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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

My turkey misgiving

Every year my partner and I, end up going to her families for Thanksgiving Dinner. Set out in the country, they have an elaborate buffet that everyone contributes to for the 100 or so family members that stagger in for this joyous event.

Year after year, we show up with one of Jen’s wonderful pumpkin pies and this time, I had the bright idea of contributing a turkey for the buffet style occasion. Since I’ve never cooked a turkey, I thought that a test run would be beneficial.

I set out, as usual, doing research to find that one, knock-your-socks-off recipe. I had spent days on research and buried under a plethora of recipes when I heard it. Can you imagine how thrilled I was to hear a fabulous recipe broadcasted on the radio? Finally, a recipe that wasn’t too difficult but sounded delicious! Rosemary, brown, paper bag turkey.

I bought all the ingredients, bird included and planted myself in the kitchen. I had been careful to follow the recipe to the letter. If I could pull this off once, I could surely duplicate it.
I cleaned the bird, no big deal. It reminded me of an overstuffed chicken. What I wasn’t prepared for was the large package containing the bird’s insides, which had conveniently been stuffed back inside the animal. Now, I had begun to feel sorry for the poor thing, but I carried on with the task at hand.

I washed it, patted it dry, rubbed spices all over it and as per the instructions, placed it in a brown paper bag. Turned on the oven, waited for it to holler at me that it had reached its predefined temperature of 400 degrees and put the bird in for the long haul.

Confidant in my abilities, I laid on the couch and fell asleep watching a movie. To my horror, I was suddenly awakened by the unmistakable sound of the smoke alarm beeping in red alert mode. I fell off the couch, staggered to my feet and ran to the kitchen.

Smoke billowed out of my oven and the distinct smell of burnt food settled in my nose. I grabbed our trusted fire extinguisher, opened the oven door and pulled out the rack. Was it possible that the bird was really on fire? I don’t know, but honestly folks, I didn’t wait to see if it was shooting flames out of its behind. I took aim and pulled the trigger.

I’ve learned a few things from this experience.

If you’re going to use a radio recipe, please make sure, you’ve written it down correctly.
Don’t walk away and don’t fall asleep when you’ve got something cooking or baking.
Know that the stuff that comes out of a fire extinguisher, even the little extinguishers is cold and messy! It took me hours to clean it all up.

And finally, no matter how clean you get the kitchen, the smell stays behind for days.
As for me, this year, I hope that they have room for another pie on their desert table.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



Tamsyn said...

Hey, I know that feeling! Put something in the microwave and forgot about it. The cleaning up took me ages and the smell remained for quite some time! Never do something else when you are cooking!

Annie Alvarez said...

I have learned that the hard way. LOL I'll stick to going to thanksgiving with the family and letting the more experienced cook the bird.

Happy Turkey Day!

Erin Sinclair said...


LOL...this would be a beautiful, classic holiday romance story, I think.


Lynn Crain said...


I am confident you could do it with a good recipe.

And Erin is right...this could be a great scene in a holiday romance!


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