I think it was Mae's first Thanksgiving way back in 2002 or was it 2003? It was Thanksgiving day and at that time we were still going to 2 or 3 Thanksgiving meals to please our families (especially with an infant) so this would have been the final meal for the day and thank goodness we had already eaten.
It started out with us arriving at my in-laws house and noticing several deer carcasses, some detached from their hides strewn about the yard in various stages of disassembly. Something very much to be expected from this group of men. My brother-in-law is an avid hunter and thinks it's sooooo damn funny to gross out the women with tales of shooting a fawn's mother, or the gruesome task of butchering the deer and asking "wanna help?" Maybe that's why he's not married anymore.
So we get in the house, I unwrap my sterile pumpkin pie and notice my father-in-law standing over the stove wearing his blaze orange hunting cap (which by the way never came off all evening) gnawing on a chunk of meat that he just removed from a boiling pot on the stove. I look at him, examine the meat and immediately think oh my god what the hell are we eating for dinner? Turns out that was not our Thanksgiving dinner, but it was the coveted deer heart. He stabs a shriveled up ventricle with his fork and says "Aliceson, try this, and grab me another beer." After about a minute of everyone convincing me to shove it in my mouth, I suck it up and take a bite. It wasn't too bad, a little chewy and awfully dense. I guess what should I expect from ORGAN MEAT?
Much to my delight, there was a turkey roasting in the oven with all the fixings. We all sit down to the completely expanded dining room table covered in Thanksgiving glory. They must have all been hungry after a day of deer slaying because that was the fastest prayer I have ever heard out of them other than the time at our wedding when we asked my Brother-in-law to bless the food and during his rambling into the microphone, he forgot! So after the hurried "Our Father" the food began to fly and believe me when I say fly it was because when my sister-in-law bit into a warm "tube biscuit" she realized that it was not cooked all the way through as did the rest of the gang, so my MIL, bless her heart, turns on the oven, grabs the baking sheet and says "throw em back on." In the midst of half-eaten biscuits sailing across the table someone bumps their head on the chandelier over the table and a bunch of dead bugs fall out of the fixture and into... the mashed potatoes. Grrross! I was apparently the only one who noticed and sounded like a real pain in the ass when I asked someone to scoop out the dried bugs, followed by a shout from my father-in-law in the kitchen of "it only hurts a little while" his standard response to almost anything. And you know what? He's right, none of us got sick.
Makes me look forward to this year's meal, although I think I will be cooking for them here. No heart, hopefully no dead bugs and heaven help me, no tube biscuits! Can't wait!
This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Butterball.