The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Whitehall Ledger 

Column: Turkey, Turkey, Turkey

 

December 11, 2019



Anyone that knows me well certainly understands how much I understand a traditional turkey dinner.

If I was ever kidnapped for a ransom and told I could only pick one meal this would certainly be it, but I’m sure that after few hours of taking me the guilty party would give me back because they were sick of me.

I normally like to have turkey dinner several times of the year, but this did not happen from November of 2018 to November of this year. I moved to a new place in 2019 so that took most of the energy I had so I didn’t want to deal with the monumental task of making the meal on a day off. So, to say I was eager for my Thanksgiving feast would be an understatement.

With my huge appetite on Thanksgiving and my sister flying in from the City of Angels, we deiced to get a huge turkey. I love the actual meal, but I also can’t wait to pack turkey sandwiches to work for the next few days. The sure size of the 20 plus pound frozen turkey meant it would need a good deal of time to defrost in the fridge and that was a really big tease. Every time I opened the fridge there was this huge bird seeming taunting me. I wanted nothing more than to unwrap it and throw it in the oven, but I had to patiently wait.

My sister flew in on the Monday before Thanksgiving and we made sure not to have anything that resembled a turkey dinner. As much as I love the dinner, I didn’t want to ruin it by eating something even remotely similar.

By the time Wednesday arrived, it was time to brine the bird and I had never been so excited about this process before. I was like a kid in the candy store as I heated the salt, sugar, spices, and fruit. I know a lot of people that love to brine a turkey and others who think it makes no difference, but I swear it makes for a far juicier bird so it is a must the evening before.

I had no problems getting up early the morning of Thanksgiving to help Melissa get things rolling with the dinner. She injects the turkey with a secret recipe, and this also makes for one heck of a moist bird.

The next few hours were agony. Once I started to smell the turkey roasting, I just wanted to rip it from the oven out to the car and drive far away to where I could eat the entire thing by myself.

Luckily around noon my sister and the kids made a couple of appetizers to hold me over, but I made sure not to overeat although I’m thinking that eight deviled eggs are probably a lot on any other day.

After a few hours of getting everything else ready, it was finally time to eat around 3 p.m. and I grabbed the biggest plate I could find. I know a lot of people like to have a lot of elaborate sides, but I’m pretty traditional and on my plate it is turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a roll – and probably about 3 pounds of it.

When I sat down and examined the plates around me, I felt a little bit weird. I had at least double the amount of anyone else, but I did not let this bother me. I made it through the mammoth plate and went back for seconds that were still bigger than anybody else got the first time.

A few hours later I would get back into the turkey for round two. And a few hours later it was round three.

On Friday and Saturday, I had two sandwiches and on Sunday we had hot turkey sandwiches. I think I probably at about eight pounds by myself. There was still plenty of turkey for a day or two more of leftovers, but I had reached the point I was kind of sick of turkey. I never thought those words would come out of my mouth, but I had eaten so much it happened.

It didn’t last long, I’m already ok with the thoughts of a huge turkey. Maybe I should cook one in the summer so I won’t go so crazy next November.

 

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