Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jazz and Irma Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

"I have to do what?" A horrified Jazz stared at the pale-skinned turkey lying on the counter.
"You have to reach inside the cavity and take out the giblets." Irma peered over her shoulder sending a shock of cold through Jazz’s body.
When Jazz broke down and asked Irma to help her cook Thanksgiving dinner, she had no idea it would involve putting her hands inside a raw turkey and pull its guts out. Can you spell euww!
She settled for sticking her hands inside two plastic bags before sticking them inside the turkey's butt. She kept her eyes closed and mouth scrunched up as she scooped out the innards.
"This is disgusting!"
"Perhaps if you'd cooked more often and not been out there doing witchy things, you'd know what to do in cooking a proper meal."
"Spare me from self-righteous spirits," Jazz muttered, dumping the giblets and the neck in the sink. She quickly peeled off the bags and dropped them in the trash.
"And don't forget to wash your hands thoroughly since you just handled raw poultry."
Jazz paused in wiping her hands on her jeans and reached for the hand soap instead.
"How big is the turkey?" Irma asked, pursing her Tangeed lips. While she now wore clothing designed for this century instead of the last, she still enjoyed some of her 1950s make up.
Jazz stared at the pale bird. "Big."
Irma sighed. "No, how many pounds."
"I don't know. I didn't exactly put it on a scale!"
"Then look at the wrapper! You determine the time it takes to cook it according to the number of pounds. We always bought our turkeys at the Farris Turkey Ranch. Such beautiful birds too."
Jazz ignored Irma reminiscing about the good old days when she was still alive. "Yeah yeah. Okay, the bird is twenty-three pounds since Krebs wants lots of leftovers and Stasi and Blair are coming down for dinner."
"Are you stuffing it? If you are, it will take longer to cook."
"Stuffing it? I just took stuff out of it!" Witches normally didn't get headaches but Jazz was well on her way to a doozy.
"And you make up a nice stuffing to put into the turkey cavity. There's cornbread stuffing, oyster, herb. Take your choice."
"Then I choose Stove-Top which I can put in the microwave and it doesn't have to go anywhere near a turkey's nether regions."
"That's not stuffing! That's pieces of Lord knows what in a box!"
Jazz studied the red and yellow box. "The box stays stuffing, it's stuffing."
Under Irma's guidance Jazz had the turkey rubbed with butter and herbs, placed in a large electric roaster, and the timer set.
"Off the counter!" She ordered Fluff and Puff as the bunny slippers scampered up to investigate what was going on. She gave each them of a piece of licorice root for a treat and watched them retreat to a corner of the kitchen.
"Brown sugar, molasses is nice and miniature marshmallows for the top of the candied yams," Irma told her. "Are you making cranberry sauce?"
Jazz held up two cans. "Jellied and whole-berry."
"You modern girls rely too much on canned goods. I always bought my cranberries and made my own sauce with ginger and a hint of orange peel." Irma's face seemed to fill the entire screen. "Does that jar say gravy? You can make it from the drippings! You picked up butter and cream for the mashed potatoes, didn't you? And I mean real butter, not that oleo or what you call margarine now. We had to use oleo during the war and it had no taste. Also did you pick up the makings for the green bean casserole? That's a classic dish for Thanksgiving. The French-fried onion strings make it look so fancy. Please don't tell me that tube holds biscuits? I made my biscuits from scratch. Harold said they tasted light as a feather."
"Light as a feather biscuits sure didn't keep your husband in line, did it?" Jazz muttered.
"Maybe if you worried less about eliminating curses you'd have a man to cook for! Look at that! You're not even using real whipped cream for the pumpkin pie."
Jazz flicked her fingers at the screen and muted the audio. She smiled at the picture of Irma talking away. "Ah, silence."
All too soon, she realized she did need help. She flicked her fingers at the screen again.
"You are a very rude girl," Irma huffed. "You asked for my help and I was only too willing to give it, yet on a whim you shut me off. Perhaps I should return to my program. Rachael Ray is coming on soon. She knows how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner."
Jazz briefly considered zapping Irma back to the garate, but since she needed the spirit's help, she didn't dare. Irma was a ghost who could hold a grudge with the best of them and Jazz wasn't even halfway through preparing dinner. She looked at the cans, jars and bowls scattered across the counters. Nothing had ever looked so intimidating.
And all because she wanted to do something nice for Krebs this year and give him a family-type dinner.
"Fine, I'm sorry I muted you. I lost my mind." Which she had in planning this dinner.
"I forgive you." A lit cigarette appeared between Irma's white-gloved fingers. "Now, you need to melt some butter to use in basting the turkey."
Jazz's head spun with the rapid-fire instructions Irma shot at her. And every time she started a new task she was tempted to use her magick.
"No wonder Samantha Stevens kept breaking her word in not using her magick," she muttered, mentally envisioning the potato peeler under six feet of concrete.
By the time the timer for the turkey went off, Jazz was ready for a nap.
"Where's our feast?" Krebs asked, coming into the kitchen with Jazz's sister witches, Stasi and Blair on his heels. "Do you want me to carry the turkey into the dining room?"
She waved her hand at the roaster. "Knock yourself out."
Except as Krebs lifted the turkey out of the roaster it looked more pink than golden.
"What did you do to it?" Irma demanded from the TV screen.
Jazz was horrified. "I cooked it! 5 ½ hours at 225."
"You cook it at 325!" Irma shouted. "That bird is still raw."
With a flick of the wrist, Jazz shut off the TV, faced the turkey, saying "Forget the book. Forget the look. Damn turkey needs to be cooked, because I say so damn it!"
In the wink of an eye, the turkey turned a well-cooked golden brown. Just as fast the food disappeared from the kitchen, leaving it clean and neat and reappeared on the dining room table.
Jazz snatched up a dark green bottle and marched into the other room. "I'll bring the wine."
Hopefully your Thanksgiving will be filled with good food, good friends and family and maybe a glass or four of wine.

Happy Thanksgiving from Linda and Jazz

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