Friday, November 23, 2007

Golden Drumsticks

Need a gift for the holidays?

Cathy’s devotional book The Stained Glass Pickup is a thoughtful gift that will continue to encourage throughout the year. Read reviews at and Autographed copies available at

Golden Drumsticks

A happy heart makes the face cheerful. Proverbs 15:13

One dark and stormy Thanksgiving Day in my kitchen, I wrestled a thawed turkey onto the drain board. The snoozing sun, blanketed by thunderclouds, started to peek from the horizon. Groggy, I set the coffee maker to brewing wake-up java. Coffee done, I poured a cup and wrapped my hands around the warm mug. I read The Courier, and my eyes made their usual stops along the newsprint pages.

Finally, I could dally no longer, so I poured a second cup of coffee and laid out my turkey tools. Grabbing the kitchen shears, I snipped a hole in the snug plastic wrapper around the turkey, but a shiver of fright ran along my arms when I saw the price tag.

I blinked. I rubbed my eyes. I spewed coffee, and blinked again. What I saw couldn’t be true. The price tag read $39.71, BONELESS, SKINLESS TURKEY BREAST. What? I didn’t want all white meat. I wanted turkey drumsticks, and usually paid nothing for the Thanksgiving turkey. This Tom cost 40 bucks.

Those earlier November ads were clever. Grocers enticed shoppers with an offer of a free turkey. Many gave one away or only charged 39 cents per pound if a shopper bought at least $20.00 of mincemeat, marmalade, and mousse makings.

My mind returned to the plastic encased poultry. Did I really pay $40.00? Maybe he was free after all. I lathered hands, rinsed and dried and went in search of my grocery receipt. Locating it, a quadruple digit leaped out of the tallies. Sure enough, the main course, supposed-to-be-free fowl, had deficited my budget by nearly half a hundred.

It was too late to give “Tom” his freedom. Too late to return him to the grocer. Already, Austin, TX relatives were packing their cars, readying to drive to our house. I returned to the kitchen, snipped off his price tag and laid it aside.

Once more, I began to cut the plastic away from the turkey, I consoled myself that at least I’d bought a boneless skinless breast, and we’d have prime turkey. But no. Under the fancy price and phony label was a Pilgrim-plain, bone-in, drumstick-protruding turkey.

Through the rest of dinner preparations, like a neon sign, the $39.71 price tag flashed in my mind. I decided to keep my secret. I corralled my thoughts and shut down the complaint department and ordained “thanksgivings.”

By noon that day, pies were sliced, flaky rolls huddled in an old bun warmer, and a quarter cup of real butter melted on a mound of mashed potatoes. I lifted the browned, “golden,” bird from the oven. He preened on a silver platter.

At our feast table, guests seemed to enjoy cranberries, carrots, and costly turkey. His price tag intruded in my mind once more, and with each bite of turkey I swallowed half dollars—caching, ca-ching.

I consoled myself. Someday, I’d memorialize this old bird in a story. He could outlive the gravy and the clan. I recalled other renowned fowl—Daffy and Donald Duck, Chicken Little, Tweety Bird, the goose that laid the golden eggs.

If I keep retelling the story of pricey Tom Turkey, he might join the ranks of other famous fowl. He might make a name for himself, after all.

Wat fun holiday memories do you recall?

The cheerful heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15

No comments:

Post a Comment