November 25, 2011

I think I’m a good cook. Actually, I know I’m a good cook. I’ll put my chicken paprikash receipe up against anyone’s, it’s so good (even if it’s impossible to remember at times). But me and turkey always have problems. It’s all in the prep, I know, and I just don’t think I do that good a job with it. It’s always seems to come out OK, but between the cooking and the cleaning it’s just not a fun experience for me. I dread Thanksgiving – the idea of getting up early to get everything ready, get the turkey in the oven, keep a watch over it, etc.

At least I’m not alone – our rabbit Cosmo hates the smell of turkey cooking, hiding himself as far under our office desk as he can get. Perhaps the smell cuts too close to his bunny bone, but the others don’t seem to care much. It is funny to watch him as soon as turkey soup goes on. He just makes himself scarce in a major way.

…the problem with Thanksgiving is that you’re always competing against two major cultural forces: a) the whole idea of Thanksgiving – you know, the Rockwellian idea of family and friends gathered around a big table, a huge nicely-browned turkey at the center of the table and everyone’s attention, and: b) the actual memories of Thanksgivings past. As you and everyone around you get older you just can’t compete against those holidays of old when times seemed simpler, families were together, and the day was for sharing food, stories, and fellowship. Better to face the fact right up front that you’re just not going to match those memories – they’re just to big and broad in scope. Heck, you’re lucky if you even get a phone call from those same family and friends anymore.

…not that the Thanksgivings of my youth were perfect and trouble-free – I remember distinctly one year going over to my Aunt Marge and Uncle Don’s house for Thanksgiving only to have to drive back to our house to retrieve our turkey since theirs wasn’t going to be cooked in time. That was pretty funny. And all the driving that day was done while snow was falling!

…the worst Thanksgiving dinner I ever cooked was during one of those years when Tracey and I were first married. Not only was the turkey severely undercooked when we first took it out, but once it was cooked, I made the mistake of using a long fork to try and lift the bird out of the pan. I punctured the bottom and turkey juices went everywhere – all over the stove, under the burners, everywhere. It took forever to clean up. I’m not sure, we may have ended up throwing the whole damned thing out. It was that awful.

…there are already two people on our street who have put up their Christmas lights. Look, I know today is “Black Friday” and all, but it’s too damned early to put up Christmas lights. Oughta be a law that the calendar at least show December before you can put Christmas lights up.

…at least in a few weeks it’ll betime to enjoy the “All Creatures Great And Small” episode “Merry Gentlemen”. It’s a Christmas tradition around here and just a wonderful family treat.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:54 | Comments (2)
  1. ditch the turkey next year and cook ducks. If you insist on turkey, make most everything the day before..stuffing, cranberry relish, etc. Turkey is not difficult itjust seems that way. Brining the bird is your best option for a really juicy bird. The prep is done at least a day or two prior..EASY!! Covering it in foil and then removing the foil for the last hour gets the perfect browning done…removing the bird…put on oven mitts, have Tracey wrap plastic grocery bags around the mitts and viola….no mess,EASY. Your final option is to fly me out there and have me do this for you.

    Comment by Jana — November 25, 2011 @ 6:17 am

  2. Actually, the turkey turned out pretty good, despite the fact it was overcooked. Better over than under, that’s for sure! Send your recipe for duck and we’ll give it a try!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 25, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

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