Turkey Time

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We all have our Thanksgiving memories to cherish. As children, we look forward to the super-sized, special meal. And as we get older, we watch our loved ones prepare the meal, picking up tips for when it will be our turn to prepare our own Thanksgiving meal.

When I was young, Grams always gave me the impression that a turkey took at least twelve hours to cook. She would rise at the crack of dawn, or before, and start shuffling around in the kitchen. By the time I got up, I was met with the sight of her wrestling the stuffing into the gaping carcass.

Once the turkey was in the oven, she began the other dishes. A huge pot of potatoes on the stove, sweet potatoes going into the oven, and the good old green bean casserole being thrown together. And last, but not least, the cracking open of the can of jellied cranberry sauce, plopped into a dish with no attempt to hide its can-shaped appearance.

The carving of the bird never went well, even though it had now cooked three times longer than it should have. Grams would call Dad to carve, but then proceed to tell him just how it should be done. She’d finally just take the knife from him, eventually resorting to using her hands to tear it apart. If that wasn’t appetizing, I don’t know what was!

Although I don’t make the Thanksgiving meal like my Grams used to, I did learn some things from her. Remember to remove the innards from the bird BEFORE cooking. A turkey does not need to cook for TWELVE HOURS. If you must resort to using your hands to carve the turkey, wash them first and DON’T lick your fingers as you work. Bon appetit!

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3 responses »

  1. Well FWIW, I wish my Mom had followed your Gram’s strategy for timing. I don’t know what time she put the turkey in, but it always took at least 2 hours longer to roast than everyone had calculated it would…as if the turkey gained weight while in the oven. Meanwhile, we ate every lost olive and carrot stick in sight.

  2. For me the scent of the turkey was as delectable as the meal…our turkey was so heavy Dad had to put it in and out of the oven. That was his extent of participation before carving. Eventually it was pulled out and tented in aluminum foil and all the other dishes put in the oven. Everything was hot and ready except for cooled off turkey!

  3. Not certain whether I’ll be able to refrain from licking my fingers while Turkey carving. Thanks for the scratch and sniff Thanksgiving story. I can smell, taste, and take a nap all in one reading.

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