Many families have traditions when it comes to Thanksgiving, and one of those traditions may include the Turkey Dinner.
There are many different ways to cook a turkey, but here are ten ways NOT to cook a turkey. These are true events and names have been changed (or not mentioned) to protect the innocent and although hilarious years later when we remember them, it was very stressful at the time and almost cost us our kitchen!
This proves that some planning ahead when it comes to the Thanksgiving turkey dinner is key to a calm dinner and enjoyable event with family and friends. It also proves that care should be taken when it is decided who is bringing what to this family meal. Make sure the right relative or friend has the right dish to bring to this event. Something you know they could handle.
A particular relative in law wanted to help with Thanksgiving dinner and talked me into letting them bring the main event. She seemed so calm and full of experience. I had just had my son at the time and life was bit stressful so I welcomed the help.
I was to make salads which took a lot of pressure off of me. It was at my house that year, so that we would not have to travel with the baby, and everyone agreed this was a good idea. Side dishes would be brought by others, so salads made my life much easier, or so I thought. My hubby shook his head and said “this has disaster written all over it” I couldn’t see what possibly would go wrong and have never experienced their brand of cooking, so thought this was a good idea, even though hubby was somewhat concerned. I should have listened!
But it went very wrong, big time!. Below are just a few points to remember when trying to create the perfect turkey. Always thaw out your turkey in the fridge a few days before (depending on the size of the bird, it should say on the package, never on the counter) and work out the cooking time for a turkey ahead of time.
How NOT to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving.
One - Keep it Frozen – Make sure and wait until the last possible moment to take that 12 pound, pre-buttered and basted turkey out of the freezer, and also put it in the deepest and furthest corner of that large old freezer so that it is hard to get at.
Two - Purchase a flimsy Foil Pan – Make sure it is smaller than the turkey and unable to really hold the weight of the turkey.
Three - Arrive at the house one hour before dinner with the turkey hidden. Have your dinner guests wondering where you are and leave them hoping that you cooked the turkey first since it is now late in the day and everyone is filling up on chips, dip and snacks.
Four – Try and get the plastic wrap off of a completely frozen turkey by floating it in the bathtub. You don’t want anyone to know you didn’t plan this right, so you are in the bathroom secretly leaving some people wondering just what is going on in there as you wrestle with this turkey in a freshly cleaned bathroom!
Five – Finally wrestle with this pre-buttered and basted turkey into this flimsy pan and then have the hostess go and take a nap, leaving them thinking you are just warming it up, and tell them everything will be just fine, that you have everything under control, look very calm, and then turn the electric oven to the highest possible setting (550 degrees F) when no one is looking and put the turkey in the oven hoping the high temperature would defrost it quick!
Seven - Help your hostess try and put out the flames from the shooting pre-buttered bits of turkey that exploded off, due to it being frozen inside and burning on the outside in this hot oven. Not sure about the science behind this one. But those pre-buttered turkeys have butter injected into them that is released when slow cooking, to help baste the turkey.
Under normal conditions they taste great, but it was discovered that if the turkey is still frozen, and the outside of the turkey is sizzling from the hot oven, these injected bits now become little missiles and shoot hot oil and turkey bits around the oven and burst into flames on the hot red burner in the bottom of the oven, and in our case out one of the burners on top of the stove into the paper towels and other flammables! (One burner had a small opening to the oven for warming plates on)
Eight – Make sure and leave paper towels and other flammables on top of the stove. (You can just imagine what was happening next!) and get very angry with the now blaring smoke detector and screaming baby and guests all trying to put out this kitchen fire mess with whatever was available.
Nine – Have panicked family members throw the turkey outside, with this relative running after it saying it will be fine.
Ten – Eat sandwiches for dinner and the side dishes you had prepared earlier and drink and drink more, then research a new stove.
After this event, I literally will not leave the room when a turkey is cooking. I always make sure if I am the hostess that I cook the main event, and this relative brings the buns. This is a safer option for all involved!
We give thanks every year for our good health and fortune and how we saved our house that long ago holiday from a turkey fire!
If you are new to cooking turkeys, just follow the directions on the package, get yourself a meat thermometer and you will be fine! Take any shortcuts and it could spell disaster! Planning is key!