Confessions of a Thanksgiving slacker

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If you were to show up at my door on Thanksgiving day, I would welcome you into my home. I would offer you a cold beverage and invite you to stay for dinner. The main dish would be a delicious turkey most likely cooked to perfection and filled with delicious stuffing. But if you were to compliment me on the deliciousness of said turkey, I would have to confess that I had nothing to do with the preparation of the bird.

I’m a 46 year old wife and mother of two.

And I have never even attempted to cook a turkey, nor have I ever offered to do so. It seems so daunting. So mystical and wrought with salmonella poisoning potential.

On any given Thanksgiving, I am either in the company of my mother and sisters or my mother-in-law and sisters-in-laws. All of whom are better cooks than me. I am usually relegated to setting the table, making iced tea and putting ice in glasses, and I do so without complaining. Much.

I have also never baked a pie from scratch, made a sweet potato casserole or any number of side dishes considered regular fair for a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not so much that I can’t cook, I just don’t enjoy cooking. I am perfectly happy to surrender my kitchen to more experienced cooks, help where help is needed and provide comic relief as necessary.

Because I’m quite sure my first Thanksgiving turkey would turn out something like this:

So, what about you?

Are you an experienced turkey cooker?

Any Thanksgiving confessions you’d like to share?

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20 Responses to “Confessions of a Thanksgiving slacker”

  1. Amy Sorrells November 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Oh, wow, I think I just peed my pants a little watching that! Thank you for justifying my lame holiday existence. I use canned green beans. I don’t decorate, and I’m learning to forgive myself for that. My husband and his friends burn their eyebrows off every year frying their turkey with 5,000,000 other idiot Hoosiers on someone’s driveway with 100 gallons of oil and a deadly deep frier. I do cook homemade rolls. And we eat our meal with best friends instead of extended family. My only regret is that I don’t live close enough to you that you could be part of those best friends who come to my base-board-encrusted, dust-bunny-infested, hillbilly home in two days. XOXOXO

  2. James Williams November 21, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    I am a 46 yr old man and have never been fishing. I mean, I’ve come along a time or two while others fished, and tried casting it a couple of times and never got the hang of it.
    I bring this up for this reason: when I recently said, while talking in a group of men, that I didn’t know how to fish, they said “Oh, it’s easy. It’s not complicated at all. You just have to know how to hold a pole and pull it in when they bite.”
    To be honest, that reply ticked me off. It wasn’t east at all, or I wouldn’t said that. You have to hold your thumb and release it at just the right time when casting, or you will have trouble. You have to know which hooks to use. You have to know what to do with the fish once you catch it.
    I say all that to say this: if anyone replies to you that making a turkey is easy, don’t put up with it. Everything is easy if you know how to do it. Brain surgery’s easy if you’ve been to med school.

  3. Jason November 22, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    My experience cooking turkey is limited to telling the waitress I’ll have the open face turkey sandwich.

  4. Hazel I. Mon November 22, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Most young wives must experience when you leave the paper packaged neck and giblets in the neck flap of the turkey and discover it after the bird had finished baking. Once is enough and if it happens to you, don’t feel bad!

  5. Glynn November 22, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    My contributions to the Thanksgiving feast: I bake bread (sometimes), I make a mince meat pie (because it’s my favorite and no one else eats it – they prefer pecan pie), and I set the table. But if the turkey were left up to me, I would likely call Sky Mall because I don’t know any better.

  6. Amy Nabors November 22, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    I’m like you. Never cooked a turkey. I don’t really like to cook either. I usually make green bean bundles (green beans wrapped in bacon smothered w/brown sugar garlic butter mixture) to take wherever we go.

  7. Candy November 22, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    I’d like to invite all your readers to my house (but it will have to be Christmas) for a spatchcocked turkey. And some of that (disgusting) strawberry pretzel salad. I love to cook it – I just don’t like to eat it.

    • katdish November 22, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      Spatchcocked turkey? Is that like tofurky? Sounds a little scary…

      • Candy November 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

        No, if it was tofurkey I’d eat it. http://vimeo.com/18229443

        • katdish November 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

          Okay. I totally want to do that now. Is there no end to Ron Burgandy’s talent and imagination?

          • Candy November 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

            Hey, that was MY idea. I just didn’t have a knife (or muscles) big enough to do it myself. And for the record, it was a brand-new, never-been-used blade.

          • Helen November 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

            The thought of you doing this reminds me of that window sill back in the day… I’m scared…

  8. Maureen November 22, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    She wrastled that one good! (A turkey? Gotta fire up the oven a few days before.)

    My mother never cooked a turkey that was less than 22 pounds. Now she goes out to eat or let’s someone else do the cooking.

    • Maureen November 22, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Meant to say a turkey that size (I don’t think it exists).

  9. Ed Blonski November 22, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    What I learned about cooking mostly comes from Alton Brown. The man is fearless (which, I suppose, is easy if you have a team of chefs cooking everything in the next room).

    But I’ve never shied away from daunting tasks so…

    I’ve oven-roasted a turkey many times. And no one has ever died – or even got sick – from a turkey I’ve cooked.

    Last year was the first time I attempted a pumpkin pie from scratch. Bought the pie pumpkins (smaller than the pumpkins we buy for Halloween/Reformation), baked them, scooped out the innards (all the while hearing Linus’ wail “You didn’t tell me you were going to kill it!” in my head).

    It turned out great. No one died (except for the pumpkins).

    I told you all this not to brag, but to be able to tell you this:

    At Thanksgiving, my wife of 20 years and I cook the dinner together. We get a bottle of wine and what is left of a Christmas Ale I brewed from the year before (and if we’re out, I get a couple of bottles of Samuel Smiths’ Winter Welcome Ale – but that’s another story), and we spend a precious three or four hours together in the kitchen.

    It is a wonderful time for us – and is probably one of the reasons we’ve been married for 20 years!

  10. Annie K November 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Candy, please send Kat the video of the spatchcocked turkey. It. Is. Awesome.

  11. Helen November 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    I can’t say I love cooking a turkey, but I love the people I cook turkey for… and they depend on me to cook it. (Well, except for last year, when Bob reheated one of those premade grocery store jobbies because my toes were broken, and it was that, or Banquet T.V. dinner turkey…)

  12. Megan Willome November 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I’ve never cooked a turkey either.

  13. Jerry November 27, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    We cooked two…but when I reached in to pull out the neck and gizzards they were frozen! So one got baptized in warm water and the other got nuked for a bit. That video is sompin’… On my blog I posted what happened on “Thanksgiving 2011”

  14. Jerry November 27, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    My url is http://parentheticallyspeakingin3d

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