My wife and I are pictured here last Halloween. I’m the one on the left, wearing the oven and thrusting forth my five-month pregnant belly to make the turkey stick out just a little bit more. My wife is on the right, turkey baster in hand with her chef hat reaching toward the sky. She’s wearing an eager expression, knowing our lives are about to change forever.
Our daughter was just our “turkey in the oven” then. We were two ladies in love who wanted so much to start a family together. Halloween fell around the time that we finally felt confident that the pregnancy was going well and we were actually going to have a baby. We had told the people we were close with we were pregnant and thought this costume would make it clear to everyone else (neighbors, the mailman, ladies that sit on the wall outside of the elder apartments, etc.)…it didn’t. At our annual Halloween block party, we received a lot of compliments on our costume, like “wow, that looks like a real chicken!” or “are you really a chef?” but not many people actually got it.
Nearly a year later I look back on this picture and realize how lucky we are that our turkey basting was successful. Our daughter is incredible. She is brilliant, beautiful, strong and sweet and makes each day better than the last. The neighbors, mailman and elderly ladies are still confused when the three of us in the neighborhood, but it doesn’t matter. They are still delighted to see our little girl, and she giggles and smiles loves saying hi to all of them as well. We love our community even when they are confused by our family.
To create this Chef and Turkey in the Oven pregnancy costume , we began at a Savers thrift store, where we happened upon a Thanksgiving turkey hat and a chef’s coat and some checkered pants. Inspiration took hold! We then took to Family Dollar, where we purchased a $1 turkey baster. The rest was put together with paper, cardboard, tape, glue and permanent markers. The turkey hat was sewn onto a “Bella band,” and supported by a tin baking sheet. I think we sewed the turkey to the baking sheet as well. The Bella band system allowed total freedom of movement of the turkey within the oven. It was really fun to make the turkey gyrate suddenly whenever someone reached out to touch it (for it was irresistible, I was told). We took a paper towel box (graciously donated by Family Dollar), attacked it with a glue stick and covered it with white paper. Then we drew on some stove knobs with a sharpie and attached some suspenders on the inside of the box to make it easy to wear. The open oven door is held open and straight out by two pieces of string.
The chef hat was made with stiff white paper (cardstock?) accordion-folded and wrapped into a circle with more paper folded over the top and bottom edges for banding. Don’t worry – the turkey baster pictured had no role in the conception of our child…that’s not really the tool of choice but we enjoyed exploiting the expression.