Turkey Day Trauma

Published 4:22 pm Thursday, December 22, 2011

How can I get ready for Santa when I'm still suffering from Turkey Day Trauma? Time's a-wasting and the Christmas to-do list is growing at a faster rate than the dust bunnies. Yet, here I sit star-ing at the computer monitor and wondering how I could have possi-bly tortured poor Tom the way I did without any real repercussions.

I should've known Thanksgiving Dinner was heading for a fi-asco when the immersion blender went berserk during my early morning waffle-making session. Up until it swirled and sloshed waffle batter all over the kitchen, and, yes, I mean ALL OVER THE KITCHEN, the nifty gadget was my new best friend.

Heck, that little stainless steel wonder can produce a great fruit smoothie in less time than it takes me to remember how to spell yogurt. Yet, there I stood with waffle batter dripping from my bifocals.

Responding to my boisterous outburst of laughter, it beats cry-ing, that man-of-mine kept asking, “What did you do?” Amazingly, he didn't go for my explanation that the blender had fallen victim to an alien nor was he agreeable that it needed an exorcist.

Back to Tom Turkey-he was cider-brined and properly twined. Fresh herbs were tucked under his skin and apple slices filled his, hmm, how do I delicately put this, inner-self. He was in the oven in plenty of time to meet his three o'clock dinner date.

Within a couple of hours and after several bastings, Tom was looking pretty good. During his next check-up, Tom was loosely tented with some foil. However, re-positioning the sizzling huge pan and its 18-pound occupant was proving to be a bit challenging. It became a two-potholder job and probably would have been a bit easier with a couple of extra hands. But, being far too stubborn to call for help, I managed to push the pan and the oven rack back in place and closed the oven door.

A little later, the sound of the sizzling bird seemed to grow a bit louder. And, there was a hint of smoke coming from the back burner, which it does on occasion.

“Mom, that turkey really smells good,” offered second-born son as he walked through the kitchen. And it did. Glancing at the clock, I thought it seemed a little too early for Tom to be smelling that good.

Turning on the exhaust fan, I looked through the window on the oven door. Tom was definitely taking on a bronzed-glow. Actu-ally, he was browning a bit more than he should be. And, the ex-haust fan wasn't really keeping up with the smoke.

“I think we need to check the thermostat on the oven,” I told the hubby as he headed out the backdoor. “The turkey is definitely cooking quicker than it should be.” I glanced back through the oven window and could see that Tom's popper-thingy had popped.

While reaching for the meat thermometer, I opened the oven door. That's when I spotted my missing potholder wedged at the bottom of the oven door. Did I forget to mention that halfway through the basting and checking, I misplaced one of my pothold-ers?

The potholder was now flaming, fueled by the oxygen from the opened oven door. Lifting it out with my long-handled tongs, I plopped it in the sink and soaked it with water. Thank goodness, there wasn't a problem and no one witnessed my folly.

After prodding the poor bird with the thermometer way too many times and witnessing temperatures well over 185 degrees, I announced that the turkey was done. Who needed to know that he was probably too done and was almost turned into a flamingo.

At dinner, Tom was a hit. “This turkey has a great flavor,” shared my daughter-in-law. “It's so moist,” she added. And it was delicious. One of the best turkeys yet.

“So what did you do different,” she asked.

“I smoked him,” I replied, drawing laughter and quizzical looks from the family.

Being way too transparent, I drew more stares. “What did you do?” my daughter-in-law quizzed.

I confessed and apologized for any lingering smells or flavors from the smoldering potholder. I also assured my family that the potholder was made from all natural fibers. “Do you want my reci-pe?” I countered.

Reckon there's any chance Santa might have caught wind of this and has second thoughts about using our chimney? KNOTT MUCH.