Turkey 101

By SUSAN WELCH
Posted 11/19/21

I must admit I don’t have a slew of fond memories about Thanksgiving turkeys. I’ve only had to cook two turkeys in my whole life. The first became roadkill and the second almost destroyed …

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Turkey 101

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I must admit I don’t have a slew of fond memories about Thanksgiving turkeys. I’ve only had to cook two turkeys in my whole life. The first became roadkill and the second almost destroyed the kitchen.

One of the fondest memories I have of my mother-in-law was when she told me that I should never feel pressured to be at her house for the holidays. “You should start making memories with your own family,” she said. I remember thinking how unselfish it was of her — until I tried baking the first turkey myself.

My husband, who I thought was far more schooled on how to prepare a turkey than I was, bought a 15-pound bird the day before Thanksgiving. Not realizing we weren’t going to have time to slowly thaw the bird in the refrigerator like everyone else did, we put it outside overnight to thaw on the back porch. The next morning before dawn, all that was left of the turkey was a half-eaten carcass and a basting bag hanging from a tree. The turkey had already been dined on by raccoons.

After that, I didn’t attempt to cook a turkey again for many years until I discovered Martha Stewart’s “Turkey 101” course on the Food Network. Her recipe included covering the turkey with a shroud of cheese cloth and basting it every 20 minutes with a combination of butter and white wine. It sounded delicious, and the finished product was guaranteed to like “mahogany” Martha said.

She was right about that, but what she failed to tell us was that the smoke created by all the basting would turn the kitchen dark mahogany, too!

Susan Welch lives in Dunn.

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