So, last week I posted what appeared to be an extremely straight forward and easy turkey recipe to try for the holidays (find it here). I have never cooked a turkey before and I was determined to let go of my anxieties and become a turkey maven. Well……..
Okay, so I never claimed to be perfect. While I can dish out tons of advice on tips and tricks for party and event planning, I could also tell you a lot of stories of things that went wrong (I’ll fill you in on those later!). I am not afraid of mistakes because I really do believe that you can learn from mistakes. Well, I learned this weekend, and I’m sharing with you so that you can learn from me.
Bought: frozen turkey, carrots, celery, butter and onions
Feeling: great about myself
Outlook: optimistic and positive
Plan: defrost turkey
Outlook: still holding on positive
Monday (THE day)
Plan: stuff and cook turkey
Feeling: dubious and worried
Outlook: not good!
I purchased a smaller turkey because I was using this as a test run for other holidays. I didn’t have any extended family or friends coming over so it would just be a great dinner for my small family. I thought my math on defrosting time was accurate but apparently it wasn’t. Defrosting a turkey for two days just isn’t enough time. By 9:00am on Monday, the turkey was still pretty solidly frozen. Okaaaay, don’t panic. It won’t take as much time to cook because of the size, so I’ll give it some more time to defrost.
By 4:00pm, we had resorted to placing the turkey in cold water in the sink to help defrost further. If we put it in by 5:00pm, then it would be cooked by 10:00pm and I could have a late-night taste test. Perfect. The cold water trick worked (this is actually a trick that I use to defrost many things, like shrimp, and it works like a charm).
Now, just one last step, remove the giblets. Okay, success! But, wait….what is that in there? Are there still other parts of the body inside the turkey?? I haven’t seen that EVER before. What do I do with that?? There is no room for the stuffing….what do I do, I’m starting to panic, (mostly because there is no way that I am cleaning out the inside of a turkey!!). Shouldn’t there be some indication on the packaging to alert someone to this! Help!!!
We ordered pizza while the turkey sits wondering what it’s fate will be.
Plan: redo the turkey experiment
Feeling: slightly foolish
Outlook: optimistic and with new vigor
If anything, it is just a clear reminder to me that it’s always good to do a test run if you are trying something new. I got all the mistakes out of the way so that when I try again, I will take much more time to defrost and ensure that there isn’t anything extra I need to remove from the bird. This would have been a disaster if I had a bunch of people coming over for a succulent turkey, but I managed to avoid that by not taking on too much at once.
So, take it from me. Experiment, try something new, challenge yourself. Just remember to do it at least once before you attempt to reveal to your guests. For now, I will leave you with this inspiration and stay tuned for the turkey re-do.
Photo credit: martha stewart