I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
What a Turkey!
Will he fit or do we operate?
For years we enjoyed listening to
Stewart Maclean read his story “Dave Cooks the Turkey” every
Christmas. It is a hilarious story and if you have not heard it, you
need to do so. It is hard to believe that something as simple as
cooking a turkey could be so funny. This Thanksgiving I discovered
that real life can be almost as entertaining.
We were invited to Aunt Margie's for
Thanksgiving dinner this year. Now Margie is not actually our aunt,
she is my daughter's husband's aunt, and we had only met her once at
our daughter's wedding. The fact that we were invited to her house
for Thanksgiving gives you some idea of what this lady is like. It
was a bit complicated; we had invited our daughter's in-laws (Aunt
Margie's sister) to visit and they arranged to come after
Thanksgiving. Since we were in Ontario on a staycation at Ryan's new
condo, we were driving home on the Thanksgiving weekend and so the
stars aligned and we were included in the family celebration at Aunt
Margie's house outside of Fredricton New Brunswick.
I offered to contribute my famous
“Double Jack” pie (Jack-O-Lantern & Jack Daniels), and of
course we offered to help in any way. Regis had been chatting with
the mother-in-law Mary and she told us that Thanksgiving at Aunt
Margie's was an event . . . she was an avid gardener and was planning
to harvest all her own organic vegetables for the dinner and had
actually raised the turkey which was to be the center-piece of the
dinner. Regis then told me that I might be called in to help lead the
bird to his actual demise. I had visions of axes and bloody tree
stumps, but I was prepared to help out if necessary. After all I had
no connection with this turkey and had no attachment to him; he was
just going to be Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, Aunt Margie's great
granddaughter, while giving me a tour of the estate, pointed to the
vacated turkey pen and explained, “That is where the turkeys used
to live, but now they are dinner.”
Fortunately, when we arrived, the
turkey (he had been named Thanksgiving) had already met his demise
and was stored in the fridge in the basement. However, the problems
with this beast were only beginning. Over a couple of glasses of wine
we started discussing how to process this turkey. It was discovered
that it weighed 42 pounds and we tried to decided how long it would
take to cook. Then someone suggested we should first see if it would
even fit in the oven. A tape measure determined that it might fit
although someone suggested we could cut him up and cook just the main
body and do the wings and drumsticks separately.
Ready to carve
Next question was if there was any pan
in the house that could hold a 42 pound turkey. At first nothing
close to fitting could be found, and welding up a special pan out of
stainless was suggested. Mike (Margie's husband) refused saying he
needed that stainless for more important projects. Finally a HUGE
rarely used lasagna pan was located and although the turkey hung out
on all sides, he did sort of fit.
Then a search on the internet
determined that getting a turkey of 42 pounds to “Done” would
require at least 10 hours, so dinner at 4:00 pm required someone to
get up at 6:00 am to wrangle the thing into the oven. By the time we
got up in the morning, “Thanksgiving” was installed in the oven
and starting to brown nicely. However, tenting him in tinfoil was a
chore and every time he was pulled out of the oven for basting he
threatened to break the oven door off.
Ten hours later, “Thanksgiving” was
dinner, and he was delicious, although even with ten people eating
dinner we only managed to get through one-eighth of the Turkey.