I’ve figured out why the pilgrims set aside three days to celebrate the first Thanksgiving. No one knew when the turkeys would be done. Not even the Indians knew when to show up.
Cooks everywhere have this turkey problem unless they are having a particularly good Thanksgiving year. You know the one when there are no lumps in the gravy, the dressing doesn’t dry out, somebody remembers to put the cranberry sauce on the table and your cousin twice removed doesn’t show up.
But other years turkeys have the upper hand. I don’t care how many calls you make to the Butterball hotline, bury it three-feet deep in hot coals, deep fry it, or hide it in a baking bag, this old bird won’t turn into a golden gobbler until it’s good and ready. Even Paula Dean, who everyone knows stuffs hers with a pound of butter, can’t guarantee when the turkey will be ready to come out of the oven.
Some cooks forget to turn the oven on after they slid the turkey in. Others forget to remove the frozen neck and giblets. Either way, these cooks probably shouldn’t waste their time signing up for culinary school.
Frustrated cook s try to work out a fool proof system for gauging the cooking time. Like subtracting the suggested baking time per pound from the price of the turkey or adjusting the oven temperature to the length of the turkey. Either way, the results are pretty well the same.
Could be something that sticks in their craws that makes them so ornery. Turkeys are known to carry a grudge and hate having their heads chopped off. I”ve seen a 25-pound turkey cook in two hours and dry out before the Tulsa relatives get out of the city limits. I’ve seen a 12-pounder cook for fourteen hours and still look like ham on the inside when you finally carve it.
Even if your turkey happens to turn out perfect and on time, these barnyard wonders don’t give up. Turkey leftovers hang around forever – or at least two weeks. I’ve seen cooks hide the leftovers in casseroles, breads, desserts and souffles. Some even use the dark meat to half-sole their house slippers.
The trick is not to get discouraged if your Thanksgiving meal doesn’t work out too well. Christmas is just around the corner and you can have another run at it.