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Gobble Gobble Puke

October 11, 2010

What am I thankful for this (Canadian) Thanksgiving? Obviously the usual things come to mind (e.g. family, friend, health). But if you’d asked me ten years ago, I would’ve said that not killing my husband with my Thanksgiving meal was the thing for which we were both very thankful.

Poultry preparation has never been my strong suit, and not just when it comes to my husband: the first meal I ever cooked for a boyfriend – in high school – was a simple baked chicken breast. For whatever reason (did I even turn the oven on?) it was a bloody, pulpy mess. I should’ve learned my lesson then, but he was blinded by the beauty of my late-80s perm and ate it anyway, so I didn’t realize how foul my fowl skills really were.

In my family, turkey dinner on Thanksgiving and Christmas was a given, as was having my mom cook it to perfection every time. When my parents moved away for a few years, I would either mooch holiday meals from friends or skip them entirely (cue the violins).

Meeting my husband, the meat-and-potatoes-loving Serb, inspired me to cook real meals (ones that didn’t involve popcorn). We moved far from home and I decided it was time to let loose what I hoped was my long-dormant brilliance in the turkey preparation department.

I determined that starting small was the way to go and bought a pre-stuffed, rolled-up turkey breast at a foodie boutique. A dozen years after almost killing my high school boyfriend, the results were the same: little bloody bits that had my husband (who was not so blinded by love, apparently) refusing to even try it. As a result, he now scrutinizes any chicken I cook with the concentration of a CSI investigator.

Over the years I’ve tried wrapping the bird in bacon (tasted great but the threat of cardiac arrest was less appealing), wrapping it in olive-oil-soaked cheesecloth (next!) and cooking it breast-side down (that was inadvertent…and gross…). Yesterday our wonderful neighbour spent the day preparing a delicious turkey meal that she then brought over to our house – it was like having Thanksgiving catered – and even gave us the leftovers. We’ve already booked her for Christmas and if she isn’t available next year, we’ve already decided to merge our two cultures to form a new tradition: Thanksgiving Sushi.

FYI, this particular bird was cooked by my sister...apparently the crappy-cooker apple doesn't fall far from the other crappy-cooker apple...

21 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2010 9:20 am

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I was at my boyfriend’s one year and his mom didn’t cook it right and everybody got sick. With that said, I have never made a turkey!

    I call our grocery store and they do it for me. I pick it up fully cooked and all I have to do is heat it 🙂 I can eat it worry free.

    • October 14, 2010 1:42 pm

      I think doing the turkey thing is an art form…and I’m at the paint-by-numbers stage 😉

  2. October 11, 2010 9:33 am

    Happy Thanksgiving! I´m supposed to try to do my first Thanksgiving alone this year, uggggg. My Mother actually flew down to Rio de Janeiro to help me prepare and celebrate what is supposed to be our annual American Thanksgiving in Rio… I´m very scared to do it on my own. Maybe we´ll just have pies. lol

    • October 14, 2010 1:42 pm

      I’d say that a bad Thanksgiving meal in Rio is better than a great one in other places 😉

  3. October 11, 2010 9:34 am

    You just have to deep-fry the sucker. Yummy and non-vomit inducing every time.

  4. October 11, 2010 11:46 am

    It took me a few years to realize that chicken should never be served medium rare. While I have yet to tackle a Thanksgiving turkey, I have perfected the art of roasting a chicken. It’s surprisingly easy and very impressive looking. Just my style. 🙂

    I would rather eat sushi that eat the gut-bomb known as The Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. I should start fasting now.

    • October 14, 2010 1:41 pm

      Gut-bomb is going to be the name of my next air band. Awesome.

  5. October 11, 2010 2:26 pm

    I have yet to tackle a turkey. We have a neighbor that has a smoker and (not being a fan of most turkey) it is so delicious I have to have multiple helpings.

    I think mine would turn out something like yours…

    • October 14, 2010 1:40 pm

      Have not heard of the smoker. I’d love one of those deep fryer suckers but am worried I’d just keep throwing Mars bars inside of it 😉

  6. October 12, 2010 9:54 am

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday … and I’m a vegetarian. People often wonder how I do it. Two words: candied yams. Or, pumpkin pie.

    • October 14, 2010 1:39 pm

      I have a veggie friend who also relies on the yummy vegetables…I’m more focused on gravy 😦

  7. October 12, 2010 12:45 pm

    I love to cook for some reason am totally intimidated by roasting turkeys. Chicken I can do, turkeys – not so much. I usually default to a pork roast then distract everyone by homemade rolls and pie. Try it, it works.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • October 14, 2010 1:38 pm

      I think it’s the size of them – those drumsticks are bigger than my kid’s leg!

  8. October 12, 2010 5:42 pm

    Yeah … on thanksgiving my husband cooks the turkey. I can cook anything I just cant do a turkey!
    Its intimidating I guess.

    • October 14, 2010 1:38 pm

      Never let that man go. A man who knows his way around a turkey is a man you hang on to!

  9. October 13, 2010 8:11 pm

    I’m late to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Your turkey solution sounds great to me. I hate fooling around with poultry.

    • October 14, 2010 1:38 pm

      Thanks, QT! I may have more sushi when your Thxgiving comes around, in solidarity…

  10. October 14, 2010 9:03 am

    I had a boyfriend at university (we use that term loosely) and he called me one thanksgiving when I was at home. He and his buddies had had the turkey in the oven for 14 hours…the oven didn’t go over 250. He wanted to ask my mom if she thought there was anything wrong with that…ummmm hellllo salmonella calling!

    • October 14, 2010 1:36 pm

      H.B.s are everywhere! I was once at H.B.’s house a few MONTHS after Christmas and we couldn’t figure out the stench in his kitchen. Then we realized the turkey carcass was in the roasting pan in the oven. Not sure which part was sadder – that he left it in there, or that he went months without turning on the stove…


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