—From EF—

I made a major booboo and missed a deadline. Personal income tax returns are due April 15th, and until 2015 that was true for partnership returns too. Then the IRS moved the partnership due date up to March 15th, because the income from the partnership is part of what gets taxed on your personal returns. (You don’t pay tax with the partnership return, you just declare the income.) When the IRS is reviewing your Form 1040, they want to know ahead of time what you got from your partnership. For fifty-five years my panic date had been April 15th, old habits die hard, and this year I screwed up.

To complicate things, I started to write the memoir right when Covid hit. The creative side of my life claimed a bigger chunk of my consciousness right when everything else was coming unglued, and my normal accounting routines fizzled. I managed the March 15th deadlines for 2020 and 2021 by shortcuts that were accurate, but the data was in a scraggly form. With two years of records all over the place I had a hard time getting it all together for 2022. I could either punt again or pay my dues by stuffing three years of figures into the right Excel sheets. I said “enough already” and started going through old stacks and files and doing two extra years of data entry.

So what about the turkey necks? I rely heavily on a local independent market that has high-quality meat and regularly discounts older packages into a sale bin. I saw a huge bunch of turkey necks marked way down, and I couldn’t resist. I took them home and put them in the pressure cooker Friday night, and trusted I’d figure out what to do with the soup on Saturday.  

I like to cook, and I’m good at it, but meal planning is not my strong point: I look at the fridge and figure day by day what I might put on the table. These days I am moved more by necessity and available time, but when Saturday morning came and I found a package of two huge turkey thighs at the market, inspiration struck. I found myself moving onto a path of culinary creativity in spite of my accounting obligations. I took these big buggers home, mashed them together skin side out and roasted them like a whole bird.

Meanwhile, the unadorned soup got drained of bones, adorned by onion and celery, black peppercorns, bay leaf and carrots, simmered and reduced, and the whole house smelled divine. I was in the middle of complicated maneuvers with accounting entries and something wasn’t balancing, but nevertheless I went back to the market, bought mushrooms, scallions, sugar snap peas, and a charming form of pasta called orechiette (litttle ears). I chopped and diced veggies and bank records and turkey and by mealtime came out with a balanced spreadsheet and a divine dinner. Let’s hear it for multitasking.


Share This