The things she carried, part II

‘Bout to get on the 4 (Thanksgiving = holiday schedule in the middle of the week) to head over and kick it with the fam. I don’t have time write anything new (not that anyone’s reading today), so I thought I’d share last year’s Thanksgiving post (with a few minor edits) from my “old” blog:

Back when I lived in Houston, I spent several holidays in Baytown, Texas with my friend Monique. Baytown is about an hour east of the Big City on I-10 and is mostly known for its oil refineries and cheap gas–hardly bus-chick friendly. Still, I loved spending time with Monique’s family. Their daily contact and generations of history in the same state was exactly what I, a college student far from her own roots, needed. And it didn’t hurt that Miss Rachel (aka Moni’s grandmother) could cook as well as any human being ever to walk this earth.

My first holiday with my Moni’s family (Thanksgiving during my junior year) was also the first year I ate friend turkey. For those who don’t know, fried turkey is not breaded and cooked in individual pieces the way fried chicken is. It is injected with special seasonings and then deep-fried whole, so it comes out unbelievably flavorful and moist. It is so much better than traditional Thanksgiving turkey that once you’ve had it, you simply can’t go back. For the past 12 Thanksgivings, I’ve done my best not to.

Luckily, since I’ve moved back to Seattle, there have always been a handful of restaurants that will prepare fried turkeys for those of us who don’t have the skills, equipment, or fire-extinguishing capabilities to do it ourselves. I have been buying turkeys from Catfish Corner for a several years now, picking them up the day before and reheating them on Thanksgiving. This process has worked well for me every year but one.

Last year, I picked up my turkey when it was still just-fried warm. As I stood outside waiting for the 3 in the November cold, a wonderfully fragrant steam seeped through the plastic covering into the night air. Unfortunately, that steam kept right on escaping when I got on the bus, and although I sat in the front near the driver, everyone, including the people in the very back, could smell it. Folks started craning their necks to peer into my pan and calling to each other, “Mmm, mmm, mmm! That sure does smell good!” When we got to Harborview, a man drinking directly from a bottle of cough syrup sat next to me and asked if he could have a leg. Three nurses caught a whiff and started discussing their cooking plans for the evening. That 10-minute ride was excruciating for this painfully shy bus chick, who prefers to observe–not be the subject of–bus-wide discussions.

But oh, how I am wishing for those excruciating 10 minutes now! Today, I went to Catfish Corner to order a fried turkey only to be informed that they are not making them this year. Bus Nerd suggested we get a deep fryer and make one ourselves.

Is it too late to buy a ticket to Houston?