Ok, let's move on to something a little less grim, shall we? Thanksgiving is only a mere 3 weeks away, and THAT is sweet music to my gluttonous ears. I can't begin to tell you of my affection for this holiday with all it's yummy goodness.
Mark and I have always hosted Thanksgiving in our home from the first year on after we were married. I'll never forget, as long as I draw breath, when I had 5 hungry sailors who couldn't go home to their Mama's cooking, and one vegetarian girlfriend, who all decided that GAYLE needed to make a turkey and all the fixings.
Have I ever told you how insufficient I was in the kitchen for the first few years of our marriage? Let me just put it to you this way, the folks at Golden Corral totally knew us by name in Virginia Beach. And I STILL have a scar from my first feeble attempts at making a chicken breast. Plain, with no sides, thankyouverymuch.
Then there was the time that I thought I'd go all FANCY and make chicken enchiladas (notice it was only our fine feathered friends that I'd even try), but instead of using a few drops of pepper sauce as the recipe called for, I chopped up half the jar of the hottest, yellow peppers on the planet, seeds and all. My SWEET, smitten Mark acted like he wasn't internally engulfed in flames for as long as he could.... He probably still has a part of his tongue that's been permanently seared, God love him.
Anyway, they wanted ME to make the most important meal of the year, and there was no getting out of it. One of them went to the store and bought a bird that would have dented steel with it's massiveness, and plopped that bugger right down on my counter, hoping for a miracle, I guess.
I had no choice but to go Head to Severed Head with this thing, so I did what any newly married young girl would do, I winged it (and who could avoid a pun like that?). But guess what? It totally worked! Mind you, these were the days without internet, so I couldn't simply "Google it". I just figured that it would need something to seal in the juices, so I rubbed that bad boy down with butter and then gave it a drizzle of oil before putting it in the oven at the temperature that the directions read. I did, however, neglect to take out the...ahem...extra parts that are stuffed in it's "cavities". But who's keeping track?
I remembered my Grandmother basting her bird several times during the cooking process as I was growing up, so I had Mark run to the grocery store in front of our apartment, to get one of those "squirty do-hickeys". Funny, but he knew exactly what I'd meant. So I basted that bird every single hour on the hour until the little red button popped up. The meat actually rested before Mark carved it, not because we knew to do that, but because we were both so freaked out about it that we just stared at the thing forever.
Eventually we all gathered around with our Walmart china and dug into the Stove Top stuffing, canned cranberry sauce, and that blessed bird. I want you to know, that was one of the moistest turkeys any of those boys ever put into their mouths, by the sheer grace of God. It was nothing but dumb luck that I did all the right things that day to make that turkey turn out the way it did. And I haven't strayed from the original way of doing things with my turkey from that point until now (well, except I stuff it...and I remove the parts). I've added a few spices and things, but, that's it.
So tell me, do you make your own turkey on Thanksgiving, and if so, what's your way of doing things? Soon, we'll talk Sides....because that's a whole 'nother Paradise.