I feel your pain!! my husband was in the hospital ALL WEEK! and I had to make his type of stuffing (I do a different kind) and figure out how to stuff and prepare the turkey... never had to do it before, as that's *his* job.... he said there's no way to muck it up, honest hon!
he lied!!!! ALL the stuffing fell out and the bird completely fell apart! I put mine in a cheescloth bag and it gets put in "the other hole", and even THAT fell out! ugh!
but the good news??? is that the drs finally let him come home and in the middle of all the frantic preparations I drove almost an hour to pick him up and he was home to make the gravy and eat with the family! BEST> DAY>!!! in a very long time!!
our original plans were to cook it and pack everything up and bring it all, AND all 10 people, to the hospital :-)........ that would have been an adventure and a memory for telling in coming years, but I'm just so happy that we got to have him here with us, turkey and stuffing tasted just fine, and all around made us even more thankful for what we have
Surprisingly, it actually did not taste bad. In fact, the meat itself was pretty moist and delicious still. The black stuff formed a massive sheet at the bottom of the pan, dotted with globs of fat, but fortunately by the time I was staring at it in horror my husband was home and he whipped up some magical gravy out of air and dreams and maple syrup.
(Him: "Maybe they're just palming off a bunch of legless turkeys on you rubes out there. What did it say on the package?"
Me: "It just said 'fresh young turkey.' Maybe they don't grow limbs until they're older?")
My mother deduced immediately that it was a turkey breast, and not a whole turkey. I paid a freaking lot of money for organic turkey breast to not have my delicious dark meat. I think they fed the legs to other non-organic turkeys.
Thank you, Vito. The indignities you suffered were not in vain. Well, not entirely.
Oh man, this just made my night. I'm glad that Vito was tasty!
Two years ago, I wanted to impress DH with a big meal (he went to culinary school) and decided that I would do a turkey. My cooking skills at the time included pb&j, cereal, and (if I was feeling fancy) ramen noodles.
I had no clue what I was doing, put the turkey in the oven, set the timer per the instructions, and walked away.
Smoke alarms are pretty freakin' loud! I had forgotten to take the yuck bag out and it'd started smoking. I freaked, opened the oven, and tried to grab the flaming bag out with a pair of grill tongs. I managed to snag it, then panicked because it was flaming. In my wisdom, I went running and screaming through the house, brandishing the flaming yuck bag, threw it in the tub, and turned the water on it. I melted the sticky non-slip mat to the floor of the tub. Why I didn't just put it in the sink, I have no clue.
Luckily DH walked in the door before the rest of the drippings caught fire, seeing as how I'd plopped it in a shallow cake pan.
I'm glad Vito turned out well. I will admit, when I saw the pic, I wouldn't have thought there was anything left to eat!!!
My worst turkey story...
I believe it was 1986 or 87. We had just gotten a microwave oven. One of those HUGE things with faux wood paneling and dang near as big as a regular oven.
My folks even got matching aprons with the purchase that read, "I've got more time for lovin' since I got my new microwave oven!" (I wish I was making this up. I am not.)
Anyway...Dad, being all about embracing new technology, read the manual and recipe book which said you could cook a turkey in there. Shoot, it even had a plug in meat thermometer.
So Dad did.
My grandparents drove out from WY to IA for this big dinner. We all watched and waited on this majikal method of cooking a bird.
When it came out, it was the driest, most tough and awful tasting thing EVER. Back then, especially in our area, there weren't a lot of places you could go eat on TDay as most things were closed. We had pizza. I kid you not.
So...moral of story? Don't try to roast your bird in a microwave for heaven's sake.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
I just read this whole thread to my DSO, and we both howled.
Sarah, if you ever get stuck in that position again, you have to
a) Come over to Fort Erie and get Chinese takeout from Lee's Xpress....pure awesomeness (for those of you not from WNY / S. ON, for a small town, we have an amazing number of Chinese restaurants - at one time, I think 8 for a town of 30,000. Famous actors have been known to fly to Bflo and then drive over for dinner!
b) Rent A Christmas Story. If you haven't seen it, you HAVE to watch it. Let me know what you think
Now, our story isn't so epic, but still results in great laughter.
DSO's folks run some fowl and goats on 15 acres a couple hours away. Each year, they raise enough turkeys for them, and as gifts to family. (this year they got what some people call wobbly leg syndrome , so store-bought for us this year), and they butcher them themselves.
ANYHOW, a couple of years ago, we cooked and enjoyed our amazing turkey. Kind of noticed that the neck cavity seemed awfully small when we stuffed it.
Next day I am carving it up ready for leftovers and to stock the carcass....and I notice something that looks like spinach...andthen dried out corn. I realize that it is the turkey's (crop? gizzard?) - and that we had cooked it along with the rest of the turkey! I promise it was nowhere near as gross as it was funny to get an already-stuffed turkey!
this thread has me snorking like crazy!! OP I'm glad your hubs can whip stuff up out of air like mine can! it's amazing how he figures stuff out!
ps-- to anyone who uses Bisquik?? DO NOT, I REPEAT--DO NOT EVER! try the recipe on the side of the box called Cheeseburger Surprise! all I have to say is we were surprised enough that my HUSBAND called and ordered pizza, and he will eat anything I make just to try to support my poor efforts it's been 20 years and my kids are still telling people about it!!
I know this is way late on this post, but if your turkey (or anything else) doesn't stand up like you want, put a long metal skewer or bamboo skewers through it to stabilize it from side to side. Put as many as you need to make it sit the way you want.
If I got a turkey and it was missing many parts I would take it back or toss. Sounds kinda like a frankenweenie turkey.
Dee, have definitely seen "Christmas Story" and love it... and seriously, I wish I'd thought to just truck everyone over to Happy Jack's across the border. Mmm. Pineapple drinks...
I need to find a pair of matching circa '86 aprons with "I got more time for lovin' since I got my new microwave oven!" on them. E-bay hunt commencing now...
I am so selfishly glad that other people have horrific turkey stories too. This is the only cooking I try to do all year; normally for myself, I eat a steady diet of chips with salsa and sour cream, and maybe if I'm feeling like a gourmet chef, English muffin pizzas.
The safer way of turkey prep is to use a couple of the aluminum disposible turkey pans, and that way no cleaning the roaster. And prep the bread or other type of stuffing as dressing. Put it on the side in another pan, hence the name dressing, instead of putting it in the turkey, so you don't call it stuffing apparently. And you can also do a big batch of dressing, put it in extra pans, and cook it after the turkey comes out, so you have extra to reheat. For me the stuffing is the best part.