Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Who’s the turkey now?

Can you spot the turkey in this picture?

I’m pretty sure she’s wearing a red polka dot apron.

But come on, folks. Give me a break. I had just finished brining, preparing and cooking my very first turkey. (Plus 22 lbs is HEAVY! “Take the picture, Babe!”)

And you know what?

It was phenomenal.

Honestly, and I’m not really bragging here because the only reason it was so good was I followed the step-by-step instructions provided by my new bloggy friend, chef and now ridiculously admired turkey hero, Chris Perrin.

Brining is the way to go. So thank you to all those who helped convince me that spending 3 hours making 5 gallons of brine was worth it.

Really, it was.

I might have even impressed my future in-laws.

Until the fiance told them that we couldn’t find the giblets anywhere. And my future mother-in-law reached in and pulled them out as she was carving the turkey. It turns out they were at the top of the bird, not in the butt.

Oops.

I think this whole turkey thing kind of consumed me for a few days. Last night, as I washed it off for the brine, I found myself  gobbling at the turkey. And  this morning  I was pretending to be a massage therapist with the butter.

I have issues and they are fowl.

Like I’m actually kind of sad it’s over. I’m going to miss that big fat bird. (Until tomorrow at 10 a.m. when I start thinking about the leftover deliciousness that is in my fridge.)

RIP my little big friend.

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Turkeylurkey

So many things could go wrong in the next 24 hours.

But so many things could also go right. 

Last night I made five gallons of chicken broth. Five gallons. Who does that?

And today I will make 10 pounds of mashed potatoes and put a turkey outside to brine and just pray, I mean PRAY no wild animal decides to have itself a little Thanksgiving treat.

Speaking of an animal having a Thanksgiving treat…

I’m reminded of a Thanksgiving years ago in Rocky Mount, NC. My friend and then sports editor at the Rocky Mount Telegram , Patrick invited his displaced reporter friends to celebrate together. We all came bearing food, and lots of it.

The friends who brought the turkey (God bless them) had a bit of turkey crisis on the way over, resulting in most of the turkey juices all over Steve’s pants (crotch).

After we were stuffed and settling into our turkey comas, Steve decided to take a nap before going into work to finish Friday’s paper. He was out fast.

What happened next would forever be burned in my memory.

Patrick’s miniature schnauzer sniffed his way over to Steve’s turkey crotch and, well, let’s just say he was going to town. Steve was still out cold.

Nom.Nom.Nom.

I think it was the best Thanksgiving that dog ever had. Steve might think otherwise.

Good times. Good times.

So as my bird continues to thaw and I rush home at noon to get started on peeling and preparing a gazillion potatoes , I need to keep in mind what this feast tomorrow is really all about.

Thankfulness. And Family. And Friends — new and old.

Not to mention those quirky memories in the making, whether they be whipped cream explosions or turkey crotch violations.

So from QoQ, the fiance and our  turkeylurkey, have a wonderful and memorable Thanksgiving, and of course, keep it quirky.

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The 22 pound turkey in the fridge

You.

Thawing in my fridge with godspeed I hope.

It dawned on me that our relationship so far has been all about me. me. me.

My big fat Thanksgiving dinner for 15 people.

My need for you to thaw.

My need to find the perfect recipe for you.

My need for you to taste really good.

And I haven’t taken the time to get to know you.

In fact, other than the fact that you were a wee bit hefty, I know absolutely nothing about your life.

Are you are Hen or a Tom? See, I didn’t even bother to check or research that.

Were you cage free or…well, sorry, I just don’t want to think about the other. Please don’t tell me.

Do you like baths? I do (again, all about me.) When my fiance and I moved into our new house, the biggest selling point was the jacuzzi bathtub. I take a bath almost every evening. 

And guess what? I got a special tub for you too. I mean, it’s no jacuzzi, but it’s pretty nice…

I’m borrowing it from the fiance’s mom.

Don’t worry, I’ll clean it out for you. 

Bubble bath?

No, how about brine bath.

It will be like a total girly night for us. (If you weren’t a girl turkey, could you tap into your feminine side for one evening?)

You’ll soak in the brine outside. (I’ve even checked the weather; it should be just chilly enough…)

I’ll make mashed potatoes and snap green beans.

Then I’ll come out to check on you and we can tell each other secrets.

And play truth or dare.

you: Truth or Dare?

me: Dare.

you: Ok, I totally double dog dare you to use my innards in the stuffing tomorrow.

me: No. No. Ew. Ew. Can’t do it.

you: You lose!

me: I always lose…

Ok, maybe we’ll just play truth or truth. But, it will be great fun. You’ll see.

So I want to talk to you about one last thing. This is usually 100% against my convictions, but I really, really need you to be the popular kid on Thursday.

See, I know you might not have been the hippest fowl on the block back in turkey land, but now is your chance to be a shining star.  And I will enable you with whatever you need to get the job done.  Do I need to buy you Miley Cyrus tickets? Or, the latest Uggs and some skinny jeans?  Maybe you are more of the i-phone and mac book kind of bird? Ok, fine but no sexting. I have my limits.

I think we are good, you and me. I’ve so enjoyed this little time of getting to know you better. You’re going to make my Thanksgiving so enjoyable.

And as one dear reader pointed out, Turkey rhymes with Quirky. Keep it quirky, turkey.

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Whipped cream shot gone terribly wrong

<—- This is my future father-in-law.

After he tried to use my future mother-in-law’s new fancy whipped cream dispenser fraternity-style right into his daughter’s mouth.

Clearly, it went horribly wrong, as no one really read the directions on the thing. And, of course, her mouth was the test run for said device. Because, um, that’s where normal people test whipped cream dispensers?

You should have seen the table.

And the floor.

And half of us at the table, including his daughter, who got more than she bargained for. (So many really awful jokes about a mouthful could have been were told.)

I almost peed my pants.

Ok, I did a little, but I had a lot of margaritas that afternoon with my naughty bridesmaids who FORCED me to drink like half a pitcher because they are wusses and couldn’t be bothered to help me. And the fiance’s sister was the instigator, so getting covered in whipped cream after her father tried to spray a shot in her mouth probably serves her right.

I love them.

And that was Thanksgiving meal part I. I can’t wait until Thursday…

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The Thanksgiving Tree

When I was a little girl, my family always traveled to Bowling Green, KY on Thanksgiving. This was an 8-hour trip invovling repeat tape flips of The Muppets Christmas Album. (FIVE GOLD RINGS!) Usually, mischief between my brother and myself would ensue around the six hour mark–Evansville, IN. (“He hit me!” “Shut up, brat!” “Daaad!”)  Inevitably, we would arrive at my aunt’s house with one of my parents dragging one of us past the warm hugs and greetings of my aunt and uncle — oblivious to the 8-hour hell ride shinannagins–into a back bedroom for one of several punishment options including but not limited to time out, instant bed time, a soapy mouth washing, or an old-fashioned spanking. Good times.

But by Thursday morning, Wednesday night’s shameful arrival was all but forgotten and I would wake up early to climb in bed with my aunt and uncle and their dog, Misty. We would talk and catch-up on the details of my very busy 9-year-old life. Sometimes Aunt Nancy would give me a task to do such as organizing her jewelry box. Then, she would get up and start fixing the meal. I would tag along behind helping, talking (Hey, I have always been a talker. Nothing’s changed here.) or simply watching her construct our yummy meal.

One year, Aunt Nancy decided to give me an art project. On a construction board, she drew a tree.

thanksgiving-tree2

She gave me some construction paper and instructions to cut out leaves. On these leaves we were to write things we were thankful for.

Over the years, the trip didn’t change much. The car ride was still brutal, the Muppets were still singing and the Thursday morning routine was still the same. But as our lives changed, the leaves reflected our growth.

A long time ago, Aunt Nancy lost the original tree. Since then, we’ve recreated the tree several times over. But the concept remains the same. Write down what you are thankful for on a construction paper leaf and tape it to the tree.

leaf1

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