Will run for food..

I'm standing on the boardwalk, the cold wind is biting into my reddened cheeks and my eyes are watering mercilessly. The surf is rolling in the distance, and the wooden planks beneath my feet are thrumming with the rhythm of eager footsteps. Does this all seem a little familiar?

So, as if it wasn't enough for my sweetie to begin the running season with a gust of icy wind in his face, he's decided to end his season with one as well. On a chilly Sunday morning, we made our way to the Cosme's Coney Island 5K Turkey Trot, for what we believed would be a spirited and entertaining competition. What we encountered instead were about sixty hardy souls shivering on the boardwalk, waiting for the race to begin.

As I surveyed the group, I picked out one or two individuals who appeared to be capable of besting my beloved in this footrace, and I immediately became confident that we would once again be bringing home some 'hardware'. And then I remembered! A glance at the race brochure confirmed my growing apprehension. For this particular race, the prize, awarded to the first three finishers of both sexes was - A BUTTERBALL TURKEY.

Yes indeed, I had forced myself from a warm, comfy bed, to travel to the very edge of the city, to watch my boyfriend run 3.1 miles for fourteen pounds of frozen poultry. Always being one to make the best of a bad situation (stop giggling), I began quietly planning the methods by which I could thaw, butcher and cook the bird in question within a 12 hour period. The reason for such a rush was two-fold:
  1. Our refrigerator is 3 feet tall, and I wasn't willing to gamble that it could safely house such a large item, and

  2. Even if it could fit in the fridge, it would thaw just in time for Thanksgiving, when we would be about thirty miles away in the process of consuming another turkey, lovingly prepared by the future mother-in-law.
So, I had to find a way to mitigate the sheer 'turkeyness' of our situation. It goes without saying that I entertained the thought of asking my boyfriend to come in 4th on purpose, and lest you think me a vile shrew for even allowing such a thing to enter my mind, my lovely speed-demon confided in me after the race that he also seriously considered slowing to a crawl once the finish-line was in sight, and the prospect of having to eat nothing but turkey-based meals for the next five days became a very strong possibility.

Yet there he was, effortlessly sailing across the finish line in third place. Our fate was sealed, and so was my plan. The wings and back would be made into a stock, the legs and thighs would be stewed, and the breast would be roasted whole. As we rode the subway home, with a rock-hard bird at our feet, desperately searching the eyes of our fellow passengers for the tiniest shred of envy, longing, or even hunger, eager for any opportunity to spring forth, turkey in outstretched arms and proclaim "Please take this, you look like you need it more than we do!" reality tightened around my heart. We were stuck with this bird, and there was nothing, short of tossing it in the garbage, that we could do to get rid of it.

For the next two hours, I crouched over the frozen mass, running warm water over it, first in the bathtub, then in the sink, coaxing, clawing and heaving its joints into fluidity.

Here I must strenuously interject that this is a highly dangerous method of thawing raw meat, and should never be attempted in any situation - do as I say, not as I do!

Once freed from the ice, it was only a matter of minutes before the various parts were severed, seasoned and dispatched to their various cooking vessels, and I was able to collapse, wild-eyed and trembling, into the sofa for a few restless hours, to await the outcome of my efforts.

It has been one week since that fateful day, and not including Thanksgiving night, we have consumed a total of six turkey meals each. And to my surprise, each and every one of them was absolutely delicious. But tasty or not, there are limits as to how much gobble-gobble a girl can gobble in a week. The few remaining shreds of meat will be discarded tonight (I've been afraid to open the fridge for the last few days). And this story will become fodder for drunken conversations for many months to come. Until the next Turkey Trot, when I will be fully prepared, crouched on the boardwalk, bee bee gun in hand, aiming carefully and steadily at my boyfriend's kneecaps.
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