cooking, holidays

A Traumatic Turkey Encounter

Before I start, let me just say that the turkey tasted delicious.

Now that your mind is at ease, let the trauma begin. Yesterday I roasted my very first turkey. All by myself. Stephen was at work, Silas was napping, and my mom didn’t answer my call, so I was all by myself. Just me, the turkey, and the internet. How did anyone ever learn to cook before the internet?

Previously I had always been blessed to partake of turkeys that someone else had cooked for me–my mom, my friends. Stephen, his dad & his brothers deep-fried our turkey last year. This year I wanted to make my own.

I learned that it’s important to own a roasting pan in order to roast a turkey. So, off to Walmart I went yesterday to buy one. (Note to anyone currently engaged: put a roasting pan on your wedding registry. You might need it in 5 years.) Stephen had picked up a marinade injection kit that was a Creole seasoning mix. Yum!

First, I rinsed the turkey in the sink. I felt more than a little awkward handling the carcass of what was once a living, moving bird! The turkey was just too life-like for me. I did remember to pull out the giblets, but I wasn’t altogether sure where the neck was. It had to be in there somewhere. After a bit of tugging, rinsing, and asking, “Where is the neck?” a few times, the crooked thing finally came out!

I have to admit that many winces, grimaces, and squeamish looks went into the preparations of our turkey dinner. I even let out an audible gasp when my hand accidentally slipped into a gap in the hinder parts of the turkey!

It felt surgical injecting the marinade into the bird. Let’s just say medicine is not my calling. The bird would swell with each injection, and often the marinade would squirt out one hole as I pushed it into another hole.

Boiling the giblets was as much fun as the rest of the experience. What are all of those things? I remember my grandma ate the turkey heart one year. One part is the liver, and the gizzard is included in the package too. You’d be proud to know that I used some of the giblets in my gravy.

Back to the turkey. After injecting the marinade, I sprinkled the inside and outside of the turkey with our powdered Creole seasoning. Then I covered it with enough aluminum foil to survive a flight to the moon, and put it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours at 275 degrees.

After the first round of cooking, here’s what our turkey looked like. I basted it with melted butter and cooked it uncovered at 375 degrees. Every thirty minutes I would baste it with more butter. It cooked for a total of an hour and a half at 375 until the skin looked like this. I wasn’t quite sure if it was done, but finally the “done-ness indicator” popped out.

Happily, our turkey was moist and yummy. Not too spicy, but just enough to be flavorful. I’m hoping next time won’t be so traumatic.


2 thoughts on “A Traumatic Turkey Encounter

  1. That first photo of you is hysterical! I’m glad you survived your first turkey experience! (and I too wonder how people cook without the internet. I often have the laptop sitting on the kitchen counter while I cook.)

  2. I’m proud of you for cooking your first turkey, it looks great,I bet it’ll taste great too. I had to just laugh when I was reading until tears were coming down my face. I’m glad you survived it.

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