Apparently, turkeys are like babies and weddings. Everyone has
a traumatic story wisdom from a past experience and is just waiting for an excuse to share it. Once people knew I wanted to roast my own turkey, friends were mostly encouraging at first. I heard a chorus of “You can do it!” and started to believe it myself.
But then, the warnings began:
- “Make sure you get a fresh turkey.” Oh, wait, I already bought a frozen one. Oops. I thought I was doing good just to think about getting my turkey before the stores ran out of them. (Note: It was actually Harry that remembered.)
- “Don’t forget to brine it. That’s how they have the best flavor. Brining.” Oh, wait, you can’t brine a turkey that’s been frozen.
- “Cook it at 350.” Said one recipe. Another one said 300. And, another said 400. So, I took the average and no one got sick.
- “Do you have a baster? Oven bags? A rack for your roasting pan? A gravy separator? A gravy boat? Nice platter big enough to hold this beast?” Insert thing-I-don’t-have and watch my confidence meter drop. How could I ever hope to roast a turkey with just a roasting pan, some veggies, fresh thyme butter and a “teachable spirit”? What was I thinking?
- “You’re going to save the carcass, right? It makes great stock for cooking.” Look, if I make it out alive and there’s a piece of turkey that’s edible for everyone at my table, I’ll call it a success. We’ll save the advanced activities for next year.
Despite all of the things I’d done wrong before I even took the turkey out of the freezer, I was determined.
So, I sorted the wisdom from the
snobby people extras and ended up with a shiny, new Costco-special roasting pan with rack AND an oven bag with its tie from a compassionate friend (Thanks, Lauren!).
Not only did I survive my first foray into turkey-roasting, but it tasted pretty good on Thanksgiving Day. Who knew I had it in me? Certainly not me! Of course, by the time it was ready, the song and dance required to eat everything at a reasonably warm temperature nearly killed me. We were all (four of us) ready for Harry to carve that thing and we forgot to get a nice photo sans oven bag.
But, that’s ok. It’s MY turkey story to share proudly
and hyperbolize depending on the circumstances for years to come.
By the way, does anyone know why the leftovers have a funny smell? (Nevermind. Harry just googled it. 3-4 days only. Oops. Note for next year: Make a plan for leftovers more than a week after.)