On Tuesday I exited another hot yoga class with my friend Megan and thought, "I really love being bad at things." Which I then cataloged as a "weird thought."
I've written before about how I've found joy in not excelling in my hobbies. Any long time reader of my blogs knows that I run slowly and I'm ok with it. There are just some things that I've been able to untangle my identity from and truly enjoy despite potentially embarrassing myself.
There's also so much joy in doing something that seemed impossible. Megan and I have both discussed our appreciation that you're not allowed to leave yoga class early because otherwise we would just quit.
Here's a sweet picture of me and some RUF students after the Pittsburgh 10 miler. I walked the last three miles while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and hoping that my legs would not fall out of my hips.
Another bucket list item I crossed off in the last month was I cooked a turkey. It was way easier and less dramatic that everyone made it out to be. And it was so beautiful. Like I kept showing pictures of it to my friends during Friendsgiving. And at church this morning. And this afternoon.
How to make a no-drama Turkey
- Tell everyone you are in charge of the turkey for Friendsgiving and that you've never made a turkey before. This will lower your friends' expectations, and all the moms you know will give you all their pro tips.
- Buy your turkey in advance. The internet was very strong in this suggestion. Get the cheap one from Trader Joe's. You've already lowered everyone's expectations, why raise your credit card statement?
- Remind everyone that this is your first turkey.
- After you've researched all the thawing instructions on the internet, and had a minor freakout, take the turkey out of the fridge several hours before the dinner.
- Brace yourself for gutting the turkey. Our sweet turkey only had a neck and giblets. It was disgusting and I made my nurse-roommate help me because she is more accustomed to bodies.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Remind your friends that you love them so much that your willing to touch raw meat for them. Then start seasoning the turkey.
- Fill the "cavity" with 1/2 lemon. A ton of onions, carrots, and apples.
- Then realize that you forgot to add spices, so cram in salt, pepper, parsley, and basil.
- Rub Crisco all over. This Katharine Ritter pro-tip came to me by way of Sarah Howard, and I think really did the trick.
- Season the outside, again, try not to think about the raw-meat factor.
- Gently slide your turkey into an oven bag and throw in extra onions, apples and carrots and the rest of the lemon. This really helps your turkey look pretty later.
- Discover a little cranberry juice in the fridge, and pour appx. 1/4 cup in the bag for good measure.
- Using craft twine you bought sophomore year of college, tie the feet of the turkey together, and close the oven bag, set your turkey on the turkey pan you are borrowing from your new best mom-friend at church. (Kimberly also has an amazing blog that you should check out. And she and her husband are Baylor grads, so you know they're solid.)
- Speak sweet affirmations to the turkey and slide it into the oven. Gweneth Paltrow is all about this with make-up. I have never followed any of her other instructions in life until this turkey.
- The internet was also very mixed about how long it takes to cook a turkey. Ours was 18.44 pounds, and took 3.5 hours. I poked a ton of holes in the oven bag. And about one hour into the roast realized I didn't put flour in the bag as per the directions, so I just prayed the plastic wouldn't melt to the turkey and ruin friendsgiving. It didn't.
- Cook the turkey until your meat thermometer reads 165 in multiple places on the bird.
- Allow the turkey to hang out outside of the oven for at least an hour before serving.
- Make one of your guy friends cut the turkey when it comes time. You pulled a raw neck out of a bird's butt earlier, don't fret about pulling it's cooked bones a part. This is why God puts us in community with one another.
- Accept all compliments on the turkey. This is key. Don't make eye contact with your friends as their taking their first bites and try to read their minds. It doesn't work.
Here is the hard thing about hospitality, and organizing Friendsgiving, and really life. You can't control people. You can only love them. You can't control outcomes. You can only pray for the best, prepare for the worst, and show off your accomplishments on your blog that all your mom's friends read.
I'm learning that in owning failures and victories, I have more space to own my failure before the thrown of God, and rest in the victory of Christ.