Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fresh Turkey Whine

Apparently … 3/4 cups and 2/3 cup aren't the same thing :( The brine for my bird calls for 2/3 c. Kosher salt, 2/3 c. sugar. Miss “I-am –so-Brilliant”, grabbed a measuring cup, looked at it ... dumped salt into the pan. Added the apple cider, then went to add the sugar ... and realized, “ohhhhh crap”. That was the 3/4 measure - NOT the 2/3 :( I equaled out the sugar - then ended up going back to add more cider. I am SUCH A GOOD COOK. *rolls eyes* I am also tired ... and KNOW I should make the 2nd batch of cornbread tonight ... but am feeling very UNINSPIRED to do so. I'm thinking as soon as this brine cools I'm heading to bed. I awoke this morning at 5:10. I was out of the shower and making coffee by 5:30. The stuffing was baking by 6:45 am. I ate breakfast. I started the gravy. My goal was to have the dishes done, be dressed and at the grocery store by 8:00 am when it opened to buy my turkey. I’d planned on buying my turkey last night … but class didn’t end ‘till 9:00 pm, and there was no way I was doing the store AND getting cornbread made. Cornbread cooking and turkey procrastination won.

As I made the gravy this morning, and realized that washing dishes, at the same time, might present a bit of a challenge. I revised my schedule once again. I’d get the turkey … uhh-errr-hrrrm. When WOULD I get that damn turkey? More importantly WHY hadn’t I purchased the turkey Monday night?

I know this is going to shock you … but …

Hi, my name is “Mit” and I’m a turkey snob.”

At the everyday grocery store I tried to buy a regular turkey. I looked at the frozen turkeys. My body shuddered, as if someone had stepped on my grave. “Fine, fine. You don’t have to stoop so low as to buy a frozen turkey. You can buy a fresh one, and still be fiscally responsible,” I told myself.

I moved onto the fresh turkeys. Ten-cents more per pound, but still FRESH Turkey … with 30% pre-basted crap injected for a “more juicy bird”. As I stared at the turkeys, touching this one and that, I could feel the MSG absorbing into my skin. “Get real. EVERYONE eats turkeys injected with “stuff”. Quit being such a sissy.”

It is a good thing I am not a motivational speaker. Because the fake, juicy, sodium laden turkey never made it into my shopping cart. That left going to a “gourmet” store to get a fresh turkey – sans additives.

Tuesday I called around. One store wanted $2.49 PER POUND for their “all natural” turkey. That store and bird was scratched off the list. Then I called the emporium closest to my house. The one that sucks all my will-power. Their turkeys were a “bargain” at $1.99 per pound. They were however NOT taking any more reservations. Just show up they said.

I was carpooling today and knew I couldn’t be late. Time was looking tight. Could I really get to the store, get my turkey, the green beans, coffee, another onion, some more celery AND be back in a half an hour? “No, no you cannot,” I scolded myself. “Do NOT do this to yourself. You can get the turkey … uhh … at lunch? Nooo. After work? On Wednesday, mere hours before Thanksgiving started?” My inner voice refused to leave me alone. “And what if you show up and there are NO TURKEYS??? Sure, one vegetarian will be joining us .. but what about the rest of the guests? They haven’t really expressed any desire to become vegetarian … and certainly NOT on a HOLIDAY!”

As I moved the thickened gravy off the burner I realized it was 5 minutes to eight. Hmm – maybe I can make this work I told myself. I called my carpool. “I’m running to the store. I’ll be here at 8:30 … if I’m not, wait just a second, m’kay?”

Rushing in the store, I headed back to the meat … OMG … what is that LINE FOR? … department. Now I was really panicky. I didn’t have my cell phone, and I didn’t have any phone numbers. “Well, just get the other stuff and then come back toni….”, my mental voice trailed off. “If there’s a line at 8:00 am, just what the hell do you think it’s going to look like at 6:30 pm tonight?”

I stood in line.

I was so antsy.

“Why aren’t I married?” I fumed. “Then “he” could stand in this line and I could get the other stuff.”

Thankfully the line moved quicker than I expected. Graciously, they agreed to part with one of their turkeys even though my name was not on the “reservation list”. “Look! I booked this turkey 3 weeks ago, 21 day advance. What do you mean you don’t have a seat for me?” I was prepared to scream.

After securing Clement, (what? You don’t name your turkeys??) I rushed through the store “FOR THE LAST TIME, DAMN IT!”

Stopped in front of the pile of Georgia snap green beans, I LOOKED at the fresh sage, knew the stuffing for today called for it and I’d already used the stuff I had in the refrigerator - and the stuffing tomorrow did not ... so I didn't buy any. Then I picked through the beans to get the best ones. “No, no I am NOT anal,” You should have seen the wilted, moldy, broken beans mixed in with the “good” beans. There was no way I was going to waste $.99/lb on inferior beans.

The most amazing thing is I finished my shopping, checked out, dashed home, put away the groceries … ALL BEFORE THE CARPOOOL showed up!

“Mitter & Turkey FTW!” (really those initials mean “For The Win” not “Fresh Turkey Whine”)

*sigh* ... Guess what's stuffed in the turkey as it's roasting (grilling) tomorrow? ... Yep, 4 Sage Leaves. I might just go scrounging through the neighborhood. I know of at least 3 herb gardens. Maybe there's still some left??


Christopher Paquette said...

making a brine is not baking.... no need to stress over 2/3 cup vs 3/4 cup...(says the guy who bought pre-mixed brine at Whole Foods today)

Woodstock said...

He's right: brine isn't baking. Just even out your ingredients in proporation and you'll be fine.

And good lord this is enough to make me want to become a vegetarian...or a hermit. Oh, wait, I'm already a hermit and I *still* have to show up at Thanksgiving dinner. Stupid family.

Your guests will be happy to be in your company regardless of the food because that is, after all, what the "holiday" really should be about.