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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Talk

Vintage illustrations as Thanksgiving greetings

*A friend was telling me of a hotline for turkey preparation. The caller was worried. He had cooked the turkey breast down instead of breast up, as is the custom, not the rule. His question:

 "Is that dangerous?"

*The first time I cooked Thanksgiving Dinner on my own, I had a four-month-old infant and a toddler who was two-and-a-half years old and a big child that my mother-in-law did not finishing rearing.  Plus, I was recovering from a serious illness after the birth.

My life was one of chaos since the big child did not think he should have to have any responsibility for kids or house because I had the kids and they were mine. So was the housework, according to him. So, Thanksgiving in a new home, with new baby, and newly jealous toddler and the big child was horrid for me.

I did not get the turkey thawed before the day and even though I got up at 5 am, tried to thaw it more by running cold water through it as I tried to wrench the bag of giblets from the cavity that was frozen solid.

Finally, out of desperation and exhaustion, despite the constant recriminations from the big child, I stuck the frozen-cavity turkey and giblets into the oven. After five hours of thawing efforts interspersed with child care and constant criticism, I just did not care. Big child followed me around demanding his noon feeding of turkey.

He did not get it. By the way, it does not hurt anything to cook the bag of giblets in with the turkey. No one died although the big child was treading dangerous ground.

*One Thanksgiving Day, my best friend called saying their oven just broke and she had the turkey ready to go in for their dinner. By this time, I was having the turkey late in the day instead at noon. So, my turkey was ready for the oven, too.

My best friend's husband was an elder in the church where my husband was minister. I reminded her she had keys to the church, just to send her husband with the turkey and have him turn on the oven and put it in.

She hoped the church would not mindThis woman worried about the silliest things.

So what?

She decided they would not, surely, mind that the family had a turkey for dinner that day. My friend and her family thanked me profusely for thinking of the church oven. 

*One Thanksgiving, this same friend was preparing the turkey while her three girls were in the kitchen watching and helping with Thanksgiving dinner. The girls were gathered around as she was removing the giblets from the cavity and she was explaining what she was doing.

As she removed the neck, she held it up with a flourish, and proclaimed, "IT'S A BOY."  You can imagine the giggling!

Your turn
So, tell me your amusing/horrifying turkey stories. I know you have them.


  1. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving and rarely had turkey for any other celebration.
    I do remember my mother lovingly stuffing a goose and then discovering it was waaaay too big for the oven. Dismembered goose. Frantic mother. Tasted fine...

    1. And these days I am happy to say that the birds (all of them) are safe from me.

    2. EC,
      I am quite sure a goose would be smaller than a turkey. So, did you have a tiny oven? At any rate, I do feel for your mother after all the work and having to dismember the dinner to get it cooked. Yes, there is not much that can go wrong with a turkey or goose dinner if it is done and not burned. It's all acceptable. Birds are not safe from I love to eat turkey and chicken. Thanks for the story.

  2. I have left the bag of giblets, although I searched for them I thought the processing plant had just forgotten them. Found them in the neck cavity after bird was cooked. I have probably roasted one upside down. As a young bride I forgot to put a bowl under the giblets I was straining. The broth went right down the drain! I think we all have what we thought were horror stories. I have also left a netting on a ham while it baked. I haven't killed anyone with my cooking yet. We eat a lot of chicken and turkey as we raise our own now. Hey...I even know where the giblets are. I just forget to remove them from the freezer as in today!...I had to use the defrost cycle on the microwave before I could begin the giblet gravy.

    1. Mamma Bear,
      The processing plant must know that the giblets might be put in the oven still in the turkey, so they put them in a bag that will stand the baking. And the netting did not melt? Hmmm. I eat a lot of chicken and turkey, too. I just wished I raised them. My two hens are for eggs.

      I never use the giblets for gravy anymore. I gave them to my two hens. Boy, do they love them! As long as I have diced boiled eggs in the giblet gravy, I am very happy.

      Thanks for sharing.

  3. I made my first ever turkey mistake yesterday. I roasted the turkey with the breast down. It was delicious. When I was married to the nut job, every year he insisted that the turkey was still frozen (in spite of days of thawing) and that it wasn't done when it came out of the oven (no matter how well done it was). We started going out to eat on Thanksgiving. Willy Dunne Wooters and I had a lovely day yesterday. He had nothing but praise for the meal.


    1. Janie,
      Isn't amazing how you learned to cook all of a sudden? jk I am sure your cooking was delicious all along. You just had a really bad critic at the table. A change of scenery was a good thing. I am finishing the cooking of Thanksgiving dinner right now. Exbf is getting the benefit today of my tardiness. He loves my cooking.

    2. It's so nice to have one's cooking appreciated.

    3. Janie,
      It is nice to be appreciated!


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