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I'm earning my keep this year!

I got up obscenely early Wednesday morning to catch my 7:15 flight to Baltimore-Washington International. Arrived at BWI at 8:45. Dan was so focused on watching the arrivals screen that he didn't hear me call his name 4 times and didn't see me until I had been standing next to him studying the arrivals with him for a good half minute. He drove us back to Silver Spring and immediately put me to work.

I guess Keya didn't feel comfortable following my directions for injecting the turkey. And, after all, it is the Henderson turkey recipe that is catching fire in kitchens everywhere. I have never tasted a better turkey than the one my dad used to make and my sister has perfected. So I've made it twice and now people think I'm an expert. (Ha! I still have to call my sister with questions!) JC and Bri insisted on following my dad's recipe this year because, apparently, the turkey I made a couple of Novembers ago is the best JC's ever tasted, and Keya wanted her turkey done the same way as well. I keep referring them to my sister, but alas! the task keeps falling back to me.

So hardly had I put my bag down when Dan had brought the turkey out from the fridge, showed me where the brandy and butter were, and handed me a syringe and hypodermic. Immediately I got to work. I clarified the butter, skimming the ghee from the top of the yellow liquid. While the butter was melting, I washed the turkey, inside and out, removing the giblets and neck in the process. (The neck had frozen to the cavity wall while in the too-cool fridge, so it was a bit of a struggle getting it out.) The cleaning was completed by swishing a shot of brandy inside the cavity and then adding another shot for good measure. Then I mixed in appropriate amount of brandy to the clarified butter and mixed it well. Out came the hypodermic and the process of injecting the bird began. I was able to finish the drumsticks before the too too small hypodermic started getting clogged. I had to devise a system in order to finish the bird. I'd fill the syringe with butter with a baster and then dunk it in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds, redipping as necessary to keep the aperture butter-solids-free. Eventually I got the whole bird injected. I put a cheesecloth over the turkey and poured the remaining brandy (about a shot and a half) over the cheesecloth. Only 2 shots of brandy (one by me and one by Dan) were consumed in the process. The turkey was set aside in the fridge until late that night.

We spent a portion of the afternoon making sure we had everything we needed. Then, about 10:30 p.m., we started to make the stuffing. We chopped up the onions, garlic, celery, figs, and apricots and added it to the stuffing mix (croutons, basically). For the non-vegetarians, I cooked the giblets and the pork sausage and added them to the non-veggie stuffing. Added the slivered onions, pepper, sage, and broth. Mixed everything up. Stuffed the turkey and sealed it up, oiled up its backside with olive oil and sprinkled a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, and sage on it, put it on the roasting rack in the roasting bag over a bed of celery and onion. Then I went to bed. At almost 2 in the morning.

Keya got up at 5 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven. It's supposed to cook at 230° for 11 hours. Keya's dad woke up at 7 and thought we had left the oven on with nothing in it, so he shut it off. Fortunately, though, he did not open the door. When the error was discovered at 10 a.m. the oven was turned back on. We probably did not lose much time since the oven door remained closed.

Around 6 or so, I'll cut up the neck meat, add all the turkey drippings into a pan, mix the flour with cold water, and make the gravy. Then we will all sit down to eat around 6:30. And when the meat eaters discover how absolutely succulent my dad's turkey and stuffing are, I will have earned my keep.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 26th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)
Sounds delish! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful meal. Sounds terrific.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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