did name Mrs. Bennet in Prom and Prejudice after you, Mom!). See, I told you I have no shame.
Gobble! Gobble! XO, Elizabeth