Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 17:05
An infatuation started with something I have had very little to do up until then. As a child cooking was not the main focus in our household. Eating however was. No shortage of delicious fresh produce, in abundance, tables heaving under its weight. Meals appeared as if by magic, prepared lovingly somewhere else. Like clockwork three times a day always served at set times. No older than eight or nine at the time when an aunt of mine prepared a ‘Magic Turkey’ I have never had turkey in my life let alone a turkey stuffed with a variety of other fowl! Somehow perplexed I went to bed on Christmas Eve contemplating the bird, Santa’s offering somewhere in the back of my mind. Up bright and early going through the motions but still only one request from my lips ‘can I see the turkey?’ The anticipation was getting the better of me. The smell of something roasting in the wood-burning oven was the clue that this turkey could be for real. And then it appeared. A giant golden bird. Defeated on its back, heavy with promise. An explanation preceded the carving ceremony. The turkey we see before us was stuffed with a goose, in turn stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with a pheasant, stuffed with a quail and lastly a pigeon with a couple of quail’s eggs in its cavity! After a short enthusiastic applause the carving commenced. Slivers of different coloured meat like a monochromatic rainbow fell on the serving plate. Elegant, not like the struggle between a grown man armed with large, sharp utensils and some greasy bird I was accustomed to. My enquiring mind very nearly at rest by now. One last question: “Where are the bones?” Maybe it was the seven white wishbones arranged on a dainty plate that reminded me? The birds were de-boned was the answer came from my aunt. Great! Now I know it is possible to create a ‘Magic Turkey’ with some human intervention, but how on earth do you shake the bones out of a duck I wondered?