Of Burnt Turkey and Cherry Pie


Where to go when life is the pits

It’s that time of year when we set our minds on things we’re thankful for, like the chance to eat turkey until our waist bands threaten to snap. Food stories abound at Thanksgiving.

This is from JM: “The first time I cooked a turkey I was careful to wash and dry the bird before stuffing it and putting it in the oven. When I took it to the table and was spooning out the stuffing—out came the dishtowel I used to dry the inside of the bird! The stuffing was actually very moist so maybe roasting the turkey with a damp towel inside is more of a helpful hint than a disaster.”

Eddie says, “When I was little I encountered a mallard duck with a broken wing walking on the sidewalk. I brought it home and put it in the backyard. My dad and his dad had come to America from Poland and still had old-fashioned habits. When we sat down for Thanksgiving dinner I remarked about how tasty the turkey was. Dad went on to tell me that it wasn’t turkey I was eating.”

Sandra worked on a toll road answering the phone, collecting money and issuing toll tickets. One Thanksgiving, a woman called to ask about road conditions. Then she asked, “If my friend just left from exit twelve, what time should I put the turkey in?”

Well, here are five reasons to give thanks if that turkey’s been in too long and comes out looking like charcoal.

  1. No one will gain weight this year.
  2. Uninvited guests won’t show up again next year.
  3. You won’t have to face three weeks of turkey sandwiches.
  4. Guests will really appreciate your pumpkin pie.
  5. After dinner, the kids can use it as a football.

Thanksgiving days are often memorable because something went wrong. A flat tire or a flat dinner. But a grateful attitude can turn a mediocre meal into a fabulous feast. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I don’t know who’s coming for Thanksgiving, or if life has been the pits for you. But I do know firsthand that joy grows best in the soil of thanksgiving.

Speaking of the pits, Katy baked and served her first cherry pie at Thanksgiving. She laughs and says, “No one told me that canned cherries still had their pits. It was a dental death trap.”

Want to read more from Phil?

3 min read


Years ago, my son told me about something called Facebook. I said, “That’s the dumbest idea since the pogo stick….

3 min read

Plugged In

Back to School? Make sure you’re connected to the right source When the school year begins, I like to recall…

3 min read

Faithful Furry Friend

Marks on a tattered measuring chart in our pantry are proof: children grow up fast. Most nights Mojo the faithful…