I don’t know how to make a turkey…WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?! I carefully re-read the instructions. Add one teaspoon of all purpose flour to baking bag to prevent it from exploding. Nothing about that sentence sounded right. I had spent the last forty minutes searching my client’s cabinets for all purpose flour to no avail and it was getting dangerously down to the wire if I wanted this turkey to be cooked by the time her family came over to eat. Finally, on the bottom shelf I spied a crumpled bag covered in white powder. Fingers crossed, I pulled it from the dark recesses of the cupboard. Damn. Bread flour. Well, here’s to hoping bread flour has the turkey bag explosion prevention ingredient.
Green bean casserole, an experimental stuffing concoction, mashed potatoes, Waldorf salad…I was freaking Martha Stewart without the insider trading rap sheet. Still, I had more than one moment as I rushed between care and cooking when I realized that I had probably taken on too much of a challenge. Especially considering the fact that after work, I had a five hour road trip to see my family.
My client had a rough night of pain, but she was still determined to enjoy Christmas Eve with her family and I was damn well determined to make certain it happened for her. There was no time for exploding turkeys. The day went by in a blur. By the time I had her washed, dressed, and comfortably resting in her chair, the green bean casserole was done, potatoes peeled and boiling, and potentially deadly exploding turkey in the oven. The kitchen was covered in apple and potato peels and I was covered in whatever the hell bread flour is and seriously questioning my sanity.
Finally, everything was done. The table was set. The stockings were stuffed with odds and ends that I picked up at the grocery store the day before, the tree was glowing. By the time her family arrived, all my client’s afternoon meds were finished and she could enjoy the time completely free of worries and I was able to breathe and relax a bit.
I watched everyone enjoy the feast, surprised and grateful at the spread on the table, including the turkey that I pulled out of the oven in one piece. I watched as they opened the gifts, laughing and making a mess of the wrapping paper. I listened as my client’s three year old granddaughter explained the very important role of Elsa in the movie Frozen. I watched the first happy Christmas my client has had in years and felt great pride in being a force behind it.
There is a lot about private care that isn’t a natural fit for me. But this day…this day that took a month of behind the scenes work from the Christmas decorating to the family dinner, is why I do what we do.