Saturday, November 27, 2021

A Thanksgiving Tale


A tale more spicy than nice, and guaranteed not to be,   never   ever,   ever,   a Hallmark movie of the week.

About two weeks before Thanksgiving we decided on turkey for our dinner.

Thanksgiving is actually the only time of the year we want turkey, and we truly don't care that much about the turkey.


Thanksgiving left-overs are pretty special.  Thinking about allll those creamy mashed potatoes (and gravy), and delicious yummy stuffing (and gravy), and candied yams and candied carrots and yeast rolls (with gravy), and all those other favorite dishes.


I didn't want to mess with cooking a turkey, that's still (in my mind) my mama's job.


I called the catering department of a local grocery store and asked if they would be roasting turkeys this year for Thanksgiving.

The answer was yes, but I should call in the order soon.

My response - "this is the call, let's do it."

She wrote my information down and we were done.


Being a secretary all my life and aware of how easily things can go wrong, I called again a week later to make sure we were all set.

All set.


The day before Thanksgiving Donald had an appointment in town so I asked if he would pick up the turkey and he agreed.

I stayed home and made the casseroles to put in the fridge to move to the oven the next day.  Things were going smoothly.

Then Donald arrived home.

With the turkey.

A really HUGE turkey.


"Oh, this is the wrong turkey," says I.

He pointed to the tag with our name on it.

"Why did we wait until today to pick up this huge frozen turkey?" he asks.

I could not even speak.

Just went immediately to the phone, called the woman in charge of the catering department of the local grocery and her story was . . . 

spit, sputter, spit

My question was "so what am I supposed to do with this huge frozen turkey that I'm supposed to be serving tomorrow?"

More spits, sputters and spits until she got to the part where she wanted to assure me it was fine fine fine.  Her customers, she says, place their frozen turkey in water over night, or they . . . ,   or they . . .,  and this is when I interrupted.

"I know how to thaw a fucking turkey."

"Oh.  Well, I guess you can bring it back."

Which I did.  

There were two turkey breasts left in that store and I brought one home.

And it was delicious (recipe below).

And so we had our nice Thanksgiving dinner and the next day we had it again.  Man, I love Thanksgiving left-overs.

What I really love is how hard Don Barley laughed from the other room as he overheard me say "I know how to thaw a fucking turkey."

And how tickled we both have gotten over the past couple of days when out of nowhere Don Barley will say "My wife KNOWS how to thaw a fucking turkey."

It's a saying we'll have for years.  

Never shall another Thanksgiving pass that the Barley home does not shout or whisper some words about thawing a fucking turkey.  


Ain't they grand?

Thank God for those of us who have a sense of humor.

What on earth would life be like without one?  I hope I never have to live a life with no humor.  

I hope you all had exactly the kind of Thanksgiving Day you wanted and needed.

And if the occasion arrives that you might need to thaw a turkey  -  well, you know the rest.

And DO try this recipe - it is DELICIOUS!  (Would I lie?)  AND fix it in your crockpot so you can use your oven for all those other things - casseroles, pies (Mrs. Smith does a great apple pie), rolls, etc etc etc.

Slow Cooker Maple Herb Butter Turkey Breast with Apple Cider Glaze Recipe from A Kitchen Addiction


For the Turkey
1 (5-7 lb) bone-in turkey breast, thawed and patted dry with paper towels
¼ C butter, softened
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 tsp sage
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 C chicken broth
½ C onion, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 ribs celery, rinsed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

For the Glaze
2 C apple cider
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, combine apple cider and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to medium-low and allow to simmer until reduced to about 3/4 cup or a little less than half. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper, and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together garlic powder, thyme, basil, sage, salt, and pepper.
In a separate small bowl, stir together softened butter, maple syrup, maple extract, and half of herb mixture.
Spread herb butter underneath the skin of turkey breast. (You can use a spoon to get to the edges and spread it around with your hand on the top of the skin.) Sprinkle remaining herb mixture over the top.
Pour chicken broth into a 6 quart slow cooker. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic cloves. Place turkey breast on top.
Cook for 6-8 hours on low or until internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees F. Two hours before the turkey is done, brush the apple glaze over the top and sides of the turkey breast every 30 minutes with a basting brush. You can check the temperature of the meat at 4 hours to see if the turkey breast will be done at 6 hours or closer to 8 hours. (If you find that your glaze has gotten too sticky, just put the glaze back on over low heat and stir in some more apple cider until it becomes runny enough to brush over the turkey again.)
Allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing into pieces and serving.
Optional: Place the turkey breast in a broiler-safe dish and broil for 5-7 minutes to brown the skin.

Bon Appétit

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