We have a system, most of it involving crude humor as we shove delicious balls of bread and meat into a gaping carcass. My mother’s Portuguese sausage and bacon stuffing is the primary reason we make a turkey at all. It’s a delicious roasting pan that doubles as a side dish. In my family, for as long as I can remember, the stuffing is always king.
Usually Celine makes compact balls of deliciousness and pops them into my disgusting, buttery hands. I shove the ball into the bird and make grotesque noises and talk about fisting. We laugh until tears fill our eyes and I have to wipe them away on my shoulder. We invoke the scoldings we used to get from our mother, filling our mouths with her Islander voice.
“E, get yo’ hands outta dea,” we say, an exaggerated mimic. “You make it all sow-ah’.” Sour.
And then I shove both my hands into a dead bird.