When I was little and my grandma lived within yelling distance, we would always eat Thanksgiving dinner at her house. And all day long, while cooking this delicious turkey (it really was amazing), she would call it "turkey lurkey".
I swear, it's been in my head all freakin' week. "Turkey Lurkey". I think it has something to do with the chick who claimed the sky was falling. (I'm not joking, it was this tiny little "I Can Read" book from my childhood about a chick baking bread and the sky falling)
Anyways, there I was about a week ago facing the prospect of cooking a turkey. A 12 lbs turkey that my husband received from his previous employer for free. A turkey that would have to travel 1 1/2 hours to it's final destination before being consumed by 4 strapping young men, a growing 9 year old (also boy), and 3 girls who could have starved wilst we were eaten out of the house.
I was nervous.
So I looked online and found an amazing recipe.
And then I prepped. I bought the turkey (for $0.68). I bought the supplies. I figured out a way to get him into the fridge to wait its fate for 6 days. Saturday rolled around and I even brined the turkey. I had difficulties finding all the parts that I was supposed to pull out (never did find those giblets. I don't think I even want to know what "giblets" are!). I miraculously fit the turkey into a stock pot with the brine. That never fit in my fridge. Thankfully it was cold outside, so poor old turkey slept in the garage while drowning in brine.
And then Sunday came along (I ate thanksgiving twice. Sunday was my day with my brothers and mom). I got up, I reviewed the recipe. I pulled the turkey out of the brine and cleaned it up. I proceeded to force myself NOT to cry when I noticed I had broken the poor thing's wing. I scratched my head about where those stupid giblets were. I texted my mom. I called my mom. I gave up. I chopped vegetables and stuffed the turkey in ways that'll give me nightmares. I again forced myself NOT to cry at the mere thought. I placed the turkey in the pan and shoved it in the oven. At this point I have drowned the bird, tortured the bird, attempted to give it hypothermia (hyper? hypo?), and then shoved it into a burning hell. I drank a glass of wine. At 10:30 am.
The veggies inside burned. I don't know why. I had to keep shoveling them out because they were black and I didn't want my turkey tasting like burnt. I'm worried at this point.
At 3/4 the way through cooking I flip it over. Do you know how to flip a 12 lbs dead bird that's too hot to touch in a PAN that's too hot to touch? Neither do I. But I had those turkey turner thingies. So I did my best and eventually succeeded.
And then 4 hours into cooking, we should have left 30 minutes ago, and this damn bird is still not done. I really want to cry. What the hell, bird? I'm calling my mom. I'm stewing and scratching and pacing. I realize "Oh... I should have put it in a bag. Maybe the one I bought specifically for this occasion." Oh well. I cover it with foil.
And finally it finishes. That popper thingy pops out. I do a happy dance. I'm still worried, though, because before we wrap it to leave I pull out MORE burnt vegetables.
But no turning back at this point- 1 1/2 hours to drive and we're running very late. Off we go.
We were starving, and driving for 1 1/2 hours with a cooked turkey is absolute torture. TORTURE.
Finally we get there, and my brother takes another 30 minutes to arrive, and eventually we can eat. My brother goes to carve the turkey. And finds the giblets (in a bag, thankfully). Good grief. I looked everywhere in that damn bird, and he finds them in minutes. Who puts them in the neck????
So we eat. And it tastes delicious!!!! I wanted to dance it was so good. In your face, father! (No, he wasn't there, but he's always said I couldn't cook... I would love to shove my turkey in his face and then rub in some salt with "didn't your wife burn her sweet potatoes this year???") I'm so mean.
What a wonderful Thanksgiving! We really had a great time. We played games and Mike had fun with Dallas, and Romeo was as happy as a clam (my brother snuck him turkey). It really was something to treasure.
And then we came home to dishes. A pile so high we didn't even have clean silverware. It was bad.
But in all the mess, while washing the turkey turner thingies, I noticed... One had lost it's rubber prong cover. Hmmm.... It was there when I turned the turkey... I sure hope no one ate it!!!!!
And THAT my friends, is how you cook a turkey. Can't wait to do it again next year.