I’ve been married for 30 years and have probably baked a turkey at least once each of those years, meaning I’ve baked roughly 30 turkeys in my time. Usually I have bought a Butterball turkey and have been very pleased. For some reason, this year I chose to purchase one of our Fareway Fastco brand turkeys that was on sale for 40-cents a pound. Since it wasn’t butter-basted, my son Dan injected some seasoned olive oil into it the night before and on Thanksgiving morning I rubbed the turkey with olive oil and seasoning and stuck it in the oven before 6:30 a.m. The delicious aroma had everyone drooling by 12:30, when it should have been done, according to the package directions. By 1:30, the turkey was a nice golden brown and the little red indicator had popped up. I removed the turkey from the oven and let it sit for a short time while we heated up all the hot side dishes. At approximately 2:00 my brother-in-law Butch started to carve the turkey and abruptly stopped.
“Mary, how long has this turkey been cooking?” he asked, and I saw his face go pale. I looked over his shoulder and saw a pool of blood leaving the turkey’s golden brown form. We peeked inside and saw more blood.
This Thanksgiving will forever be remembered by me as the “year of the raw turkey.”
We upped the oven temperature and cooked that sucker a good 1 1/2 hours longer. When my son asked the neighbors across the street for the loan of a meat thermometer, they were waiting for their 40-cents a pound turkey to finish baking too.
We all had a good laugh over the turkey that would not bake, but I know I won’t want to buy the cheapest brand again.
And I’ll ask for a meat thermometer for Christmas.
Other than the great turkey fiasco, our Thanksgiving get-together went very well, and I enjoyed it so much I am considering hosting it again next year. I definitely noticed one difference this year: my house stayed fairly clean as I went, instead of having a toddler mess it up right behind me. Our youngest child is six years old. It is easier to do things like host a party. The year Abby was less than six months old I hosted a family get-together and after the last guest finally left, I saw the kitchen sink full of dishes and I sat down and cried. It had been too difficult to get the whole house clean and then keep it clean. It was really the last straw when I found dog puke in my bathroom later. (one guest had brought a dog that ate a plate full of turkey and then thrown it up in my upstairs hallway and bathroom)
This morning the only thing I had to face was the fact that someone had “helped me” by shoving the leftover green bean casserole dish (the one I was going to empty out in the garbage because it was nearly gone and had set out too long) into the refrigerator on the same shelf as the bowl of leftover cranberry sauce, and tipped it over.
That cranberry sauce was my favorite part of the entire Thanksgiving meal! My brother-in-law Butch made it and I’d been looking forward to having it for lunch. Instead, it had dripped on one shelf, down the back, and even underneath the crisper drawer in the bottom. After half an hour of cleaning the shelves and the inside of the refrigerator and using a fork to get out the berries that had gotten wedged in between the shelves, I could barely stand to look at the berries and sauce that were left in the bowl.
So I sat down and ate it without looking. 😮