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  • Writer's pictureCrazy Jar Lady

Splitting the Turkey

Scrolling through bookface this morning, I was reminded of what was almost a tradition when I was a kid... Dad had a BIG metal saw in his shop. That thing is about 8 feet tall and it's a beast when it runs; yes I still have it. (Hold tight, this is information you need.) Mom and Dad used to drive to town and get groceries every Monday. What you couldn't get on Monday, you didn't get til next Monday. So the Monday before Thanksgiving, the largest turkey Dad could find (and for the cheapest price per pound) would be put into the cart. Mom didn't need an entire 40 pound "damn dead bird" as she called it. These were the days before large roaster ovens were readily available. She had to fit this thing in her oven. By Tuesday, Dad was put to the task of finding a way to fit the thing in the oven. He was nothing if not creative and a problem solver. His solution? Saw the sucker in half. We didn't have a meat saw, but we had that big metal saw in the shop....

So I was always tagging along with Dad and since he had this problem to solve, he hauled me and the bird to the shop in his farm truck. We were not prepared. He turned the saw on, sawed the turkey in half and hauled me and the 2 parts of the bird back home. In the farm truck. It was only a mile...

Mom took one look at the sawed in half, still frozen bird and lost her mind. There was grease and probably metal shavings all over the cut portion. Along with a bunch of dirt all over the packaging on the outside. Yes, he cut through the giblets and the plastic and everything. In his mind, he has solved the problem, and went back out to work. We couldn't go get another turkey, it wasn't Monday and family was coming Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner. I stood at the sink and rinsed that thing with so much hot water that I finally got the giblets out. Needless to say, we didn't have giblet gravy that year. The turkey was fine, no metal shavings, no dirt or grease.

After that fiasco, we sawed the turkey in half each year until Mom got a free standing roaster oven. Dad and I did remember to take a towel with us and clean the blade BEFORE we sawed the bird.

At one point, I remember my Aunt was given something, either a big ham or turkey and she asked us to saw it in half for her.... It became a thing!

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