PSALM 104:34

May my meditation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ponderings of a lone, first time turkey chef...

Allen got off work at 4:00 on Thanksgiving and I planned to have a special turkey dinner around 5'ish

So....I planned to start my attack at 2:00.  But, when I looked in the fridge, this is what I found.

Seriously!  I put the silly thing in the fridge on Monday night!  Tuesday night I was worried that it wasn't de-thawing, so I put it in a bowl of water...and at 1:45PM on Thanksgiving, that water had a layer of ice!  "Whose refrigerator freezes water?  And why am I learning this on Thanksgiving?"

Next there was a frantic call to the woman who has made most of the turkeys I have previously eaten: "Gramma, I've got a problem.  My turkey is still half frozen and its time for it to be in the oven."

She assured me that it would be ok and that I might just have to cook it a little longer.  "Just check the temperature and go by that."

Ok, onward and upward...peeling the ice and wrapper off the bird revealed a new puzzle.

"What in the world is that?!" and "What in the WORLD do I do with it!?!?"

Oh, Sidenote:
Around noon I took rolls out of the freezer and placed them in a baking pan to thaw and rise.

Looks yummy right?  So, I'm really kitchen savvy and knew that placing these rolls in a warm place would make them rise and become nice and fluffy....and what place is warmer than the oven?   Oh yes, I was smart and put them in the oven.  However, when I turned the oven on to preheat it for turkey...I didn't take the half-risen rolls out.  Fail numero uno.  Half-risen rolls, half baked...means start over on the rolls...

Back to the turkey.  
I'm considering what should be done about the complex wiring around the feet and tail end section of the bird.  Will it melt?  Don't I have to remove some stuff?  Where is the stuff and why did they tie it up so tightly????

I messed around with the turkey's tetherings and opened up the hole where I presumed the extraneous nonessentials were located.  Inside was what appeared to be the (half frozen) intestines.  Yuck.  However, no heart, liver, kidneys, things I was expecting to find.  Oh, no, those were located in the front tucked under the neck.  Why?  Who knows?  

Second to Gramma:
"What do I do with all these plastic ties around the legs, will it melt?"
She assured me it was Ok to leave the plastic in place and also coached me on salt, pepper, butter, those types of things.

By this time it was almost 2:30 and the turkey was not even near the oven. The good thing about the delay was that it was helping the thawing problem.
Next: the butter injection that Allen specifically requested.

This is Tony's injectable butter.  Its DELICIOUS.  Highly recommended and very fun.  I felt like a nurse.  It was probably the most fun and exciting thing I did all day.  You just fill up the syringe, insert, and plump that turkey up with all the buttery goodness it can hold.
Finally at 2:45 the poor, violated, mostly thawed, injected bird, went in the oven.  The pan advertised that the ridges in its bottom would act as a built in tray.  My thoughts:  "Built in tray, my foot!"  It immediately smashed as soon as I put the heavy turkey in it...but it was in the oven and on its way to juicy perfection.

This is everything I cut/dug out of the carcass.  Blech and what a waste...couldn't that take this stuff and use it for dog food or something?  
Pepsi thinks that would be a wonderful idea.  She sat on my foot during the entire turkey preparation.

While I waited on the turkey and on Allen, I made a chocolate pie.  I was going to resist the urge this year.  I bought a pumpkin and didn't think we could possibly need two between only the two of us...but I talked to both Anna and my mom and they were making pies.  I love making pies and wanted my own Thanksgiving pie experience.  So, after checking my possible ingredients list, chocolate pie it was:

It turned out yummy.

We also had green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and of course, the second batch of rolls.

The turkey turned out tasting good and dinner was a success.  Next year, I really hope we get to be home with our families, but I'm definitely getting pretty independent on this whole cooking long as Gramma is on speed dial ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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