Turkey Days

Mr. Turkey 

Christmas turkey







Over the past few days, I have shared some funny stories with friends while enjoying some holiday cheer. As the wine bottle got emptier, the stories got funnier. Here are a few samples. Feel free to comment and add your own stories to the list!

One Christmas when a friend of mine was just a newlywed, she and her husband were trying to figure out how to stuff and truss their first Christmas turkey. She had taken the bird out of the freezer and had carefully followed the directions for thawing and preparing it for cooking. She assembled all of the ingredients to make her mother’s traditional savory stuffing and had the roaster prepped and ready. All systems were go.
Not having had any experience, so far in her short cooking career, with poultry stuffing, and not having paid much attention to her mother’s ministrations to Christmas turkeys in the past, my friend stood there in her kitchen in puzzlement, with the huge bowl of dressing and the decapitated turkey sitting there in the sink. What did you do next? Bravely she grabbed a handful of the seasoned crummey mixture and gingerly shoved it inside the bird’s cold clammy orifice. She was surprised, when she had filled the cavity to capacity, with how much dressing she had left over. She skewered the flap of skin firmly shut and tied kitchen twine around the bird to hold all of its appendages in place. The oven was up to cooking temperature, and she shook salt and pepper on the trussed bird, placed the domed top of the roaster in place and shoved it into the oven.
Several hours later, after a few peeks into the roaster to baste and monitor the level of doneness, the meat thermometer pronounced the bird cooked, and the roaster was triumphantly removed from the oven, delicious smells emanating from the golden browned meat.
Mom and dad were sitting at the dining room table when my friend placed the picture perfect turkey in front of her husband who was poised and ready with the carving implements. He proudly placed succulent slices of turkey onto their wedding china plates. When the time came to scoop out the dressing, hubby looked a little puzzled. He cut open the entrance to the turkey’s chest cavity and pulled out a huge turkey neck and paper bag full of the cooked turkey giblets! My friend’s face was as red as the cranberry sauce as she realized she had only stuffed the turkey’s back end, and had forgotten all about removing the entrails and stuffing the turkey’s chest cavity!
For New Year’s Dinner, she played it safe and cooked a roast!

My best friend related this story about her first encounter with cooking a Christmas turkey:

Before Christmas, my husband and I went to the supermarket to purchase our first Christmas turkey. Not knowing exactly how much meat we would actually go through, we opted for a twenty five pound gobbler. We got a great deal on the huge frozen bird and proudly carted it home and placed it into the deep freeze with great anticipation.
Before the sun was fully up on Christmas morning, my husband and I tiptoed down to the kitchen to prepare the bird for cooking. The stuffing was already made and sat waiting while my husband took the turkey out of the fridge and placed it on waxed paper on the counter. Not having the hang of how to approach the bird for stuffing, I grabbed a large spoonful of the dressing in one hand, while trying to hold the bird still on the counter with the other. Having been freshly washed, the turkey was as slippery as a greased pig, and took off down the counter like a curling stone. Only for my husband caught it as it came flying off the end of the kitchen counter, it would have crashed into the fridge and met its second demise, or landed in the dog’s dinner dish! We had several more skirmishes with the slippery bird until we determined that to stuff a turkey you first need to either corral it in a big bowl or keep it contained in the kitchen sink!

And finally, we found out that you don’t necessarily have to be an inexperienced cook for a turkey to get the best of you! Here’s what happened to my friend’s mother one Christmas:

I was a teenager, about sixteen years old, and let me tell you, I could put away the food! It was Christmas and the smell of the turkey roasting was making my stomach growl with anticipation! The Christmas turkey mom and dad had chosen that year was a twenty five pounder. We were a family with six youngsters, four of whom were teenaged boys, so they knew a turkey with some meat on its bones was needed. Because it was so big, mom’s usual roasters were too small to take it, so she had to resort to a couple of those tinfoil roasting pans stacked inside each other to contain the bird. Into the cavernous oven it went and finally the time came that the turkey was pronounced cooked and mom enlisted dad’s help to take the bird out of the oven. The heat was intense and the steam made the sweat pop out on dad’s brow as he grasped the tinfoil covered roaster in his big oven mitt clad hands. Just as he made to heave the heavy pan up onto the kitchen counter, the pan buckled and the turkey and its juices escaped onto the kitchen floor! As mom made a wild grab to try and save the bird from falling, she slipped on the pan drippings and nearly went down with the ship! Unfortunately, she landed right on top of the turkey and nearly burned the arse off herself as she went skidding across the kitchen on the turkey’s back like a manned torpedo. She held on though, and would have made a great draft poster girl for World War II!
Luckily we were able to salvage enough turkey to still enjoy our Christmas dinner, even though we had to eat it with tinned gravy!

Now it’s your turn! Comment and share your turkey stories here! Merry Christmas!


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