For Thanksgiving I always go to Casey's for my turkey. I feel like they have the freshest birds. So, it was really disappointing when one year my turkey, despite it's potential, didn’t turn out as planned. I was so upset my caruncle nearly burst.
If you don’t know what that is, then it’s time to talk turkey about Thanksgiving. Here are a few steps:
1. Preparing your bird.
Find a good counselor to help him cope. Farmed turkeys are flightless and have little chance for escape—especially since each year the average American eats about 10% of his own body weight in turkey.
It may make you feel better to know that Big Bird’s costume was made from thousands of yellow-dyed turkey feathers. Life goes on?
2. Turkey safety.
I think it’s pretty obvious—if you are a turkey and have made it to the second week in November—it’s time to run like heck. If you are a turkey smart enough to read this, you should get out of the food business and find an agent.
3. Dressing the turkey.
Turkeys are round. To emphasize the bird’s shape—add a wide belt and avoid bulky sweaters.
Then, remove the bird’s sweater and belt. Stuffing should be added to the bird right before it goes into the oven. To kill all food borne bacteria, cook stuffing to the surface temperature of the sun. If your oven doesn’t heat that high, you can stop at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Cooking the turkey.
If you are deep frying your bird, make sure it is fresh and not frozen. A frozen turkey in hot oil will create a mushroom cloud large enough to vaporize you and your Aunt Mabel. Unless you want a squadron of F-16s as dinner guests, thaw your gobbler completely; allow plenty of time—thawing can take several days.
5. Kitchen safety.
Save your drinking for meal time. This may sound silly, but I know at least four people (including myself) that have lost pieces of digits while preparing meals—this give a whole new meaning to “finger food.”
Your meal can turn into an instant biohazard in the blink of an eye with the slip of knife. If you are interested in knife play, join the circus—don’t cook my dinner.
6. Cooking a moist and juicy bird.
Don’t trust the red pop-up button to tell you when your turkey is done, it will be dry.
Use a meat thermometer and take your turkey out of the oven before it’s up to temperature—he’ll cook a while longer once he’s sprung.
If you choose to use the button anyway, serve drywall to your guests instead—it’s cheaper. The only exception to this rule is if you don’t ever want to host again—next year everyone will go somewhere else.
So tell me, what do you think a caruncle is?
Finally, here’s a little quiz. Which of these facts are true?
a) Turkeys are originally from Mexico, but weren’t eaten because nobody could make a tortilla large enough to hold one.
b) May is National Turkey Lover’s Month.
c) Each year the President pardons a turkey due to overcrowding in the prison system.
Check back for the answers!