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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Technology

It's here again... the dreaded 'Turkey Day'. Time to be humiliated in the kitchen once again...
Three times now I have been thwarted by technology in my attempts to cook the perfect turkey.
Year 1: Bought frozen turkey; put in refrigerator to thaw. Tough getting the thermometer into the dang bird (nearly broke the hammer I used to get it in). After 3 hours, thermometer never moved off '0' - figured the thing was broken. After 4 hours and a nicely browned skin in view, pulled turkey out and dressed it up for serving only to find that the bird must have still been frozen and there were bags o' turkey guts/neck still thawing inside the bird - whoops. Chinese restaurant open today. I am thankful for Mu Shu Pork!
Year 2: Thermometer got a bad rap last year. Thawed turkey completely; pulled out all bags o' bunk; into the oven it went. After 4 hours and a nicely browned bird, the thermometer wasn't up to the desired 165 degrees. Gave it another 2 hours and it still didn't get to 165... smell indicated something wasn't right. Removed charred and whithered bird and threw away thermometer. Papa John's is open today. I am thankful for pizza!
Year 3: Martha Stewart's 'high-heat' turkey would only take 2 hours to cook an 18 pounder - no thermometer needed - guaranteed by Martha. Bought the Martha roasting pan, cranked up oven to 475 degrees and threw the damn bird in. Set timer for 2 hours and relaxed with a glass of wine. Determined not to fret over bird. After two hours, opened oven to find the turkey took the heat quite well, but Martha's roasting pan didn't - flakey pieces of some coating material wafted up in the air and was stuck to the outside of the turkey, spotting it with silver 'snowflakes' of faux aluminum or some other toxic substance. Pulled out batch of spaghetti sauce I'd made that morning just in case. MMMM.... a home cooked meal on Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for foresight and decent chardonnay from a local winery.
This Year: After 3 years of humbling experienes and technology failures, friends have stepped up to invite my family to 'stop by' on Thanksgiving. Kids a bit to excited over the idea. Hmmm... Planning on going house to house bringing store-made pies and wine. My family and I will mooch our way through Thanksgiving and hope to spare the life of one turkey this year. No technology to count on other than my car. I expect my friends will share my 'turkey travails' with all the guests - I hear it's a good dinner story... I am thankful for my friends.
Next Year: Premade turkey with lasagna as a back-up (in case the bird doesn't fit in the microwave for reheating - the oven is retired and now stores kitchen items I'll never use again).
Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate.