Wednesday, July 30, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Franckly speaking: The curious case of the vanishing turkey

By
From page A4 | November 23, 2011 |

Marion Franck. Democrat photo by Megan Jeremica

My husband is our Thanksgiving chef and the family that gathers to enjoy his meal now numbers in the mid-20s. When our oven could no longer hold a turkey large enough to feed everyone, he started buying two turkeys and cooking one outdoors.

This allows him to strut his stuff. One turkey is conventional; the second is smoked. My husband looks as big and proud as a stately bird as he passes his trays of perfectly cooked light and dark meat, conventional and smoked.

The crowd loves it. Applause erupts. Thanksgiving at our house is always tasty, tumultuous and fun.

Last year our 26-year-old son, who lives in Minneapolis, arrived on Wednesday while my husband was working out of town. It fell to my son and me, therefore, to pick up the twin turkeys I had reserved at the Davis Food Co-op and bring them home, where our refrigerator was already packed with with beverages, vegetables and ingredients for gravy and pie.

“Let’s put one at Nancy’s house,” I said. My neighbor was on vacation and I had the key. I knew she wouldn’t mind a temporary bird in her refrigerator.

I carried it over and locked it in.

“Dad is going to ask where the second turkey is,” my son said.

I responded, without a moment of thought, “Let’s play a trick on him.”

Should I tell him the second turkey flew away? Too silly.

Should I tell him I forgot the second turkey? He’d never believe it.

My son came up with the winning line. “Tell him they ran out,” he suggested.

I practiced saying, “Oh, they ran out,” and “Sorry, they ran out” with just the right mix of sadness and optimism to sound real. I should sound sad because Bob loves the Food Coop turkey and optimistic because we could easily purchase a second turkey somewhere else.

Then I threw a kink in my own plan by imagining Bob’s face. I have to say here that Bob’s favorite hobby is cooking, the only avocation he has maintained his whole life. He loves feeding the family.

It wouldn’t be easy for him to cope with a missing turkey. Of course, he would buy a new one, but it wouldn’t be the same type. Bob has worked out a complex regime for his turkeys, and he doesn’t welcome a hassle at the last moment.

Marriage is about knowing the other person well.

I knew his tension would rise immediately to a level that takes the fun out of cooking, as if he had burnt the pie. I pictured his face falling, his brow crinkling.

I went to my son and said plaintively, “I’m not sure I can play the trick. He’ll be so upset.”

“Don’t play the joke if you don’t want to,” he responded, “but, really, I think it would be fine.”

It was interesting to me to realize that I didn’t want to inflict even 30 seconds of pain. I figured that’s about how long it would take before I confessed to hiding the second turkey.

But that felt too long, even if the trick would be funny immediately afterwards and perhaps make an amusing story for the crowd on Thanksgiving.

And, yet, I know I hurt him on a regular basis — for more than half a minute –just in the process of being married to him and encountering those frequent but ordinary bumps in the road.

If you’re looking for a definition of love, it might be not wanting to inflict even 30 extra seconds of pain. Accidents happen, of course, but should I make him unhappy on purpose?

Wednesday evening, Bob came home. He had done some shopping, and I saw him coming from the car with two big bags of groceries. I knew his first stop would be the refrigerator, which had room, thanks to the missing turkey.

I still hadn’t totally decided what to say, but I waited in the front room. Bob called out a greeting. I heard the refrigerator door open.

“Where’s the other turkey?” he called.

“Oh,” I said in my carefully practiced, semi-sorrowful tone, “They ran out.”

Here was the moment I both sought and dreaded. I couldn’t see his face. But I waited for the pause that would accompany the bad 30 seconds, the pause during which his shoulders would tighten, his brow would thicken, and he would think, a little desperately, “What can I do? Where can I go? The turkeys won’t match.”

But, to my complete surprise, there was no pause.

He spoke as quickly as if we were having one of our perfectly ordinary back-and-forth conversations.

“That’s not true. You’d never sound so calm. Where’d you put the other turkey?”

Marion Franck is a columnist for the Davis Enterprise. She is a part-time resident of El Dorado County.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

 
Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

 
Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
.

Sports

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

 
Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

.

Prospecting

Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

 
Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

 
Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

 
Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

 
Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

.

Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17