Thank God the gentleman caller didn’t show up.
Because I cooked The Worst Turkey Ever.
Also the most expensive. What was I thinking?
Well, I was thinking (and this is for you, RomComDojo, because I know you’ll understand):
- This is the year of Rotten Romaine and Terrifying Turkey, so,
- after throwing away ten bucks worth of Romaine lettuce because of the e-coli scare, I’m damned if I’m going to make us sick from salmonella turkey, so
- how about an organic turkey? organic turkey farms must be safer, right?, yet
- organic turkey was obscenely expensive; nevertheless,
- it’s worth it if it will help me not worry about it, right? so
- buy it anyway, because it is smaller for just the two of us even though it is OBSCENELY EXPENSIVE, but
- even though it had been in the fridge for three days the damn thing wasn’t completely defrosted when I opened it to get the giblets out for the gravy, so
- I put on nitrile gloves and put the bird in an aluminum pan in the sink remembering that even though this was an organic bird it was still a Terrifying Turkey that was Potentially Poisonous and I dug out the giblets for the gravy while I took note of any surface or object that might have got splashed with Terrifying Turkey juice so I could wipe it down with antibacterial wipes, and put the bird back in the fridge to keep defrosting and started the stock, which smelled really good and used my home-grown herbs, so yay me we got that good Thanksgiving smell in the house, however
- it was the day after Thanksgiving which meant I needed to put up the Christmas lights, and it was not cold outside, which it will be next week, so yay me for getting that done, with help from my angelic, patient, hungry daughter, except
- I got behind schedule on our day plan and realized that I needed to get the bird in the oven right away so I was little rushed, but I still
- noticed this bird seemed greasy, and a little discolored on the legs but I put that down to being more “natural” and “free range” and “organic” besides
- even though the instructions on the plastic that had encased the bird said to rinse it, all the Terrifying Turkey warnings said don’t do that, but then I
- realized I can’t get the salt and pepper in the thing without touching the salt and pepper containers with the gloves I was wearing that already had Terrifying Turkey grease all over them so I
- take off one glove and open the salt and pepper one handed with help from my chin and then
- realize I also wanted to butter it all over and inside and say hell with it I have anti-bacterial wipes so
- take off the gloves and shove butter under the skin and rub it all over with it and somehow get it in the oven using my elbows and then
- rub all over the sink and countertops with disinfecting wipes, even waiting 10 minutes to rinse, so yay me and
- I cook at 425 for 15 minutes to seal in juices before I reduce the heat however
- I realized the instruction said 325 and I started to wonder whether the plastic thingee that that had held the legs together but could not be removed from the turkey was ok at 425 or will the plastic break down and poison us even if the turkey doesn’t? oh hell with it it’s already done and who needs instructions anyway I’ve been cooking beautiful turkeys for 30 years, plus
- some article I read said you don’t really need to baste it just lets the heat out of the oven so OK I won’t and then
- my god that looks really brown and where are the juices in the pan? so I basted it once anyway then
- I noticed it really looked like it was drying up even though the timer said it needed 45 more minutes so try the meat thermometer but
- what do they mean by “the thickest part of the thigh” anyway? and don’t touch bones? how do you do that? so
- I tried the thigh and it was 180 so that meant overdone but I wasn’t sure so I poked the breast with it and
- that’s when juice squirted out of the breast which made me understand why they tell you to poke the thigh, dumbass, now it is sure to be too dry, so
- I take it out of the oven and “let it rest” like they say to while I finish prepping sides but then I notice
- the juices look really pink, and it got cold really fast, so I’d better
- put it back in the oven to make sure it is really cooked and won’t make us barf with salmonella, so now I
- get all the pre-prepared sides out of the fridge and up to room temp before I put them in to warm and now it’s
- time to carve the thing but the wings and legs would not come off, I never could find those joints anyway and the crispy skin on the ends of the legs tastes awful WTF? and I start to worry that maybe this particular bird was accidentally coated with some sort of foul industrial grease that was meant for machinery and I start to worry that we’ll both be paralyzed if we eat it but I’ll decide to wait and see for a week and if we make it to next Friday OK, I’ll call it on that particular bugaboo but still I should have basted it with butter and orange juice and
- the breast is dry as a bone, even though it won’t come off as easily as it should dammit is it still not done? oh what the hell she only wants potatoes anyway but
- what good are potatoes with gravy that looks sort of grey-green? How could the gravy be awful? I’m really good at gravy, so I decided that it must be that
- this accursed obscenely expensive greasy organic turkey and the giblets I used for the stock are a con and the scrawny, gamey, greasy damn thing ruined my perfect fantasy island dinner and by the way
