Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Turkey Story

So....the other day my uncle asked me if I would bake a turkey. I said "Sure!" I have only baked one other turkey in my life, and it turned out ok, so I figured I could probably do it again :). There were quite a few steps in making this turkey, since first I had to brine it. Basically that means soaking the turkey in a mixture of broth and a lot of salt. I managed to cross that hurdle without too many problems, although my uncle helped me a lot, I had to put all the liquids in a plastic bag, and then put the turkey in so that it would all be soaked evenly. It wasn't until I went to actually bake the turkey that I crossed the first great hurdle.

Hurdle #1: To bake a turkey you put it on a roasting rack. The only roasting rack I had ever seen was the one that Kevin and I got for our wedding, which was of a triangular shape and rather large. So anyhow, when I went to look for the roasting rack I found nothing that met that description. I called my uncle and he told me where the roasting rack was, but after pulling everything out of that cupboard, I found nothing that fit my image of what I was looking for! One of the nice things about living on a farm with all of your family members is that you have several people to borrow from. So, because I knew I had to get the turkey in the oven soon, I went house to house looking for a roasting rack. one was home, so I had to poke through everyone's cupboards by myself. (I hope they don't mind!) Finally, on my third and final house, I found exactly what I was looking for. I went home and set the bird in the roasting rack and put it in the oven to brown.
* It turns out that we did have a roasting rack in that cupboard, when my uncle got home he showed me two little flat octoganal things that looked more like cooling racks to me, but are apparently another form of roasting rack! Now I know.

Hurdle #2: After the turkey browns, you are supposed to take it out and put a double layer of aluminum foil over the breasts. When I pulled my turkey out I realized that putting the aluminum foil on was going to be trickier than I thought b/c the breast of the steaming hot turkey was the part facing down. Fortunately for me, my cousin Lawrence was home, so he took tongs on one end, and I on the other, and we lifted the turkey up as I quickly slid the foil under. It was quite a "to do" and I wondered how in the world the recipe expected that one person could possibly do that on their own!
* I later found out (later as in when my uncle got home and the turkey was supposed to be done), that I had the turkey upside down! Suddenly everything made much more sense! The foiling would have been leaps and bounds easier if I had figured that out a little sooner!

Hurdle #3: The Gravy. So because I had put the turkey upside down, almost nothing had dripped out! There fore basically what was at the bottom of the pan was burnt. Oops!

Hurdle #4: Timing. Once we figured out the upside down problem, about the time it was supposed to be coming out of the oven, we realized the breast of the turkey was not fully done so we had to flip the turkey over and bake it for another half hour. By the time dinner rolled around we were definitely hungry!

Result: The turkey actually tasted really good. Lawrence said that it was his favorite turkey ever. He doesn't generally like turkey b/c it is on the dry side. This one was definitely not dry considering all of the juices never seeped out as a result of its upside down position! We didn't have any gravy, but all in all it was a yummy, much anticipated :), dinner in which I learned a lot of lessons.

No comments: