‘Dear Abbey, I Have a Question for Y’All’
With the monstrous turkey cooling on the counter next to me, I worked to extract the drippings out of a pot so as not to suck fat into my gravy pump. Across from me, waiting for a glass of wine, was one of our guests who came to “help.”
This guest is an acquaintance of ours from the community of Russians who have moved to Portugal since the war. My wife sees her at group lunches, and occasionally, her three kids play with our son, but the friendship is not much closer than that.
“My husband will bring containers for us to take meat home. I hope that is okay?” She said, causing me almost to drop my gravy pump.
My turkey was a record-breaking monster. It was the largest I had ever prepared. Coming in at 32 pounds, I struggled to carry home from the corner meat store. Twenty-nine guests were on their way, and I have to admit the request from someone who didn’t even offer my wife a cup of tea or coffee when she was invited over with my son to check out their hamsters created a minor irritation for me. It hung there until the guests started pouring in, and then I forgot about it.
The next day, I joked with my wife while carving the rest of the turkey and putting it in containers for freezing for future dinners, soup, and a lovely lunch of turkey salad.
“Good thing we didn’t give Svetlana any turkey last night.”
“Well, actually,” my wife began, “when they were getting ready to leave, she walked over to me with the container and asked to put turkey in it.”
My wife doesn’t carve whole birds well, and caught up with my guests and the wine, I had decided carving would be carried out the next day. My wife put a turkey leg and a wing in the container for her. More, she said, would only be ready during the weekend.
I have dinner parties a lot. I make tremendous amounts of food, sometimes three and four main dishes with sides for up to 30 people. I love cooking and love entertaining. No one ever leaves my house hungry, and even though money is tight, having lost my primary market, Russia — and Medium income — I can’t not entertain. It’s just…