Monday, November 23, 2009

Where's the Gravy?!

It's that time of year again. Time to spend hours at the grocery store in search of the perfect ingredients for "the meal". You know which one I am talking about. "The meal" that you slave over for hours only to have the family descend upon it and gobble it up in mere minutes!

For some people cooking a turkey strikes terror deep in to their souls. Maybe this is why Butterball is flooded every year with millions of phone calls all the way up to the actual "turkey day" with questions surrounding this dreaded bird.

"How do I defrost a turkey?"

"How long do I cook the turkey?"

"Is the turkey safe to eat after the cat decided to help itself to a turkey meal?" (OK maybe Butterball can't help with that last one..... but then again who knows!)

It seems like only yesterday I was one of these folks suffering from Turkey Phobia. With the help of dear friend Tammy and good sense of humor I made it through and so can you!

I had been living in Dallas for about three months. Money was tight and my work schedule was even tighter. There was just no way I was going to make it home for Christmas. I had a dear friend Tammy from my home town that lived about an hour away with her two kids. She and her kids were not able to go home for Christmas either so we decided to spend it together in my little Dallas apartment.

Days before I was busy preparing for the event. I absolutely LOVE Christmas. I love the decorating, the music, the food. I especially LOVE to Entertain!!! Most of you who know me are saying (with lots of sarcasm) "Big surprise there! " I had the menu planned out to the most minute detail. I purchased all of the ingredients for my feast, and baked my pies. So that Christmas morning I arose early to start preparing "the guest of honor"... Mr Tom.

I had of course thawed Mr Tom according to the wonderful instructions received from the Butterball hot line and was busily preparing him for his trip to the oven. I peeled of the plastic suit and peered into the recesses of his body cavity for the tiny packet that would contain the "giblets" for the Turkey Gravy. You see I had never cooked a turkey before but I had baked several chickens and knew that this is where they placed the packet. I thought it was strange that the turkey did not contain the tiny packet. I remember thinking to myself: "Hmmm, maybe this bird didn't come with them. Oh well who needs gravy anyway?" You see even then I wouldn't dare get gravy from a jar. So no giblets meant no gravy!

This minor setback did not bother me at all. I proceeded to give Mr. Tom his herbal rub down and threw him into the oven. No worries! Now I had time to watch a few Christmas movies and make my Christmas phone calls to family while Mr Tom sat in his herbal sauna. The house was beginning to smell wonderful... except for this slight plastic scent that I could not seem to locate.

It was time to begin preparing the rest of our feast; cornbread stuffing (or dressing as we call in here in the south), green beans, buttered carrots, and of course cranberry sauce. Everything was perfect! I set the table with my china, crystal glasses, and candles in their silver candle sticks. Even my time was impeccable. Everything was ready to go to the table as my dinner guests arrived. I still could not locate that slight plastic smell! "Oh well the smell of everything else will hide it" I thought to myself.

We sat down to enjoy the huge feast that I had prepared. Tammy (who is my dear friend because she always says exactly what is on her mind) says without a beat "Where's the gravy?" "Funny thing, this bird didn't have any giblets so I didn't make any gravy." I said.

"No giblets?! Did you look in the neck?"

Mystery of the slight plastic smell was solved! How was I to know that they put giblets in the NECK of the turkey and NOT the cavity? Boy was I embarrassed! The turkey still tasted wonderful, and we all enjoyed our Christmas together. Of course being the dear friend that she is, Tammy has NEVER let me forget that first turkey. Every year I get a phone call or an email with some joke or picture about preparing a turkey. *smiles*

I hope my treasured memory of this "first turkey" has brought brought a smile to your face and inspired you to "tackle the turkey!"

So what is YOUR special memory of your first turkey? I would LOVE to hear about it!

Have a SWEET week!


*This story has been posted with permission from LittleSnowflakes*

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Vanessa said...

LOL Denise!! That is too funny. I can imagine me doing the same exact thing! My first turkey experience as a married woman was wonderful until hubby went to get the turkey out of the oven for me. We didnt have a roasting pan just yet so we purchased one of those foin pans. Well it bend and all the grease and juices went right on the floor! So we had a few bits of gravy but almost none at all. Great post!

LittleSnowflakes said...

Oh no! Well at least you still had the turkey :-)