Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving Day 2005

We had a nice Thanksgiving day. We were invited over to Grandma and Grandpa C's house. My Mother, and my brother Mark, did most of the cooking. When we arrived, the turkey was still in the oven.

This year, Mark bought a new cooking gadget called the Turkey Cannon. This device is supposed to result in faster, more evenly, cooked of the turkey. In addition, the turkey is supposed to come out more moist as well. You can fill the cannon with liquid of your choice (we used white cranberry juice) which steams the turkey from the inside as well.

Fresh sage, rosemary, and a few lemon slices were stuffed into the cavity of the bird. Then it was impaled placed on the Turkey Cannon. The exterior of the bird was also rubbed with herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, and time (Yes! just like the song!, And no, Simon and Garfunkel were not there.)

So, what was the verdict on the Turkey Cannon. Well, there were mixed reviews. Personally, I liked the way the Turkey turned out. It had a nice flavor, and I found it to be very moist. Even the white meat! (Ordinarily I have to slather on lots of cranberry-orange relish to handle the dry white meat, but I didn't have to this time. In fact, my white meat was nearly all gone from my plate before I realized I hadn't had any cranberry relish with it at all yet!)

I guess I'll never know whether the extra moist bird was attributable to the Turkey Cannon, to the use of Mark’s fancy meat thermometer. They took the bird out of the oven at 160 internal degrees. Mark tells me that the little plastic popper that comes with the turkey doesn’t usually pop until about 180-185 degrees internal temperature. I think this amounts to a conspiracy hatched by the Norbest legal department exercising undue control over the turkey cooking directions. I’m told that 160 degrees is quite adequate for meat safety concerns. The 180-185 degrees required to set off little the plastic popper may give the company an added layer of protection from salmonella law suits, but only at the expense of a more moist, flavorful turkey.

After the Turkey Cannon experience, my mother is of the opinion that she prefers her turkey the way they did it in the previous couple of years. Last year they soaked the turkey in a brine solution for a day or two before Thanksgiving. Then they cooked it, along with the herbs, inside of an oven bag. She felt that the turkey was even more moist with the bag, than with the Turkey Cannon. And because the roasting bag seals in all the steam coming from the bird as it cooks -- that it actually cooked faster. This year's bird was fairly large sized (22 pounds), which according to mom, made it difficult to position the bird onto the Turkey Cannon. The Turkey Cannon can also be used in a barbecue grill as well as the oven. Mom thought that might be nice way to cook a smaller bird in the summer. Maybe we’ll give it a try in warmer weather.

Mean while over at Carol’s blog, I’m afraid I apparently sparked an interest in the Turkey Cannon. Carol had quoted a humorous poem about flying/exploding turkeys. I made a comment that perhaps the Turkey Cannon might have been to blame for the problem. Go read the post, and be sure to check out the comments.

Meanwhile, while we were waiting for the turkey to cook, we played some games together, and put together a couple of jigsaw puzzles. Mostly we just relaxed, visited with each other, and had a nice time together. We didn’t even have the TV on before dinner.

Once the Turkey was cooked, it was time for the marshmallows to be toasted on the candied yams. Then the rolls got their turn in the oven. Finally it was time to eat, and we had a nice meal together.

After dinner and cleaning up, the kids had turned on the TV. We watched the some of “A Christmas Story” for a little while, and chuckled at Ralphy’s antics while our food was settling.

Finally, we spent some time learning about our newly discovered Mayflower ancestors. I read the biographical sketches I had found on the internet for each of our seven ancestors who came to Plymouth Colony on the Mayflower. It was a fun time of discovery for each of us. It was nice to remember them on this holiday. It brought the history and meaning of the holiday much closer and more personal for each of us.

Before we left, we were treated to some of grandma’s pumpkin pie, with fresh whipped cream, courtesy of Dawn Ann. It was very good too, and a nice way to close out the evening.

We came home, rolled into bed, and settled in for a long winter’s nap.


Carol said...

Okay, I'm sold on the turkey canon. The next time my husband visits from Pakistan I'm sending him back with a picture so he can have a tin-smith repicate it. I love that about Pakistan, knowing where to kind craftsmen who can replicate almost anything for a song.

Oh, David, I must admit white cranberry juice sounds more tempting than a diet Pepsi (or Bebsi as they say here in the UAE- Arabic doesn't have a "P".)

The only wonderful, flavorful and moist turkey I ever cooked in my life was slow grilled over mesquite brickettes.

SalGal said...

It's days like yours that make me wish I liked visiting my family on holidays!