food fight

a world of cooks in my kitchen

So, this is interesting. I have found out that if you look pathetic and lonely you get all sorts of cooking advice. Keep that in mind for the future, people. It’s quite handy.

I have seen the panic in people’s eyes when I say, “Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve never cooked a turkey before.”

This morning I found over thirteen different recipes for deviled eggs, stuffing and turkey in my inbox. This has filled me with such happiness. You don’t even know. It’s like having moms all around the world talking me through this Christmas dinner.

But it was yesterday at the Ralph’s that I learned just how nice people can be around the holiday. We were standing in line at the check-out counter– Oh, and before I forget– California: Your shopping carts are smaller than the ones we have in Texas. I look like a cow with an overflowing cart before I even get to the meat aisle. We had run out of space just buying bread and kitty litter. Get larger carts. Anyway, we were at the check-out counter when the woman behind me said, “Your turkey is leaking.”

“Yeah, is that bad?”

She looked at me for a few seconds, probably wondering if I was trying to be a smart-ass.

“Well, just make sure you wash your hands when you get home. You got raw juice dripping all over the place.”

“Eric, I knew we should have bought a frozen one.”

“It’s not that you need a frozen one, but this one’s probably not a good idea, if you want to put it in your fridge.”

She had a nice New Jersey accent. It made me trust her immediately.

“If I buy a frozen turkey, do you think it will thaw by Christmas morning?”

“Certainly. Yeah, I think so. You should be fine.”

“I don’t know what I’m doing at all, I have to tell you. I’ve never cooked a turkey before.”

Then came the look. The fear. The pity. The wanting-to-come-to-my-house-and-cook-it-for-me.

“You’ve NEVER cooked a turkey before?”

“No, ma’am.”

“TAKE OUT THE GIBLETS, DO YOU HEAR ME?”

“What?”

“Inside the turkey there’s a bag of gunk. You take that out. Put your hands in both sides of the turkey and pull all of that stuff out. Don’t cook that stuff, okay? Everyone makes that mistake unless someone tells them. I’m serious, here. Don’t forget to pull all of that stuff out, okay?”

(At this point, Eric had gone to find a frozen turkey.)

“Um, I suppose I can’t give that bag of turkey parts to the cats, right?”

“God in Heaven, no! Don’t feed raw turkey to your cats.”

“Yeah, I wasn’t going to. I was just checking.”

“And listen to me. Don’t cook the stuffing inside the bird. Cook it outside.”

“Right, cook it before I stuff the bird.”

“No, cook the stuffing separate from the bird.”

“Don’t stuff the turkey with stuffing?”

“Right. Don’t put stuffing in the bird. It slows down the cooking time and the stuffing absorbs all sorts of bad bacteria from the raw bird. Trust me. Cook it separate.”

“Wow.”

“I told you.”

“Eric, you did not.”

“Merry Christmas. Good luck. You’ll be fine.”

Some of you put mustard in things. Some of you wrap your turkeys in bacon and apples. Some of you put stuffing in the bird. Some of you make cranberry sauce. Some of you make three-bean casserole even though you hate it. Some of you cook your turkey overnight in an oven that isn’t on. My mind has been blown. There are now seventeen different ways for me to cook this turkey on Monday. Or should I do it tomorrow? What with the overnight no-heat cooking thing that Allison’s mother does.

“Shit.”

“What’s wrong?”

“We didn’t buy a baster.”

“Do we need one?”

“It’s called a ‘turkey baster.’ Doesn’t that imply that it’s sole function is to assist in cooking a turkey?”

“Yeah, but it’s just to run juices over the bird. We could probably just use a spoon.”

“I don’t know.”

“See? You’re all about buying the seven dollar baster and the ten dollar thermometer. I’d be happy with a spoon and a fingertip.”

“This is why you’re going to end up with donut chocolate in your Cincinnati chili.”

“My father is crafty.”

“We should have bought a baster.”

“We’ll be fine.”

“But you made us buy that cheap-ass turkey pan made of like, tinfoil. It’ll be hard to tilt to get the juice on the spoon.”

“I think we’re all going to be okay.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“What kind of chili needs chocolate, anyway?”

“Cincinnati chili.”

“You’re very smart.”

“You don’t cook stuffing stuffed inside a turkey. Who would have thought that? How many people are just drugging themselves?”

“I think we’ll be okay either way.”

“You’re the one that bought corn in a can.”

“THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!”

“It’s nasty.”

“Man!”

“You buy it frozen in a bag and boil the bag and then it’s fresher. In a can! Your corn will taste like metal.”

“This is going to be fun.”

“I know!”

We saw State and Main last night. It’s very good.

Now I’m back to the recapping.

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