Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Turkey Blog

I have a few things to check off the list in my 101 Adventure.

The first is kind of a biggie to me. All my life, I’ve enjoyed delicious meals and baking, because I’ve been pretty fortunate to have a mom who is an excellent cook. (I blame her for my constant battle with my weight!

So, you would think I’m also an expert in the kitchen.

You would be wrong.

As wonderful a cook as my mom is, she’s passed very little of her talent down to me. It’s not like I haven’t tried. Many times, especially during my adolescent years, I’d ask her to show me how to do something – like make lasagne, or decorate a cake. The problem? Mom just can’t stand back and let me do it. The second I do something wrong, or struggle with one of the steps, she jumps in and takes over. Just easier for her to do it.

Eventually, I quit asking her to show me.

So, with this in mind, I put #5 - Cook a Turkey on my 101 List. Because I had no idea how. And it bothered me to think that one day I might want to cook a turkey, and I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Perfect opportunity to learn how: EASTER.

Now, I’m crossing it off, but again, I wasn’t able to accomplish the task without Mom trying to jump in from time to time. I would, eventually, like to do this on my own, without her hanging over my shoulder. But I think I did enough of it to cross it off the list!

Here are some of the pictures of me and my turkey-cooking skills.

Mom already had the turkey in a pot in the basement sink, defrosted and soaking. I did not know that you had to do this. I also did not know I had to "wash" it (rinse it with water). Already learning so much...

My first time fondling a turkey. Note the joy in my expression.

Okay. So we have him upstairs, in a pan, dried off, ready to season and stuff. This is so easy!!

She just can't let me to ANYTHING on my own!!

"How do you expect me to learn if you do it for me?!?!" Turkey frustration.

Hand up a turkey's ass. Yay!!

Succesfully stuffed the turkey without Mom meddling too much.

Those are not my hands pinning the turkey together (or whatever you call it). Shocking.

"MOM!!!!!!! LET ME DO IT!!!"

She informed me the giblets were to go in the pan too. I threw the bag in. She then informed me I had to take the giblets out of the bag. Ewwwwww.

Rubbing oil on the turkey: Not my favourite part.

I was so grossed out by touching the turkey that I probably washed my hands 10 times between the steps.

A little salt & peppa.

Then I had to build a tent of tinfoil over it. Note that Mother is still hovering, not even confident in my tent-building skills.

And we finally got that bird in the oven. Woo-hoo! Unfortuantely, there are no pictures to show I followed through with the basting over the afternoon. And unfortunately, there are no pictures of the finished product, because, surprise-surprise, my mom had it out of the oven and slicing it before I knew what she was up to.

But I assure you, it was delicious, and I gratefully accepted the compliments on how good it tasted all throughout dinner. (However, after successfully cooking my first turkey, I'm not sure how it is possible to mess it up, unless you forget it in the oven and burn it. Which I did not get the opportunity to do, as ol' Lizzie had it out before I knew it.)

Thanks to my sister Kara for being the photographer for this blessed event.

Moving on, from turkey to crow...I was also able to get another book done for #19 - Read 10 books in one year. By finishing Crow Lake by Mary Lawson, I’m now half-way complete this task! Woo-Hoo! I absolutely loved Crow Lake, which is a story told in the first person by Kate Morrison, who is struggling in the present to reconcile the tragic events and memories she has of her childhood.

The author smoothly transitions back and forth from Kate’s present to her past, as she tells the story of the year of her youth that forever changed her path in life – the year after her parents died in a car accident, and she and her baby sister Bo were left in the care of their two older brothers, Matt and Luke.

I gobbled this story up, and became absolutely enthralled by it. I literally could.not.put.it.down. Highly recommended, and once again, I enjoyed the discussion we had about it at Book Club.


Sharon said...

Great job Jill! Turkeys are not very hard to cook. They are cooked at such a low heat that it's relatively impossible to burn them.

I cook turkeys regularly at home and I totally forget the giblet bag almost every time. It's because I don't completely thaw my turkey, wash and dry it. It's usually 1/2 thawed and I can't get my hand into it's butt to grab the bag. So I wait until it's almost done, before the guests arrive and I fish it out of there with tongs and chuck the thing.

I also don't stuff my turkey. Many people who frequent my turkey dinners don't like mushy stuffing. So I make mine in a seperate dish.

I bet that Lizzie would not approve of my wayward methods.

Jill said...

Thanks Sharon! And also thanks for sharing with me that I don't have to EXACTLY follow my mom's directions! haha! Our giblets get cooked because my dad eats them. Gross. And whatever doesn't get used gets thrown in a pot to make the broth for soup. I didn't stick around for that step, though! ;)

Lizzie might not approve, but I'm sure she would applaud you for being such a good little cook and cooking meals for family gatherings! I've only had my family over once for dinner, and we got chinese take-out! lol

Stacy said...

yea cooking a turkey isnt too hard and as for the stuffing, I love stuffing but I'm a boxed girl...I love Stovetop dressing - so much flavour and not so much savory (hate that stuff)

Jill said...

You guys would just kill my mom with these stuffing stories. Out of the bird is the only way to go!! lol

Kara said...

I think we should have a do-over at your house- say /Thanksgiving! I shouldn't talk, though, I think I have only cooked 2 turkeys in my house in the last 8 yrs and I believe that Mom helped with both. The last time I forgot to put the bird in the oven before coming to church and he got cooked on high. Guess that is why I haven't been allowed to host family dinners since - lol..

Luke said...

You forgot to mention the part when I came in from outside and mom said, "Go out and ask your sister if she's coming in to baste the turkey or if she thinks it's going to get out of the oven and baste itself."

Jill said...

Kara, we are products of the same woman, it's no wonder neither of us know how to cook a turkey!

And Luke...you're just mean. (She had never told me how long I had to wait before basting!!)

Luke said...

Yes, she did. Everyone else heard it except you.

Nicole said...

wow, you're one up on me.... I've never made a turkey. We only eat it on Thanksgiving and that's always at my aunt's house...

UpperBottom said...

hi, first time visitor here. i just have to give you kudos because i'm 27 and i still can't look at uncooked meet unless it's beef.

also, i live it nc where people cook WHOLE ENTIRE PIGS all the time at events and stuff. kill me.

anyway, yay you!


Nancy said...

Jillian, you are so funny! Kara, love your turkey story. Before Simon moved out west Itoook pictures of the whole process of cooking a turkey and he has an album of how to do it. He is famous for coking Christmas turkey for his friends. I am teaching Livvie how to cook so she will not starve away at school. She makes killer cheese sauce, and my cara can cook anything!!! Reggie is the one who needs help with everything except a cup of tea and slow cooked roast beef.

Don't tell Elizabeth, but I don't baste my turkey, it self bastes in it's foil tent. Your Mom is a great cook and her tea biscits and dill pickles are my favorites.

Pur Mom a glass of wine and get her out fo the litchen so you can do it all by youself!