Monday, November 21, 2011


It’s that time of year again. You can’t help but be reminded of this fact when you go to the grocery stores and see displays of food items put together which are not normally grouped in the Holiday Round-Robin way that it is now and will be through the New Year festivities.

You know what I mean: the French’s Fried Onions, Cranberry Sauce, all Stove Top varieties of stuffing (Karen and I like the “Traditional Herbs” flavor), green beans (for all those casseroles I never eat), canned pumpkin pie filling and au gratin potatoes, all stacked within a few feet of the frozen turkeys. And of course the pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc. You simply MUSN’T forget the nuts.

I’m up pretty early on Thanksgiving morning, as I am most days. This particular day, though, I’m preparing and baking the turkey. It’s a tradition I carry on alone because Karen just doesn’t bake poultry (of any kind). She usually sleeps in that morning while I’m taping the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade so she can watch it later. But that’s another story for another blog (

In the pantheon of Man’s greatest inventions, I would have to name the “timer button” (conveniently, this is already jammed in the right location on the turkey) as #3 or #4 on the list. Those little suckers have made it a WHOLE lot easier to show that your turkey is completely cooked; no more “guessing” that it’s done, only to find that it isn’t and that you and your guests are vying for toilet time as you “rewind” or “express process” your Thanksgiving meal.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Working with a turkey which is not completely thawed out is fun. Sometimes I have to spray hot water on the area to melt the leftover icy patches so I can remove everything that’s supposed to be taken out from the cavity. It’s almost like being a Turkey Gynecologist. Spread those legs, look inside and clean ‘er out!

Too add to the surrealism of the whole experience, I chide the turkey that she didn’t bathe herself properly. I also do all the jokes that you ladies have heard ad naseum when you’re in those stirrups, i.e., “Dr. Madonna at your cervix!” It just never seems to get old and somehow the turkey doesn’t seem to mind my feeble attempts at humor, either. Or at least she doesn’t complain.

Even if the turkey could somehow be embarrassed by all this, her humiliation would be short lived anyhow; shove her in the oven immediately thereafter and she’ll soon forget all about her feminine pride.

Another fun thing is filling the large turkey cavity with those items which will comprise your home-made stuffing. Why? Because you tie the legs together once everything is in place and then it becomes “Turkey Bondage”. You can even wear one of those zippered leather masks if you want to. Being that I have never done that, nor do I make my own stuffing, I can’t give you any play-by-play on what it’s like; I just imagine that the bondage game would be fun for some folks. Me? I just want to bake the meat, not discipline it.

However you choose to do your Holiday feast this year, have a tryptophan-tastic time doing it, y’hear?