Monday, January 4, 2010

My Good Friend "Tom"

Justine vs The 16lb Turkey - International Competition
Justine won!!

Somehow I managed to make it to the age of 41 without ever having cooked a turkey! So my adventure begins when we realized that during the holidays our little local mart had turkeys in their freezer. Realizing that this is something that we all love and reminds us of holidays back home I decide to give it a shot! How hard can a turkey be, right? So here are the obstacles:

- I do not have a roasting pan with or without a rack

- I cannot, for the life of me, find celery. I know that it does not look like what I am used to, here it more resembles parsley and is dark green, but I can't find it. Trust me, it smells the same, so I have sniffed more greens than I care to recount! I'm sure more than one national thought I was a dork. :)

- My oven is small and my rack does not slide out and still hold weight, so basting will be tricky.

I ask advice from my mom and Katrina, my professional foodie friend, and they tell me how to cook it, first my mom suggests a turkey bag.....uh, not gonna happen over here, they would probably give me a rice sack with a hole cut out for the turkey's head!! However, after surveying my situation I decide it is time to break out my "mad googling skills"! After a bit of research I come up with a do-able situation and here is what worked for me......after I had to pull out that nasty neck and giblet business....DISGUSTING!!

I rubbed lemon juice and salt on the inside cavity then filled it with 2 carrots, 1/2 onion, and after searching for celery I decided on the parsley that was in my fridge...which turned out to actually be celery (score one for the my cook!)! Ending it with a splash of Thyme.

I then rub the bird down with butter and sprinkle salt, pepper and thyme.

I scrubbed my oven rack and cooked the turkey right on it, with a pan underneath to catch the drips. No basting necessary because we cooked the bird upside down so the juices flowed into the breast meat! Turned out tasty and very moist and juicy. All in all a success!

Considering this is the first thing I have cooked here that I thought actually tasted "right", I was pretty happy to not to have to throw out this turkey which cost us a minor fortune! :) By the way Katrina told me later that she accidentally cooked their turkey upside down this year and it the moistest she has ever made! Try it!!

So the moral of this story is that encouragement can come in all kinds of forms. This little victory came at a time that I needed to know I was really going to be able to handle things on my own here, without many of the conveniences I have always had. I am also thankful we didn't run out of gas while cooking it since there is no way to gage how much, or how little, you have!

The New Year is starting out great and with all the changes coming up....I am grateful. Now I am going to go into denial for two more days and pretend that school isn't really starting on Wednesday! Three more units......just three more units.........

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Wow Justine, that turkey looks great! Mine haven't ever looked that good. I didn't know that you and your family had moved. What an adjustment. We will be praying for you.
Sherry Trosper