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Off the Record

Christmas turkey turned out to be my right of passage

Christmas turkey turned out to be my right of passage

by Amber Schlenker

As you might be wondering, my first Christmas as an adult was pure success.

Last week I wrote about my venture into adulthood, moving away from the kids table at Christmas by hosting the dinner at my home with more than 20 of my relatives.

Because of the time-consuming venture, the host also prepares the turkey and other staples for the annual meal.

On Christmas Eve I was up late cleaning the house and preparing the turkey to soak in various flavors that I had hoped would please the taste buds of the family.

Because it was my first time hosting and cooking, I wanted everything to be perfect. It just had to be something people talked about for at least a few weeks. My Christmas morning started at around 6 a.m., making sure the turkey was ready to go and perhaps, I put it in a little too early.

After the turkey was in the oven I headed over to my father's house to watch his two small children, my adorable little brothers, open their gifts. We had breakfast and I headed home to finish the job.

To my surprise, when I arrived home the turkey was completely done. It was only 11:30 a.m. and dinner was scheduled for 4 p.m. I was worried and in disbelief that my turkey could already have been done. I paced around my kitchen in my apron wondering what to do.

So I pulled myself together and I did my best to keep the turkey warm but still fearing it would over cook. I continued to baste and care for the turkey, while making the other side dishes that were on my list.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. I started to carve the turkey and make the gravy. It was then I knew this was going to be a great success. I sliced apples, sprinkled them with sugar and cinnamon, fried them and used them to garnish the turkey plate.

More than 20 of my family members piled into my small house, and after a short prayer to bless the food we all dug in. I, however, waited to see the reactions of my family. Shortly after the first few folks dished up I began hearing ooo's and ahh's. Some even said it was the best turkey they've ever had. Some asked for the recipe but unfortunately using recipes isn't my strong suit.

I think it's safe to say this year's Christmas was a success. After we cleaned up and my family returned to their homes, my house felt different. I walked around my home, exhausted but feeling accomplished. My house actually felt more like a home.

For too long I've felt younger and less mature than I really am. Now that the New Year is fast approaching, I look back over this past year and I feel glad. I've really grown up and I'm finally feeling at least my age.

Who knew a well seasoned turkey could help accomplish that feeling?

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