Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Thanksgiving Rooster

In a recent blog post, a friend wrote of two roosters owned by his nephew and niece, and the roosters' ultimate demise. Spoiler alert! The roosters are eventually cooked and eaten.

Dom's mentioning of the roosters being eaten reminded me of something from my childhhood. I can't recall the exact year. It was so long ago, that I am the only person in this story still living. My youngest brother and sister weren't even born yet, so that gives some of you an idea of just how long ago that was.

It wasn't my first Thanksgiving, but it's the first Thanksgiving I can remember, and I'm not 100% confident of the reliability of this memory. We - my parents, my brother Rod and myself - lived on what was then called Bankhead Highway in Atlanta. My parents didn't have a lot of money. We were so poor, in fact, that we could not afford a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Through the magic of movies and television, this five or six year-old knew one was supposed to have turkey on Thanksgiving, and I was surprised to learn that my mother had cooked a rooster. The story was, we were given the rooster by a friend of my Mother.

Looking back, this seems so odd to me. Not that we couldn't afford a turkey, but why we would have to eat a rooster rather than a hen. We had often eaten chicken.......why should this time be different?

At any rate, my mother prepared the rooster and put it in the oven for roasting. When the time came for carving the rooster, it was discovered that my mother had neglected to remove the innards before cooking the bird. The liver, gizzard, heart - the whole shebang were cooked inside the bird.

Thinking it might be, uh, foul, the entire rooster was thrown out.

After all these many years, I have to wonder how much of this story happened the way I remember. As I said earlier, it seems strange to me that we would have had to resort to rooster rather than chicken. Knowing my Dad, it's within the realm of possibility that he may have told my brother and me that it was a rooster. It could have very well have been a turkey, as far I know.

No comments: