Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Grateful the Turkey is Ready for the Oven

My annual battle with the frozen Thanksgiving turkey is over. The giblets are in the pan ready for me to add water to make giblet gravy for Gerry. The turkey is in the little fridge in the garage until I place the pan in the oven in the morning as near to 5 a.m. as I can.

I have never cooked a fresh turkey. I considered it one year--but they were out there five or six days before Thanksgiving, and that struck me as a long time to keep a fresh bird. Maybe not. Obviously, I have no experience except with the frozen kind. That is very convenient to choose early and know it is awaiting your use.

The problem comes when you have to get the bird thawed. For a big turkey that our gang usually requires, I need three or four days in the fridge to thaw it. Still it usually has ice in the middle daring me to get that a sack of liver and gizzard out of the neck hole. The greatest challenge, however, is that ever-present clamp holding the legs together. GRRRR. How many women broke a fingernail on that onery piece of metal or plastic today? I thought I would never get out that neck frozen tightly in the stomach hole.

After wasting ten minutes or so pulling on the thing, I finally broke the rules and ran warm water in that hole to release the neck. I’d pay a couple dollars extra to have those giblets and neck in a separate sack OUTSIDE the turkey, but I don’t figure that I will ever be given that option. I did at last succeed and carried the awkwardly heavy fellow to the fridge ready for roasting.

Now if I can get to bed early, I should be able to turn on the oven even if I am half-awake, stagger with turkey to push into the bottom shelf, set the temp at 325, and if I am real lucky, I might sneak back to bed.

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