My friend’s dad suggested a blog post about my adventures as a novice Turkey Cooker so here goes.
8 days ago, Elam came down with what will forever be known as “the year the kids got sick and we couldn’t travel on Thanksgiving” sickness. He had it off and on for 5-6 days. 4 days in, Calista joined the battle against whatever demon is living inside their little chests, causing a deep, raw cough. There is also a nice fever that rises and falls about as unpredictably as the temps this November.
Monday morning, I started to brace myself that we would be the Asker 5 for Thanksgiving. By Tuesday I was hopeful we might be traveling. By Tuesday night, we were back up in the high fever-land and decided the demons had cooked our goose and we’d be cooking our own turkey.
I have never purchased a large turkey before. They are huge. Trump “huuuuuge.” Of the 20 or so left in the case, there was 1 bird close to 10 lbs so I grabbed it. It was also frozen solid. I was glad I work out, wondering how little old ladies cooking for their families get these beasts out of the frozen section.
It also struck me I had no idea how long these suckers took to thaw! What if we bought the turkey, tried to thaw it only to be forced to wait until Friday to eat the dumb thing… a call to my mom and a bit of logic from the hubs and we set it in water overnight.
Thank God there has been a decent amount of snow lately. The boys had plenty to do while we waited for the food.
Instead of just buying one new plastic, gentle on the deck paint shovel, yesterday Brian got the boys their own shovels (put to good use by clearing the neighbor’s driveway after the plows left about 6′ of slop into the road). Shovel made guitar by our rock star.
Well I was grateful for the extra time today to clean off the deck and the driveway. Brian had to take it to the next level. Literally.
The boys clumped on the roof making the reindeer proud, I stuck my hand in a turkey. Ew. Covered both with butter. Ew.
I did read some of the advice I was given. Some of it seemed simple (rub spices on bird). Some was too complicated (make brine solution with 12 cups of vegetable or chicken stock in a 5 gallon bucket). We did a dry rub and had left it overnight, uncovered in the fridge.
I did some reading about the stuffing. I wasn’t willing to make the real thing, plus always felt like it was unnecessary carbos in addition to potatoes and bread, my favs. So we did just carrots, celery, onion and a ridiculous about of spices and herbs.
We had decided to cook the turkey in the roaster instead of oven. I hadn’t made anything ahead of time so the fries (when you have kids…) and bread needed that oven. Gosh I had all these great cooking food pics and they aren’t loading… PLAN B I guess.
I had one of the tin foil “breastplate” one dude told me to make after cooking the bird for 30 min on 500. I had one of the bird through a steamy lens — caption “This is how NOT to take a pic while cooking a bird.”
Well, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Imagine here pics of fluffy pull apart rolls, fluffy indeed (Rebekah: best bread recipe EVER). Crispy, browned legs next to deliciously pale, tender, thinly sliced turkey (thanks to my hubs who somehow knows how to wield the electric knife). We had simple fruit, green beans and I don’t know, some kind of potatoes. The kids wanted fries so fries I made.
We ate and cleaned up in about 55 minutes. Boom.
What’s the big deal? Plan B isn’t THAT difficult. Buy a turkey, give your ailing child Tylenol every time the thermometer says 101 something and do some dishes.
I did throw out a table cloth and some nice napkins. That fruit was in a Tupperware tho baby. Calista in her jammies from 3 days ago. And the sour cream was in a Chinese soup bowl:) But our glasses matched. And we were thankful.
I find I can be thankful IN the midst of the plan B.
My friend Chris came by with the turkey bag I ended up not using – that’s a true friend. But he lost his son April 21. Remember him? That guy has had so many plans go awry this past year. We talked about how it is hard for them to be grateful this year. “Maybe Paul meant for us not to be grateful for everything that happened to us, but to be grateful IN the struggles. Not that we are glad Isaac is dead, but for our friends, faith and community who has seen us through it, ” I suggested.
I wasn’t grateful that when I went next door to share our Thanksgiving meal with our widowed, lonely neighbor, she asked me to drive her to the ER. I didn’t praise God that I got to spend 2-3 hours waiting, driving and then waiting at the pharmacy again… BUT I am so glad we are home today and can help her. I am glad the pharmacy stays open on Thanksgiving! And for the sassy nurse who helped us.
I don’t know what hasn’t worked out according to plan for you: the election, the cops being shot, the news coming from ND, the white supremacy talk, the fact Bernie didn’t make it on the ticket or that the election news is just getting too much. The cancer, the marriage, the job, the stubborn anxiety or the simple fact you never get enough sleep.
But I do know in the midst, somewhere, the Hound of Heaven pursues us. He shows up at our door when we need to go to the ER. He gives us friends when our son dies. He opens up dialogues that didn’t exist before. He raises up His church when the government fails us. He gives us hope when the unexplainable happens. He stands for justice and fairness when those in power don’t. And He shows up even in the darkest places where we cannot imagine finding anything for which to be grateful
And He gives you extra long workout classes the day after Thanksgiving – at the Y every day after Thanksgiving my favorite Duluth Personal Trainer does a “90 minutes kick your butt and make you cry for mercy but you won’t miss it for the world class.” I can’t wait.
So our Asker 5 stayed home for Thanksgiving this year. We shoveled. The boys went sledding. Brian may have taken advantage of a good deal on a TV for our basement (our first TV we have ever bought in our married life!). I visited the ER. We may have also started to decorate for Christmas.
Plan B baby.