04 October 2006

Birdbrain…

Only one week into the marriage and I’m already biting off more than I can chew. Back in August, I ambitiously told both our families that I would cook Thanksgiving dinner this year. At the time, it seemed like a wonderful notion; the wedding would be over and I’d have more time on my hands…WRONG!

I failed to realize one important little detail, I’m exhausted! Sure the honeymoon was a nice break, but reality kicked in once we got home. The house is a mess, there’s tons of laundry to do, and I’ll be busy in another wedding this weekend. I’m not sure how I originally planned to fit in grocery shopping and turkey cooking. True to my word, however, I’m not backing down! For my bridal shower, my relatives equipped me with a roasting pan, baster and assorted bird cooking tools…either way I was destined to cook this meal.

Enter problem #2 – I don’t know the first thing about cooking a turkey! Sure I have a vague idea, but I have never actually done this before; Mom always took the reigns on this one. I’m worried that my own attempts won’t measure up. I’m not a bad cook per say, but I’m not one of those culinary geniuses either. My fears are also compounded by the fact that I’ll be cooking for 10 people. It will be the first official large family dinner of my married life.

Hopefully a trip to the local butcher will quell my fears. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll end up coming home with a huge monster of a turkey. I have never been good at estimating and always seem to err on the side of caution when cooking for larger groups. I inevitably end up making enough food to feed an army. We have a tiny kitchen and the fridge is already filled full of pies…don’t even ask me where I’m going to put the damn bird! As Scarlet O’Hara said, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

2 comments:

mkobi said...

Well, you could always cheat :) Have someone else prepare the bird... .ask your mom or in law for advice.... there is some formular to estimate how much lbs of bird per person attending...

And make sure your hubby helps :)

mrbunsrocks said...

Ah, I remember my first turkey for the in-laws.....

Turkey is actually not as hard as it looks.

Start the oven at about 450F. BEFORE YOU PUT THE BIRD IN THE OVEN, make sure it's on the rack. Nothing like trying to lift a falling-off-the-bone 20 pound turkey out with a metal spatula....hahahaha. Anyway, put some water in the roasting pan, add some veggie chunks - onion, carrot, celery and the contents of the parts bag (minus the liver). Stuff your turkey (will taste better, even if you don't like to eat the real stuffing). Also, separate the skin from the breast cavity and brush the skin (inside and out) with a mixture of oil and poultry seasoning. Cover the bony bits with foil (legs, wings, etc. - they always burn otherwise) and cook for about 30 minutes. Breast should be beginning to brown. At this point, turn the oven down to 350F, baste again, cover and continue to baste ever 30-45 minutes or so (to make sure it doesn't burn) until the turkey is done.

It's done when the leg turns easily, or a thermometer reads 180F in the deepest part of the thigh. Rule of thumb is about 20 minutes per pound, more if it's stuffed.

Good luck! See if you have a guest who can babysit the pies, etc. for you.