Saturday, April 3, 2010

#40: Host Thanksgiving dinner wherein I cook the turkey

Ok, technically it was more like Easter dinner, but the list said 'Thanksgiving' so we had 'Thanksgiving in Spring.'

Several weeks prior:  Get free turkey for spending normal amount of money at Superstore.  Gloat to anyone who will listen.

Two days prior:  Realize that turkey is not, as I thought, ten-ish pounds, but closer to seventeen-ish pounds.  Enough pounds to break the scale, anyways, as it is clearly not 0.2 pounds.  Probably should have moved it to the fridge three days ago.

One day prior:  Defrost, damn you.

7:00 am:  Frantically water-bathe turkey in effort to defrost fully, despite internet's warning that this will spawn bacteria and kill all my nearest and dearest.

8:00 am:  Turkey still very frozen.

9:00 am:  Turkey less frozen in outer inch or so.  Probably bruised from all the froze-testing poking.

10:00 am:  Internet search for 'Can I just cook a partially-frozen turkey for, like, longer' returns unanimous internet-shrieks of 'No!  You have ruined Thanskgiving.'  Internet = Eyore.  Fortunately, this is not technically Thanksgiving and cannot therefore technically be ruined.

11:00 am:  Turkey still pretty frozenish; make pie to assuage anxiety re: frozenish turkey.  Also, for dessert.

12:00 pm:  Pie is, at least, successful.

12:15 pm:  Figure turkey as as thawed as is going to get.  Turkeys are way grosser than anticipated.  They are very...bird-like.  I am not used to meat that's still on its body.  Internet is contradictory re: turkey prep.  Butter the skin?  Butter under the skin?  Cover roasting pan?  Don't cover?  Baste?  Am going with simplest method: give butter massage, ram onion into surprisingly small cavity, feel bad about the ramming because the turkey is very bird-like, cover with tinfoil.  Cook at high heat to seal in juices (and kill off any bacteria resulting from water bath) and then slow roast for HOURS because the inside?  Still frozen.

1:00 pm:  Turn down heat, resist temptation to peek at turkey.

2:00 pm:  Feel bizarre just leaving this thing in the oven for so long and not having to, you know, do anything to it.  Peek.  Turkey appears to be sweating butter.

3:00 pm:  Can't stop peeking.

4:00 pm:  Really, guys.  My oven is on, but I'm ignoring it and feeling uncomfortable.

5:00 pm:  Uncover turkey just for something to do.  Also, to encrispen skin.  Ponder how people make turkey and other things in oven, as turkey IS oven.

6:00 pm:  Stab turkey with thermometer.  Survey says: none of my friends will die if they eat this meat.

6:15 pm:  Potatoes and veggies arrive, with guests.

6:20 pm:  Carve off turkey bits until you get to the bits where it starts to look underdone.  Leave those parts to be dealt with later.

6:25 pm:  Gravy and stuffing arrive, with guests.

6:30 pm:  Have Thanksgiving in Spring.  Hope that no one dies tomorrow.

The Day After: Unexpected Delights

Strip carcass of remaining meat.  With hands.  Feel savage.

Make stock in comically large stock pot, which doesn't seem so comically large any more.

Make many turkey pot pies, of varying sizes.  Put in freezer.

Make turkey noodle soup that is mostly turkey.  For eating and for freezer.

Throw remainder of turkey (!!!) in freezer for, I don't know, turkey chili or something.  Later.

Eat last piece of pie for lunch because all this Little House on the Prairie shit is hard work.

1 comment:

Rhiannon said...

I'm in tears. So likely the first experience of all turkey cookers.

I was so grossed out about sticking my hand up it's anus that I did not. Alas, turns out there was a neck and a baggie of assorted inards in there. They started to slip out the neck flap while basting, hours later.
Only the Vegan friend saw (I said nothing to the other guests), I think it helped keep her vegan.