Fall means it’s turkey time! The first time I ever cooked a turkey I needed step-by-step instructions over the phone, and I remember asking ask my dad, “You want me to put my hand where?” I was 22 years old and had never attempted anything harder than making spaghetti. Cooking a turkey with all the fixings seemed waaaaay beyond my abilities, but my grandmother had insisted that I make turkey dinner for her that year.
When my dad told me to put my turkey in a roasting pan, I asked him if I could use the one inch high pan that came for free with the oven. He laughed out loud, and called me an idiot. My solution? Build a foil moat around the turkey, because that makes sense right?
So I popped my turkey in the oven, and left the house to run errands. I came back two hours later to find smoke billowing out of the kitchen. I rushed over to the oven, opened it and found turkey juices bubbling up over the sides of my foil moat and hitting the hot coils below. I called my dad in a panic and he calmly walked me through grabbing a pot, and ladling out all the liquid. Then he called me an idiot again.
I had no idea what basting was, so over the next two hours I frantically checked the oven to ladle out any liquid at all that accumulated. After that I used the juices to make gravy, per dad’s instructions. I also made stuffing from a box, opened a can of cranberry sauce and called it a day. I’m pretty sure that turkey was drier than sawdust, but at least there was gravy, right?
Since that horrific day, I’ve avoided making turkey dinner like the plague. Instead, I make sure I’m around when my mom or one of my friends gets their free turkey from Sack ‘N Save. So to all you turkey cooks out there, keep clucking and I’ll be waiting for my invite.