Tall Turkey Tales – A Memorable Thanksgiving

Lazies, I have to tell you that my marginal domesticity was once again challenged and reconfirmed on Thanksgiving. First let me say that I took the Lazy way out and ordered a complete Thanksgiving dinner package from the local grocery store. It’s been a few years since I’ve done this and I remembered that it worked out well. I can relate to this packaged dinner – it’s like a quilt kit where all the hard decisions have been made for me. I do love to cook, but I am better at stove cooking than oven baking.  That oven is a mystery to me – and don’t even get me started on the broiler.  Throw in a turkey and I’m behind the eight ball from the very beginning.

The dinner package comes with a pre-cooked bird, a few sides (potatoes, stuffing, gravy, rolls, cranberry relish), and the all-important pumpkin pie.  I added the green bean casserole, whipped cream, and something else that I can no longer remember.

On the surface, a pre-cooked turkey that is ready to re-heat and eat might seem self-explanatory, but let me tell you, I had questions from the get-go. First, the turkey was frozen and I thought it would be ready-to-serve. Naive? Perhaps. If this is what they’ve done in the past, well, I simply forgot that detail. Okay, so how do you thaw a turkey in less than a day? Yikes – on the phone to everyone before my friend Kim asks if I read the directions for thawing. Directions for thawing seemed as silly as directions for how to melt ice. For cryin’ out loud, it didn’t even occur to me that a fully cooked turkey would need directions, but there they were on the packaging. Crisis avoided – that was Wednesday.

The turkey was ready for the oven on Thursday morning. So, I take this big darned thing out of the wrapper/bag and put it in the pan and notice these shackle type things harnessing the legs and other parts near the bottom of the turkey. I thought it must be something used to keep all the part from flailing, but the bird is dead and cooked – why the restraints? The turkey hand cuffs were some sort of plastic and I didn’t think they should go in the oven with the bird. I believe I’ve seen such contraptions in metal, but plastic? I checked the package and there was no mention of this thing – I’m on my own. I un-harnessed the ‘feet’ but I couldn’t get that thing off the bird. I could have used some James Bond or Harry Houdini help on this one. I told the hubster ‘I’m going in’ and reached inside.  I followed the plastic thing with my hand, hoping to determine how to release it from the bird, but it was a mystery. I had no idea how to get it out. So, I simply resorted to my primal instincts and yanked on the thing really hard. It came out (in one piece) and I was so proud. 🙂 Some turkey parts came with it, but there was plenty of bird left intact so it went in the oven.

We had a lovely dinner, everything was done at the same time (wow) and then we moved on to the pie. Ah, the pie. My friend Jim ordered pumpkin pies from Frisch’s and he added one to his order for us. Woohoo! We had enough leftovers that we have been noshing on the goodies for two days. At dinner Saturday night I asked Michael what happened to the leftover rolls. I had forgotten about them. Michael put all the food away after dinner on Thursday so I figured he must have put them in a place in the fridge where I couldn’t find them. Nope, I put them in the oven to keep warm on Thursday and that is where they stayed for two days. Goodness! I wonder about myself some times. We haven’t needed the oven since Thursday and we both forgot about the rolls. They were hard as a rock of course. I can’t believe I left them to fend for themselves in the oven for two days.

Holidays can be memorable for lots of reasons. For me, this Thanksgiving will be remembered for a great meal, a get together with friends/family afterwards, the plastic thing that wouldn’t let go of my turkey, and of course, learning the important lesson of looking in the oven for leftovers when cleaning up. It was a great Thanksgiving for us and I hope yours was, too.

Turkey expert in training