Today my to-do list included the following item: Make Turkey Stock. Actually, it was on my to-do list yesterday as well, but after I had crossed off every other item (including Pay Bills and Catch up on Laundry), the Turkey Stock remained. I decided to procrastinate. After all, you can’t very well start making turkey stock at 9 o’clock at night, right?
But you can only ignore a turkey carcass for so long. After all, it takes up half my refrigerator. So as the new day dawned, I knew it was inevitable: today was the day. I could no longer avoid his picked-over presence.
Of all my domestic duties, making turkey stock is one of my least favorite. There’s something about getting up to my elbows in turkey grease that makes me feel like a culinary martyr. Boiling the rich marrow and gelatin out of the bones and separating all the fat and skin from every scrap of useful meat sounds very frugal and sustainable and healthy. I love the idea of having all that marvelous broth measured out into containers and stacked up neatly in my freezer. I can think up a million dinners I’m going to make with the meat I’ve scavenged off the bones.
But. I. Hate. Doing. It.
I don’t like the smell of the turkey, and I don’t like the fat, and I absolutely hate all the stringy tendons and membranes and bits of turkey anatomy that I can’t quite identify once it’s been brined and roasted and sliced and served and eaten before making its way to my stock pot. I don’t like the mess of pots and pans and strainers and containers that litter my kitchen every time there’s a turkey to dismantle. I dread skimming turkey fat off the top of the stock, and I never quite know what to do with the leftover bones.
I think I’m going to become a vegetarian.
Instead, I have to “mom up” and do what needs to be done. That’s what we moms do, after all. Countless times every day, we do what needs to be done even when we’d rather do something else. At least until our children are big enough that we can call it a “chore” and make them do it. This, incidentally, is my long-term solution to the turkey carcass problem.
Since my only child of turkey deconstructing age was conveniently preoccupied with some excuse she called The Fourth Grade, I had to do this job myself. So after I cleaned out the cat box and organized my cupboard of plastic storage containers and vacuumed the blinds, I got right on that turkey with nary a thought to putting it off a moment longer.
I stood by the kitchen counter, tryptophan oozing through my veins, and I thought to myself, this is how polygamy got started. Some guy came home and found his wife picking meat off a turkey and he said to her, “Wouldn’t it be great if you had some help with that?” and WHAM! She found herself sharing a last name with some gal from town who liked to boil things.
It’s not a bad idea, really. If there was another wife around here I’d definitely let her make the turkey stock while I educated myself on various herbs that may or may not be poisonous in order to concoct some homemade teas which may or may not be fatal if consumed by a second wife who may or may not live to regret ever having come in contact with my husband.
But I’d let her finish the stock first. After all, it is my least favorite chore, and second wives don’t come around every day.