Not like it matters these days after Thanksgiving any more than it did the day of.
When you’ve got twenty-some-odd people (not a reference necessarily, although maybe, to personalities or their peculiarities) all seated at the beautifully decorated and wonderfully-food-already-spread tables awaiting only the turkey’s grand entrance, flipping at that moment the pages of a manual to avoid massacring one of the 40 million turkeys consumed by Americans on Thanksgiving was not on my mind.
Not touching the wrong button on the electric knife was.
I did that last Thanksgiving.
“Perfect for slicing meats, loaves and vegetables,” read the promo on the box. “Ergonomic handle designed for right- or left-handed people. Stainless steel blades with 1-touch pressure-activated on/off trigger.”
The problem was there were two triggers. The directions didn’t say what the other trigger was for.
Neither did my wife, except this year to say:
“Do not touch that other button.”
In her – thankfully – gentle, quiet manner, she reminded me to avoid what had happened before. The “other button” ejects the blades. With some force, I discovered.
Not so quiet was the comment from across the tables of assorted family and guests who, in that otherwise hushed silence, awaited with great anticipation the annual enactment officially heralding the beginning of the passing and the eating of the food: the slicing of the turkey.
This was the year I would get it right. In our ever-expanding household, what with new grandchildren and guests and friends of family, this was the year. My only contribution to this festive occasion – as I am most certainly not a cook – was to not mess up what should have been really quite simple.
There were, after all, only two buttons. One on top and one on bottom.
I listened carefully to my wife’s whispered instructions. I turned the electric knife over in my hand and observed the layout, noting one button was longer than the “other button.” I shifted the knife from my right hand to my left and reflected that sure enough, given the ergonomic handle, someone left-handed probably could do this as well as me.
And then, after this briefest of pauses to contemplate my next step, glancing up from the knife placed against the turkey and smiling back at all the happy faces turned upwards toward me where I stood at the head of the head table, I pushed the trigger.
It’s the uproarious laughter bouncing off the walls long after gathered family and friends have gone to their respective homes that make this time of year so special.
“You’ve gotta have the sharp edges of the knife toward the turkey.”