Sunday, January 17, 2010

Self Whopped by a Turkey (Okay -it Was Team Work ;)

http://www.backyardandbbq.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/jess-turkey.jpg
That's not my turkey, but it looks like a heart attack in a pan with all that butter..although I'm sure it's tasty.

Grrrr!

Suffice it to know that I am mentally flogging myself as I type and I'm doing it with a 13lb turkey. Whop! Whop! Whop! Stuffing is flying everywhere as the turkey makes contact with my body with each turkey whop to myself. I overstuffed it and also added a lot of onions and celery to the stuffing.

We'll be finding onion and celery pieces for weeks.

It's not easy to self whop yourself with a turkey .. especially when the sane part of you is causing you to duck and dodge your own self inflicted turkey whops. If I didn't ...the carnage would be much worse. I'm just sayin .. even if it is only in my imagination. ;)

I am pretty sure today's turkey debacle *is* the dumbest thing I've ever done in the kitchen. I mean ..I think so ..although I do have this haunting feeling there is something else.

Well then there is the exploded pork roast or the birthday cake that caught fire, setting off the alarm. No ..they were dangerous and dumb ..this was just dumb...with a capital "D".

*SIGH-H-H-H!!*

I began writing a post about the Top Ten Dumbest Mistakes I've made in the kitchen, but soon realized the pork post would be long enough as would some others written individually. I'll just stick with the turkey debacle for now.

So what did I do today?

I happily planned to cook a delicious Sunday meal of Roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, turnips and carrots mashed together with salt, pepper, parsley and added butter (optional), green beans, cranberry sauce and biscuits. One of my favorites and perfect for the guys watching football. It's cold, dreary some hail and rain outside and the perfect day to be all cozy inside, doing your favorite things with the anticipation of a tasty meal.

It was a perfect plan ..really.

First I decided to bake some brownies. They don't take long and could bake while I was preparing the turkey and stuffing... which I did.

I had the neck and giblets simmering on the stove. I hate them (Liver? EWWW! Heart, GB and kidneys or are they lungs? GROSS! I can hardly look at them), and would never add to the stuffing ..but the water does flavor the gravy. The animals get the giblets and I save the neck for the turkey soup that will follow. MMM :) Although I suppose the neck would be better cooked fresh with the soup instead of double simmered. Someone once said that when you are making chicken soup to use to help heal a cold ..that you should always cook the neck with it and so I do with both chicken and turkey...but I digress.

The brownies were done and so I placed the turkey in the oven ... pleased with everything. After a couple of minutes, I glanced at the stove and saw that I didn't turn the heat down from 350 to 325 degrees and so quickly reduced the heat.

Then I went about some chores and read the Sunday paper. A couple of hours later... as I walked into the kitchen, I could faintly smell the turkey roasting. I looked over at the giblets and turned them down and then looked at the oven timer and walked away.

And then the realization moment hit and it was horrifying I tell you ..HORRIFYING from a cook's perspective who has told everyone what a great meal they were going to have for Sunday dinner and that included older son and his family too.

I had the potatoes out ready to peal and the turnip ready to chop... best laid plans.

I probably took about 4 steps because I remember where I was. I was just rounding the other side of the counter when it hit me that I didn't see the OVEN CONTROL LIGHT ON!!! Oh NO!!!

I turned and darted back over to the front of the stove...ever hopeful I just made a mistake because I wasn't wearing my glasses. The only red lights on were the ones for the burner and the flat top, indicating there was a hot burner. OH NO!!! The oven was definitely off and had been for about two hours!!!

I threw the oven door open, pulled out the rack, lifted the lid to the roasting pan ..and there it was ...much to my dismay ... a very pale ..barely warmed RAW turkey!!! And then ...as if my laying on of hands would somehow expedite the cooking process ...on a raw 13lb bird ...that had been sitting in an oven that was turned off for two hours .. I placed my hands all over the bird to try to gauge the level of cooking that had hopefully taken place. NOT MUCH at all. The bird was a comfortable lukewarm all over. Perfect if it was a comfy electric blanket to lie under... but not for tonight's dinner.

You HAVE to be KIDDING ME!!!" I exclaimed. Followed by "Mr SeaSpray ...we're NOT having turkey for dinner tonight!" Followed by more frustrated lamenting and whining (by me ..not son and husband), culminating in my calling d-i-l, telling her to forget dinner tonight..but we'll be having LEFT OVER turkey tomorrow night with all the fixings... and then my imagining my whopping myself all over with the raw stuffed turkey. (It's not easy to lift a stuffed 13lb bird over your head and duck at the same time ;)

They all took it better ..but I was (still am) seriously annoyed about it. UGH! It turns out that when I turned the temp down after baking the brownies... I neglected to hit start again. On our stove...anytime you change the temperature ..you have to finalize your choice by hitting start. I didn't and so it shut off.

The humor of this doesn't escape me though. Me on the sofa..contentedly reading the Sunday paper, next to Mr SeaSpray and son watching football ..expecting the wonderful aroma of the cooking turkey to be wafting around the house at any time. If SeaSpray was a cartoon character, as she got to the counter, having her moment of realization that the oven was NOT on... simultaneously ...her hair would've stood on end, her eyes would've popped widely, her ears would've bent sideways, her mouth would've widened as she shrieked and as she jumped mid air, her arms and legs would've extended outward! Don't mind me ..I'm still venting. :)

Fortunately ..after all the commotion ..I still remembered to actually turn the oven ON!

Anyway ..now the darn bird won't be done until 8:30 tonight, at which point ...I will have to make the gravy, etc. and I wanted to watch the 2 hour season opener to "24". Thank God for TiVo! :)

Just a little while ago as I exited another room I exclaimed "Now THAT'S what a
kirking tooky should SMELL like!" What can I say? I'm just so tired after all the self turkey whopping ..even if only in my head. ;)

Actually, the year I was cooking my first turkey as a relative newly wed ...another co-worker asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving and I proudly announced that I was going to
Kirk a tooky. Ahh ..some things never change... even if it is 33 years later. :)

*Blogging really does facilitate the venting of one's feelings.

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