25 November 2005

A Thanksgiving Miracle ... Almost

Wow, 12 hours ago, I was listening to Adam Sandler's "The Thanksgiving Song" on my iPod while bathing a turkey in my kitchen sink. I guess the old saying is true: time flies when you're wrestling with poultry. (Or, something like that, anyway.)

At any rate, here it is:

Yes, Virginia, turkeys can be cooked in France, even in the face of great adversity. I am beginning to wonder, however, why my mom taught me how to "fold" a turkey because I have yet to put that knowledge to good use. For the third year in a row, the turkey was too big for the pan, so I had to just stuff it in with limbs splaying out all over the place and hope for the best. It's probably just as well anyway, since neither the wings or the drumsticks wanted to stay in place. (Yes, I literally wrestled the carcass for a couple of minutes before giving up.) In the end, I'm mainly relieved that the bird didn't flap its feathered wings and fly away!

For the record, I did end up using my pliers to de-plume our dinner. It was a rather surreal experience, reminiscent of plucking eyebrows. I felt like I was the turkey's stylist. "Now, Mademoiselle Turkey, do you want me to reshape, too, or just clean up your wings a bit? And shall we do your upper lip today? Oh wait, I see that you don't have a head anymore. Never mind."

Once the turkey was cooked, I had another problem: Didge. The carnivore in him came alive from the moment that turkey came out of the oven, but as many of you know, the poor guy is allergic to meat. So, he pouted and fussed all afternoon in a vain attempt to get a taste. You can see one of his many frantic attempts to hijack the turkey and eat it whole on my video website. (The web link is in the sidebar on the right, under Extras.)

Alas, the "Thanksgiving miracle" of properly cooked turkey didn't quite live up to expectations. No, it wasn't quite like the turkey carving scene from Christmas Vacation -- in this case, the breast meat was perfectly done, and there was plenty of it. Unfortunately (and oddly), the wings and drumsticks were still partially pink, so we didn't have any dark meat. So much for the convection oven's proud claims of "more even cooking" than conventional ovens! I'll be perfectly happy to go back to "convention" next year! In the meantime, if anyone from tonight's party comes down with the bird flu, you can blame the oven. I followed the instructions!

Rest assured that, in the end, we pigged out tonight. Nearly everyone went home moaning about how painfully full their stomachs were, so I consider this Thanksgiving a complete success.

Now, if I can just figure out how to explain to Didge that he can't sleep on my pillow tonight, I'll be all set. (Colin took this picture right before he went to bed. Didge hasn't moved since.)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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