Boring, boring day. Trip in to Reading to John Lewis to replace our oven in preparation for Thanksgiving and then Christmas. We have BBQed a turkey before, and a Christmas goose, but not this year!
No real scrapping today, but I thought I would share a classic Thanksgiving story with you, and an inadvertently rude pair of vegetables. Some of my friends will roll their eyes and say “not that again” but it still brings a smile to my face when I think back on it, and today, a smile is just what I need
We had two people staying with us and 4 more invited fairly last minute. I wasn’t sure about getting a turkey big enough at that time of year, but toddled off to the grocery store and I placed an order for a bird with one of the butchers. I went off to do my shopping only to be accosted by the main butcher in another aisle shortly thereafter. He explained that as this is the UK, turkeys are usually only for Christmas so he couldn’t guarantee me a whole bird before 1 December. Huh? He said he could order it, and ask for a whole bird, but when it came it might be as a crown (the breast bit) and the legs (2) separate. With little choice, I said OK let’s order it, ask for a whole bird and see what happens.
On Friday, DS had a surprise early closing (well, surprise to US as we only found out Friday morning). DD was both very sick and very clingy, so DH had to go and pick up the bird. My plan had been to do the shopping after dinner when he was home to stay with DD but it didn’t work out hat way. DH called me from the grocery store and said “The turkey is in pieces. Did you know that?” I told him I had been told it MIGHT be but, no, I didn’t “know”. He then said the butcher said he could build one for me. HUH?? Apparently, the butcher could de-bone a second crown, tie the two crowns together, and attach the legs, he said. He said he would use it as a training exercise for the apprentice butcher and charge us less. OK, I guess said I. At that point it seemed that or nothing so we’d better go with it.
So DH comes home with the bird. I open up the carrier bag, and sure enough there is a “whole” bird. Except it isn’t. It’s FRAKEN-BIRD. It’s pieces of turkey all netted up to LOOK like a real bird but it’s oddly misshapen without the wings. We all stared at it in a sort of stupefied silence then just burst out laughing.
OK, so in to the fridge it goes till Saturday, when everyone is coming for dinner. Saturday morning, DD is nearly human again and asking Dad (hurumph!) for breakfast and I’m out the door for shopping at 7 AM. Home again with all the rest of the goodies, and time to do the calculation on cooking this turkey-beast. It looks to be 5 hours. So I take the bird out of the fridge to put it n the roasting pan and brush on MILs classic garlic marinade, yum, yum.
As soon as I pick up the bird I see something is not right. It is all falling into bits in my hands. I’m trying to maintain control, trying not to drop any thing but it’s like juggling a very large, very heavy, very slimy ball and two slimy bowling pins. I manage to get the bits into the pan and can now see that it is NOT all netted together. The crown is, and the legs are. The legs are tied together but not attached to the crown in any way. There is no way to get it all in the roasting pan with out bits going askew and the legs spreading too wide to fit in the oven. The leg very clearly didn’t come from the same bird — if so it would have been an weird turkey with two left legs and on stilts!
OK — we’ll adjust. Quick consultation and a solution. DH will cook the crown on the BBQ and the legs will get done in the oven. All well and good. Except everything was done at different times and much earlier then planned.
Dinner was fine, tasty and fun but then I got a photo my friend took of Franken-bird — look in the red circle. In a bizarre quirk of perspective, I think you will agree two of the three butternut squash in a bowl behind the bird create a very strange image.