Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day. I love Thanksgiving. We always have a big family dinner with sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and outlaws. My sister and cousin take turns hosting. I've been out of the rotation for years because my house was too small to have 25 or 30 people for dinner. When we moved, I laid low but eventually my sister and cousin looked around my house and said, "why aren't you taking a turn?" So at some point I was put on the rotation.

I'm very thankful today that I don't have to cook. My sister and her husband, both wonderful cooks, are hosting dinner. Last year my sister decided that she wanted to spend the day with her in-laws as it wasn't fair to her husband that they always spend the holiday with her family. My cousin hosted an "orphans" Thanksgiving with friends, and my brother had to work. So I hosted my parents and in-laws here. Much like my approach to socks (I don't knit socks), I just don't cook. It's not that I can't cook, I just don't. So last year was my second attempt at turkey.

My first attempt was two years ago and a royal pain when my sister and my cousin's husband arrived and decided "She's doing it all wrong". They took over the kitchen and in between criticizing my appliances (brand new and stainless! what's not to like?) my cookware, and my skills, managed to save the family from my incompetence. I was driven to a corner clutching a bottle of wine and muttering curse words under my breath. Happy Holidays!

First let me say as a germ-a-phobe and semi-food-phobe, turkey scares the crap out of me. Every year at this time the morning news shows and food t.v. talk about how dangerous undercooked turkey can be. And the stuffing!! Forget about actually stuffing the stuffing in the bird, it should be cooked in a clean room offsite, as far away from the salmonella-carrying turkey as humanly possible. This slows my turkey cooking down considerably as, armed with Clorox clean-ups, I follow myself around disinfecting as I go. My bird might end up dry, but no one is getting food poisoning on my watch! Up to my elbows in a sink full of cool water, I wrestled a not totally thawed turkey into submission. Nearly in tears as I tried to remove the handy packet of organs and neck from the wrong side of the turkey. Yes, indeed I was trying to pull them out the little turkey ass.

In the end last year, my complete lack of knowledge regarding turkey anatomy aside, the dinner was a success. It was only a half hour off schedule. I only had to make aproximately three thousand calls to MFF (acting as my personal turkey hotline) and only drank three glasses of wine while cooking. Everyone had a swell time and no one was stricken with food borne illness.

Did I mention that this year one of the many things I'm thankful for is that I'm not cooking dinner?

P.S. a family gathering like this, involving wine, can only result in some great Roger Clinton stories and pictures for the blog next week!


trek said...

At least you got the giblet package out of the bird before the critter went into the oven.

Anonymous said...

It always seems to come together in the end! I've cooked a few of the giblet packages in my day. always a nice surprise for the diners at my table of plenty!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Beth said...

I hope you had a nice day! After I got the turkey in the oven, I wiped down with Clorox wipes. Then I washed everything with hot soapy water. Then I used wipes again. Then I microwaved the dishrag. I washed my hands after the final step. :) Excessive? probably, but turkey scares me, too!

Chris said...

Oh yeah, it smells REAL bad if you forget to take that package out of the bird.

I'm outta rotation with my tiny condo. Heh. I'm probably here for life for just that reason! :D

Sydney said...

I hope you had a nice day. From reading the blogs, it seems there was a conspiracy among turkeys to not thaw completely. And I've had the surprise of forgetting to remove the giblet packages before.

Guinifer said...

Seriously? Have you ever known anyone to have salmonella from a stuffed turkey? You think if it happened so often, we'd know someone, wouldn't you? (For a non-germaphobe, I still wind up with two dozen dish/washcloths/towels soaking in the bleach by Thursday evening.);)