Thanksgiving Dinner – 2007


We are Canadian; we celebrate our Thanksgiving in October. The family is having supper at mom and dad’s house. There will be nine of us all sitting around the table enjoying a roasted capon and all the fixings for dinner. Mom and dad have worked hard all day cooking all the food.

Mom went out and purchased a capon a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and put it in the freezer. A capon is bigger than a chicken but smaller than a turkey. The day before our get-together she removes it to thaw out. She gets it ready on the day and puts it in the oven. Everyone shows up around 4:30 pm for supper. Upon entering their house I notice a really putrid, sickening smell. It smells like rotting meat.

At first, we think nothing of it but the smell lingers. I go over to the oven and open the door. I take a sniff and walk around to see where the smell is coming from. I realize it’s coming from the oven. I say to mom “let’s take the bird out, something doesn’t smell right”. We concur that the rotten smell is coming from the bird. The bird is rancid. Great! What do we do for supper now? We have no other choice but to have KFC instead. We’re happy that they are open today. Mom is really upset and starts to cry. We tell her it can’t be helped, the men get in the car and head out to KFC. It’s still a bird, right?

After they leave my sister Julie decides to start joking around with my daughter Abby who is five. Julie likes to bug her. Abby is in a catholic school, so Julie pretends she is calling the Pope to tell him that Abby has been a bad girl at school. Abby immediately hangs up the wall phone on her and gets upset.  We can’t see what numbers she is pushing, she runs out of the room quickly.

Within seconds the phone starts ringing. Mom picks up the phone and there is a 911 operator on the line. The adrenaline rushing through all of us is crazy. Abby immediately starts crying knowing what she’s done. She asks us to speak to the operator, but we tell her no, she called it; she has to tell the operator what is going on. The men return not long after this, and we tell them what happened. We sit down at the table ready to eat and the doorbell rings.

Julie goes to the door and it’s an officer from Brantford Police checking up on the call. We immediately ask him to come in and tell Abby to explain to him what happened. He is glad nothing serious is happening, but smirks knowing Abby is a child, didn’t mean to do what she did. He is pleased that she knew to call 911 if she is afraid... The officer takes notes and then is ready to head out the door. We felt so bad for wasting his time like this so we offered him to come and join us for supper, which of course he can’t. He did thank us for our offer, but he has to leave. Everyone sits down with our KFC and laughs over all that has transpired. Mom feels so bad that the capon (bird) was rancid and ruined. We don’t care; at least we have chicken with the KFC. We enjoy our chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy brussel sprouts and carrots and turnips. The men don’t like vegetables, so we women enjoy them. Mom, Julie and I love them.

Mom uses a pressure cooker to steam the vegetables. For the carrots and turnips, she uses her mixer, puts in a splash of milk, salt and pepper, a knob of butter and mashes them. They are so delicious. For dessert, there is pumpkin pie and cake. A glass of tomato juice is also enjoyed at our holiday table.

Abby is unusually quiet during supper. We tell her not to do it again and explain when anyone calls 911 and hangs up, they call back to see if there really is a danger, or what is going on. The 911 operator reassured her not to call again for things like that, but she’s glad she did speak to her about what she did.

Everyone finishes supper and we all help wash and dry the dishes. We groan that mom and dad don’t have a dishwasher. With nine of us, and all the pots and bowls, there are a lot of dishes to be cleaned. Dad being the gentleman he was, never let the women wash the dishes. He would always wash, and the rest of us dry them and put them away.

After the dishes are done we all sit down and spend about an hour chatting, catching up on life. Everyone is full from our delicious dinner. The kids go into the living room to watch TV. The adults still sit at the table. Since Abby is out of the room, we quietly give Julie heck for bugging Abby and then the dreaded phone call. We do quietly laugh about what happened. Of course, we will not show her we found it funny. I tell everyone that only our family would have a holiday meal, have 911 called and have a rancid bird in the oven. We all burst out in laughter, everyone agrees. We send the men into the living room with the kids, mom, Julie and I find the Tupperware containers, and start putting the food away.

Mom never lets us leave without sending leftovers home for the next day’s meal. Julie and I split it up between the three of us. There is a lot of food left for tomorrow. I am happy I don’t have to cook tomorrow, reheating is good. The house still smells so good. It is time to head home, Abby is tired, and it is her bedtime soon. We gather up all the leftovers, get our shoes and coats on. We hug and kiss everyone goodbye, and then head home.

We drive home, get Abby in bed and Dave and I laugh about what happened today. What a day that was. This morning I would never have thought that we’d be having Thanksgiving dinner, and a police officer pays us a visit.

Gaynor Jones

November 22, 2019 21:32

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