Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ya Win Some, Ya Lose Some...........

Dale Earnhardt said "Ya win some, ya lose some and ya wreck some." Of course, he was talking about NASCAR racing, but I'm talking turkey. For at least thirty years, I've been roasting colossal birds for the holidays. Getting the biggest turkey I could find has always been an ego thing with me. This year it was twenty three pounds. Now I know some of you are going to say "Well, that's not so big! My frail, ancient grandmother cooked a forty pounder!" But bear in mind that we only had eight people eating my dinosaur. This was our first Thanksgiving without either of my children home which was a distressing element for me; I found myself quickly teary over not too much for days prior. So I had to keep myself really busy and cooking a ridiculously large turkey seemed just the thing. I'm a reasonably good cook. Not much in the kitchen intimidates me. James Beard, the famous chef said "The only thing that will make a souffle fall is if it knows you are afraid of it." That is the attitude I employ in all things culinary. The cooking triumvirate which instills terror in the hearts of the novice - pie crust, rice or gravy, come easily to me. But every decade or so, my confidence takes a nap, or I do, while I should be paying attention to the cooking. This was the year for things to go to hell in the kitchen. My race car skidded off the tracks and crashed. Had I made a souffle, it would not have merely fallen but would have blown up! Though the turkey was delicious, it was the ugliest bird I've ever cooked in  my life! It fell off the bone. I don't mean just tender, but literally, fell away from the bone such that it was impossible to carve. All that could be done was to artfully arrange hunks and pieces in a heap on a platter.  Then, there was the gravy. Eventually. The meal was served an hour later than I had told guests to arrive. Additionally, I had lied to at least one guest having said that dinner would be served an hour earlier than I actually intended to serve because that person NEVER gets here on time. The gravy would not thicken no matter what I did to it. I added additional roux, then just plain flour. Then I resorted to corn starch. I had to plead to my new best friend Arrowstarch a second time, too. I had such a rolling boil going on the stove that my face has swollen from a protracted gravy facial! I was thankful that there were several meals worth of just appetizers and that the wine was flowing like Niagara. By the time I served, everyone was so hungry and drunk that I could have served unadorned Spam and preserved my image as a kitchen goddess. I noticed that the leg of one of my good dining room chairs had been gnawed. Initially, I blamed one of my dogs but realized it was probably a guest. Oh well, there is always next year and another race. As Dale said, "Ya win some, ya lose some and ya wreck some."

This Sharp-shinned Hawk glowered from a tree branch on Thanksgiving Day. It was hunting birds at my feeders.

"When is that turkey going to be done, anyway?????"


                                                                                     

12 comments:

  1. I am sure the meal was "Gobbleious!"
    HG

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  2. Well I had some of that turkey and gravy, and it WAS delicious even if Ms. Robinson says otherwise......

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  3. you are not feeling sorry aren't you?
    this hawk would have hunt somewhere else if the feeder is not around.
    and we don't get to see these lovely photos

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  4. Love your Thanksgiving story as it sounds like many of mine. I am sure it was delicious and your guests were thrilled! Awesome Shaprie pictures too!

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  5. Nice blog as usual. Sounds like a good time was had by all down there. Did you really see that hawk in one of your trees or have you started pulling out pages of old NatGeos!

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  6. I'm not feeling guilty about that Sharpie at all! I'm pleased to be able to 'feed' it along with all our Thanksgiving guests. They were almost as thrilled with the Sharpie as they were with the turkey!

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  7. Hahaha!!! You made me laugh--especially when I got to the part about the gnawed dinning room chair. Such a funny post. Great photos of the Sharp-shinned too! Glad it tasted good!

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  8. I had the pleasure of enjoying what Robin considered a "wrecked" bird...granted, I did have alot of wine- but Frank (who did not) and I both said it was the tastiest turkey either of us had ever had! So looks are not everything. I've had absolutely gorgeous turkeys in the past that look great and are super dried out! Kind've like the apple pie I brought that looked great, but was undercooked.....uggggggghhhhhhh. We could have had Spam, but then you never would have "left-overs" would you????

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  9. I've cooked some of those great looking, dried out and tasteless birds, too! Come next year and I'll see what I can do! The ginger ice cream was terrific, pie or no!

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  10. Actually, Kelly,
    The Sharp-shinned hawk was a little tough.

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  11. It was all good no matter what you say. I enjoyed everything to the highest level!

    Thanks for it all,



    Tom Robinson

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