Two years ago I didn't make any plans to celebrate Thanksgiving. I didn't think it would bother me, and I didn't think it was possible to find a turkey here. I was completely wrong on both counts.
Last year thinking that I had prepared enough in advance, I ordered a 10 lb. turkey from a butcher at the Albert Cuyp Market three weeks before the big day. The day I went to pick it up, I had my choice between two birds: a 7 lb. turkey or a 17 lb. turkey. What oven in the Netherlands is big enough to fit a 17 lb. turkey, I would like to know. So there I was, two days before our meal, stuck with the scrawny one. That butcher will never get my business again. The meal was a success, but there were no leftovers for sandwiches, which everyone knows is the best part.
This year, my father-in-law and I started making provisional plans in August. Yes, in August. He buys his chickens from a fabulous butcher, who specializes in poultry and wild game. The word in Dutch for such a butcher is a poelier. According to my dictionary, it's called a poulterer in English, but I'll admit that I've never used that word before. Before moving here, I never had the need to go to a butcher to buy a turkey, although I sometimes bought chicken from my "chicken lady" at the farmer's market. I guess I should have called her my poulterer. Anyway, my father-in-law's poelier assured him that she could get us a good bird, guaranteed to be the right size. Here I am, then, three weeks away from our big feast, making my shopping list and remaining calm as the "to do" list for the day keeps growing. Yea for Thanksgiving plans!