Every year around this time, I get the urge to roast a turkey.
I’m not sure why it is, but I can guess. I do all the cooking around the house and I can probably be described as a bit of a hobbyist. I particularly like to make Mediterranean, Indian, African (Ethiopian in particular) and occasionally Chinese food. I’ve got books on Southeast Asian and Japanese cooking, but these books are so far unused despite the fact the Japanese cookbook actually includes directions for sushi.
I love sushi, but I’m not yet confident enough of the freshness of fish in my area to try to serve it raw.
Actually, I’ve also got a few vegetarian cookbooks. It’s not because I’m a vegetarian, but rather because the lack of meat in the meals pushes vegetarian cooks to try interesting things. And also because I don’t believe eating meat on a daily basis is necessary.
So anyway, I made a turkey.
I got it for about a dollar a pound, making it rather cheap–$11.87. That’s still more turkey that we can eat, but it was the cheapest (and smallest) one I could find. I saw $45 turkeys in the freezer.
I hadn’t realized just how long it takes one of those suckers to thaw. Two days for the smaller ones. According to the label you could make it thaw in 19 hours if you let it thaw on the counter for 7 hours and then inside the fridge for another 12.
I tried that. It didn’t work. The outside was a little soft but the inside body cavities were like rock. So after calling my mom and younger brother Derek (both of whom had made turkey before), I put the turkey in the cooler with cold water and kept it there for an hour and half. In an effort to avoid disease, I changed the water every half hour, pouring it into the sink.
This is more of a pain than it sounds because it takes time to fill up the cooler with water, the cooler is a bulky object, and you pretty much have to wash your hands each time you touch the turkey.
Why would you touch the turkey? Because you want to get all the water out and you don’t want to have the turkey fall into the sink while you do it.
Also, we have 5 cats. So while I could have placed the turkey on a plate while pouring out the water, I didn’t want it out of my sight. It did thaw eventually though. It was juicy despite having the temperature go up past the maximum on the thermometer (190).
Not that Abby and Rebecca (my daughters, both under 3) ate any. When they noticed we had mashed potatoes, they refused to eat anything else (unless you count gravy).
And so, I now have at least 5 pounds of leftover turkey.
Anyone like turkey sandwiches?