- I’m exhausted and sore – maybe it was
- bending over the garbage can peeling 10 pounds of potatoes, 5 of which I threw out because I did it early in the day but I didn’t think I should cover them with water because that would make them too soggy but they turned brown and looked gross and does that mean they’ve gone poisonous too? but fortunately
- the pumpkin pie turned out OK and my sweet potato carrot puree was delicious and the stuffing, cooked separately from the probably poisonous greasy gamey scrawny obscenely expensive bird was OK and the cranberry sauce was delicious and when everything was put away and I mopped the floor because I dropped the greasy gamey scrawny obscenely expensive turkey on its way to the garbage can, I plugged in the Christmas lights and then
- took a hot bath hoping that Dr. Teal and his epsom salts would work their magic, and even though I was feeling flat and disappointed and missing Mike and had a good cry, I ended up feeling
- OK. I forgave myself. I decided I will never do this again. If we don’t go to someone else’s house, we will have a modest little meal, with rational portions just for two, and I will buy
- a CHEAP breast-only major brand turkey with one of those pop-up things that tells me it is done and makes it their fault if it pops up and it isn’t done and it poisons us and I’ll make the gravy with less of my fresh herbs and more pan drippings from that cheap commercial turkey breast which I will baste liberally even though that let’s the heat out of the oven and there will never be a gentleman caller but, we will be
Grateful for whatever food is put before us and for the roof over our heads and heat and fat old whiny Sophie cat who I forgot to get food for so she got the canned clams I was going to use for some future pot of chowder but chowder has to have potatoes which are carbs galore but I’m not going to worry about that anymore because after our perfectly delightful meal at the brother’s in-laws even though I had potatoes and pie I actually lost 2 pounds, which I’m sure I regained yesterday so now I’m trying to muster the energy to paint, because painting counts as working out, I remain,
Your devoted, disappointed but realistic, grateful and determined to do better tonight when I’ll cook a chicken and make great gravy so she can finish her leftover 3 pounds of potatoes,
5 thoughts on “Fantasy Island Serves Lousy Food; or, the Tale of the Terrifying Turkey”
My daughter and son-in-law did all the cooking complete with organic turkey and and all I had to do was be grateful. I am even more grateful reading your turkey travail. It does sound like the turkey was at fault, not you, BTW. And we get to find easier solutions to the next holiday just ahead. I am eating at Kendal with my youngest daughter who has mastered using Amtrack to get here and will be staying on her own right in town at a friend’s house , a 10 minute walk for her. Keeping it simple, but I will still read A Child’s Christmas in Wales to whoever wants to listen by the fireplace they have here. I am carrying on my husband’s 40 year tradition for us and apparently that has been a Kendal tradition as well only no else had volunteered to do it this year until I gratefully offered. Onward through the holidays….ho ho ho.
Oh! I wish I could be a fly on the wall for that! My Dad used to read A Christmas Carol aloud to us, at least until we fell asleep or in teen years lost interest. But I also remember a wonderful PBS production of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales, ” especially for some reason, the uncle’s, fozing in a chair after Christmas dinner! How wonderful that you are there to share the story with the other residents! After my turkey debacle I’m delighted by how happy the same Christmas music I’ve been listening to for decades still makes me so happy – so the lights are up and on, ahead of what is predicted to be up to 8 inches of heavy snow, and on to the wreaths tomorrow. Peace of the season to you!
On Sat, Nov 24, 2018, 4:46 PM ridiculouswoman.com
I am absolutely dying over here! 🤣 Thanks/sorry for thinking of me! You could make a whole movie just about cooking this meal and it would be the funniest thing made that year.
You’re absolutely not to blame for this Panic Turkey, of course. Anxiety gets to take the chef credit on this one!
😉😂 Thought you might enjoy this one! I think I partially made up for it by cooking a small chicken last night, with good gravy, but I tried using the convection thing in my oven which is supposed to make it cook more evenly, including the underside, so I was confused when I took it out of the oven and found the underside not brown and started carving but there wasn’t much meat on the top and I had even more than the usual difficulty finding the joints to cut the wings and legs off and when I finally got one leg off there was a very nice chunk of white meat that came with it which is when I realized …..that I had cooked this chicken upside down. Or downside up, to be more precise. I’m starting to think it’s not a therapist I need, but a neurologist!😂Plus which when I finally carved the actual breast the most inside part of it still looked not cooked enough so screw the damn convection I’m going back to basics and hoping for the best for Christmas dinner! May your pizzas ever be perfectly, thoroughly and calmly, cooked!
On Sun, Nov 25, 2018, 6:37 AM ridiculouswoman.com
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