Friday, November 23, 2012

Dinde Entier

Last year, we skipped Thanksgiving.  No turkey, no stuffing, no pumpkin pie.  We had only been in France a few months, and it was just another Thursday.  This year, however, we decided to give it the good ol' American effort.  First task - acquire a turkey.

If you're American or live in the US, you probably have not spent a lot of time considering that there is only one time of year when whole turkeys are widely available, and widely consumed.  Consider a country where Thanksgiving doesn't exist - like, say, France - and you suddenly realize there is no time of year in which one can presume to find a turkey by just walking into a store. 

I assigned Mr. Oil the role of Head Turkey Hunter, since it would involve calling the butcher and I still have not quite gotten over my reluctance (read: total avoidance) of speaking in French on the phone.  In the first phone call, the butcher said that he would work on getting a turkey and get back to us.  When we hadn't heard anything a few days later, we placed the second call.  We were then told that he had acquired a 12 kilo turkey (that's 26 pounds), and he knew that would be too big for our needs.  Which, while presumptuous, was in fact true. 

When Mr. Oil called the third time, the woman who works at the cash register (it's the same woman every time we've ever been to the butcher) answered and then, placing her hand over the receiver, shouted, "C'est Monsieur Oil, le dinde entier!" (It's Mr. Oil, the whole turkey!)  We were pretty sure our message had been received.

I went to pick up our turkey on Thanksgiving Day (we are having belated Thanksgiving dinner this weekend).  When it came to my turn at the counter, I explained that my husband - though I did not give our name - had called about a whole turkey.  The butcher helping me (there are 3-5 men who work behind the counter) nodded in recognition. "Monsieur Oil," he said, "le dinde entier." 

Right, that's us, the nagging Americans who want a whole turkey for some reason that is likely still unclear to our kosher butcher shop.  In the end, though, I shoved an eleven-pound turkey underneath the stroller while Baby Oil helpfully said, "Boggle boggle."  This is Baby Oil's version of "Gobble gobble" - either that, or he knows he is destined to be a mastermind at the word game Boggle just like his mom.  "Boggle boggle" wasn't terribly explanatory to the butcher, but I just gave my best, "Hey, we're crazy stupid Americans!" smile, and we took that turkey home. 

And if you're wondering - we brought back pureed pumpkin and cranberry sauce from the US last week.  Boggle boggle to all - happy Thanksgiving!