Monday, January 2, 2012

everything I know about turkeys I learned from cartoons and movies

this year my husband's work gave everyone a turkey for Christmas.

which in my opinion is a pretty awesome gift.

except, I've never cooked a turkey before.

I mean, I've seen people cook turkeys before, it can't be that hard.

people, deep fry them for crying out loud.

I can do this.

mistake number one: not unthawed in time for Christmas day dinner.

that's okay. I made pizza instead.

mistake number two: attempting to prepare a turkey without adult supervision.

yes, I did this on my own, not including the ridiculous phone call my mother received.

Monday morning I was bound and determined to cook that damn bird.

Dan was fast asleep, having stayed up far too late playing his new Assassin's Creed game.

I said to myself, "self, we can totally have this turkey in the oven before the man wakes up. and heck let's make sweet rolls for breakfast too."

after I made the sweet rolls, I told that turkey he was going down.

I got everything set up. the roaster, the bag, paper towels next to the sink for sufficient patting down.
I was set to go.

sure, I talk big when the turkey is still in it's nice tight packaging.

but once that bird was free of it's restraints, that's when the real battle began.

first, I am physically grossed out by raw poultry.

second, I am equally grossed out by anything still resembling it's living form.

so you can only imagine my feelings towards an uncooked turkey.

also, bones gross me out.

I should have videotaped the events that unfolded because it was gold, and I don't think I can really explain it in words.

now, I'm not completely clueless. I knew there were things that needed to be done.

first, the bag of guts needed to go. so I located it easily, pulled it out and promptly threw it away.

I didn't even look inside the bag.

why they don't just throw this stuff away in the turkey factory is beyond me.

later I found out that those guts are not only edible, but something my husband enjoys. oy vey.

the neck was next on the list. one problem, I didn't know where it was or what it looked like.
I searched each end of the turkey to no avail.

this resulted in a phone call to my mother. she never imagined receiving such a hysterical call....about a turkey.

she laughed at me. a lot.

she laughed her way through the steps of finding the neck, which some genius thought should be stuck in the tail end of this thing. the moment I saw it I gagged a little.

phone still to my ear, I grabbed a pair of tongs and ripped it from the turkey's butt.

I swear to you it's like something out of an Alien movie.

I threw it in the sink, prepared to never speak of it again.

but according to my mom, you're supposed to cook that too.

fine. I threw it in a little pan and said the man can take care of that thing later.

for fear that my phone would end up in the turkey, I told my mom goodbye and hung up.

mistake number three: as I was rinsing out the 13 pound turkey, I started to imagine what it looked like when it was alive.

that was probably the biggest mistake, because once I started I couldn't stop.

I became progressively more disgusted. the bones, the flesh, the wings, everything.

as I write this I can still smell raw turkey. it will stay with me forever.
like some sort of post traumatic stress syndrome.

I just kept telling myself, "you are a grown up, you are a grown up, you can do this."

finally I patted it dry and shoved it into the bag.

I had earlier tossed the string it came with aside, not knowing or caring what it was for. I just wanted to butter it up and get it in the oven so I could wash my hand of this weirdness and go back to reading my Mindy Kaling book.

after I got it in the oven I realized, the little pop up thermometer thingy was missing.

damn you, Butterball. like I own a meat thermometer. please, I'm barely an adult.

my biggest fear.

mistake number four: trying to carve a turkey while it's still in the aluminum roaster, may cause damage to said roaster.

seeing as I didn't use the turkey lifter string (seriously?) we and by "we" I mean Dan, tried to carve the turkey whilst it was still in the pan.

of course, I just stood there watching him and posting turkey pictures on facebook.

when suddenly I realized there were turkey juices everywhere.

Dan had cut a hole in the roaster and it was leaking. awesome.

we managed to salvage some of the broth (for what? I don't know, cause I buy pre-made gravy. obviously.)

while Dan was doing his Patriarchal duty of carving the turkey, I made the stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy.

when we finally sat down with our plates of food, we took a couple bites, looked at each other and said, "I'm not really hungry."

and that my friends, is why you don't cook an entire turkey for two people.

my first and only turkey. boom.

I've eaten enough left over turkey to last me a lifetime.

the end.


  1. Love your story. I dissected my free turkey today, I should have had you over ;-)

    I grounded the breasts for future healthy spaghetti, wontons, egg rolls, etc. Severed the legs, thighs, and wings for future meals, and am now boiling the carcass for canned turkey broth for future soups.

  2. Very good story. I never knew you could write comedy so well. I wondered how you (he) could puncture the roaster until I saw the pic. It is a disposable foil roaster. That makes more sense. I tried to boil the meat off of the neck, but never got much. I do cut up the giblets and give them to Marie for the gravy.

  3. Ew. Our Thanksgiving turkey was definitely Rob's job. I made cornish game hens a while back, and they were so gross when they were raw, like little creepy rubbery handheld animals. So I already knew all turkey responsibilities would be passed to Rob. Good job for surviving that :) Looks like it turned out delicious though!

  4. That's the funniest cooking story I've ever heard/read! Is there a reason why the neck is in the butt? I don't get that at all. Have fun nd stay out of the slammer!


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