Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Turkey With A Goiter

In the interest of full disclosure I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a professional turkey roaster. In fact, while I do quite well with turkey breasts, I am extremely intimidated by whole, entire turkeys. You know, the kind that come complete with legs and cavities stuffed full of rather yukky things enclosed in slimy bags? Those kinds of turkeys?

Well, a few weeks ago, some friends of ours generously gave us a whole turkey which I laid gently in the freezer to deal with at a later (and more courageous) time in my life.

Last week, that time arrived. The grocery budget was a little (a lot) slim and I thought, "I've got that 13-pound turkey in the freezer. I can create a whole bunch of meals from that!"

And so I thawed it. And then set it on the counter. And surveyed it from a distance. And pondered it. And surveyed it. And pondered some more.

And then I crept slowly and cautiously up to the turkey (as though it might leap upon me at any moment) and conducted a little exploratory excursion into the "cavity." And in the midst of my excursion, I touched the mysterious innards.

I shuddered! I backed away slowly! I did what I have done for twenty-seven years in times of duress.

I yelled, "STEVE!"

Steve appeared on the scene with great expediency to see why his wife was in the kitchen yelling like a panicked maniac.

I said to him, "Steve, you're an Eagle Scout. You have camped and foraged for food and dealt with many yucky things along the way. So I need for you to please remove the innards from the turkey for me because I just can't handle doing it myself." (Yes, I AM a bit squeamish, in case you're wondering.)

So Steve gallantly scrubbed his hands (as though preparing for surgery) and began to rummage around inside Sir Turkey while I stayed a safe ten feet away and made lots of "Ewwww" noises in order to further encourage him.

I was also being very helpful by reading the instructions to him which were going on and on about all sorts of lovely things like the following: Tie legs together; skewer the neck skin to the back; if there is no band of skin, tie the drumsticks securely to the tail using 100 percent cotton string; twist wing tips under the back.

And stuff like that.

Once we had figured out (Steve close up; me from a distance) what all we were going to skewer, tie, and/or twist, we had to decide how we were going to season the turkey.

And may I add that this entire process had been accompanied by many shrieks, giggles and guffaws on our part as we wrestled ye olde turkey to the mat. (Although you can't really tell it from these particular pictures where Steve is so seriously concentrating on the job at hand.)

I thought back to the only time in my life that I had prepared a whole turkey before (with my friend, Leeanne's help), and remembered that she had lifted up the skin (ewwww) and put butter underneath it.

So, from my vast well of whole turkey roasting expertise, I informed Steve that we needed to put butter under the skin.

He strode boldly over to the fridge, got half a stick of butter and just STUCK it under the skin.
Like this!

By this time, I was in utter hysterics. I said, "Oh, it looks like the poor turkey has a GOITER!"

We both lost it. Entirely and completely.

After we had finally gotten ourselves back under control, I convinced Steve that we had to soften the butter and THEN put it under the skin. So he surgically removed the "goiter" (with me still "ewwwww-ing") and I ventured forth bravely from my hiding place at the end of the counter to soften it in the microwave.

We eventually got the tying, twisting, skewering, buttering, and seasoning all done and put the poor, traumatized bird in the oven. (Which was probably a nice, quiet sanctuary for him after all the turmoil we had put him through.)

And despite our amateurish efforts, the turkey was delicious and yes, I did make a bunch of meals from it.

And even though I was never in the Girl Scouts, I hereby declare that I do hithertofore and henceforth forever more deserve an official Cooking Badge because I, Rebecca C. Smith, have had a (small) part in roasting a turkey. With a goiter.

The end.

4 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Kilgore Kids said...

Hilarious. I loved it because I also don't like to "touch meat". I call on my hubby to handle the ground beef if we're making burgers for the grill. And the chicken breast, and the...
Well, you get the idea. Roasted turkey sounds yummy. What other delicious recipes did you make?
Do share!

lesley said...

Me too! Gross. In fact, if I HAVE to touch raw meat then I put my hands inside large plastic baggies first so they dont get yukky. LOL.

Beck, you guys are a scream!

Pam D said...

Why, oh WHY am I always on the opposite end of the spectrum? I come from the "get your hands IN it" school of cooking. Can't remember which chefs recommend that, but some really do; they even prefer that you mix things with your hands instead of with a spoon (CLEAN hands, mind you..). I suppose my boy takes after me in more ways than I realize; with all of the messes he gets in, I guess he's just following in my footsteps. I don't mind chickens and turkeys and do use under-the-skin rubs. Lately, I trend more towards olive oil, mixed in with fresh herbs, sea salt, etc.. made into a thick paste and then rubbed under the skin and into the cavity. I do whole chickens frequently; turkeys, not as often. But with two adults who no longer eat a lot, and a boy who hasn't quite hit his stride appetite-wise, I think we'd waste too much to cook turkeys very often. ANYWAY.. a big high-five to the Smith culinary squad for facing Mr. Turkey head-on and wrestling him into tasty submission! Next up.. a whole pig?

Sue G said...

I think a week of chest and left arm pains followed by an inescapable inability to breathe certainly calls for a quarter pound of butter to be layered into a turkey. I mean, it's not as if anyone has ever suggested butter might be bad for the heart. Or anything.

Glad you called the doctor. Thanks for doing that.

Happy to hear you have an active schedule of concerts coming up. The vocal thing probably bothers you more than your audience because your faith, humor and testimony overshadow any notes that may be missed.

I, too, use olive oil instead of butter when preparing a turkey.

I hate turkey.