Alive at Thanksgiving

Captain’s Log    6,102

It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow.  For so many, it’s all about the feast.  I don’t care one whit about the food.  For me, it’s all about evaluating my gratefulness and acting on it.  Yes, there will be food, but I am not excited about that.  I will be going to a restaurant with my sister and some friends.  They will all eat a big Thanksgiving dinner.  I will have some sort of breakfast meal.  What excites me is spending time with good people.  I mostly listen to their stories.

But I might have a piece of pie.  Might.  I passed up the pie last year and was perfectly fine with that.  Maybe it’s an age thing, but I have no huge desire to eat sweets anymore.  I will be polite and eat them when offered, but I don’t go out of my way to eat that stuff.  I brought back 30 bars of chocolate from the Netherlands, and someone shared one square of a bar with me.  And that’s what it will be.  I have no intention of eating any of that candy.  Most of it has already been given away.  I had a root beer float with Big Sister Mia over the weekend, and that counted as lunch.  And I won’t have another one for a very long time.  Months.

Funny how it changes.  Funny how the depth of something comes knocking when you put aside the trappings and fuss and really wonder what it means to be alive.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

20 responses to “Alive at Thanksgiving

  1. I am sure your Thanksgiving was filled with love and good friends and your sister. What else can you ask for. Glad you are contemplating life….it’s a good thing to do!

  2. Patty O"

    What a wonderful site this us! Good friends with witty comments, a REAL chef giving REAL info on how to roast the perfect bird, and an author who stands around with no pants. I am grateful for the FUN of that!

  3. Your replies are nutz dear Poolie. We love ya tho. We are glad you are back, hope you will fill us all with stories, and share a hug or two with the masses.

  4. susanna

    How much fun was that cooking lesion from “dangerous.” Have a wonderful day. You’re on my thankful for friends list. xoxo

  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Poolie. I hope you enjoy your breakfast for lunch/dinner. I already know you’ll enjoy the company.

  6. Happy Thanksgiving… being grateful is what it’s all about.

  7. farmgirl

    Happiest of Thanksgivings dear friend! Am ever so grateful we reconnected! Enjoy that breakfast meal!! My favorite meal anytime of the day!! You are loved!

  8. The hell with gratitude. THIS is the real meaning of Thanksgiving (well, this and smallpox riddled blankets):

    Make sure have a roasting pan with a V-rack or you will lose all social standing for years to come and your turkey will have died in vain. It’s just too too sad to contemplate.

    Now then.

    The morning before you cook the turkey, you need to submerge it in a brine. A brine is just a whole lotta water with some salt and sugar dissolved in. Basically, if you have a pot big enough to hold the turkey you would probably need a cup and a half of EACH dissolved in the water. Then stick the whole thing in the fridge and go watch cartoons.

    For about 12 hours.

    Now then, later that night, before you go to sleep, take the bird out of the brine and rinse it well under cool water inside and out, and pat it dry with paper towels. Now place it on a flat rack over a shallow cookie sheet, and put that back in the fridge and keep it there overnight. That will dry the skin – not the meat – and make the skin crisper when it cooks.

    (If you don’t care if the skin is crispy, you can make it a little easier on yourself. Just put the bird in the brine the NIGHT before you cook it, and take it out and rinse it off the morning you’re gonna roast it. Saves one annoying step.)

    Ok, so you’ve got your brined bird. Now comes the easy part. Cook the stupid thing:

    1. Put your oven shelf in the lowest position and set the oven itself to 400 degrees. Yes, 400 degrees. I don’t care what anyone else tells you. They’re all fools. 400 degrees.

    2. You know that fancy-dancy V-rack you just spent 4.99 on? Wrap it in several layers of aluminum foil. You don’t have to do the legs. But three or four wraps around the central rack part should do it. Then poke a bunch (20 – 30) holes all the way through it with a small knife or something like a chopstick. Put that whole thing in the roasting pan.

    3. Melt a stick of butter in a small bowl.

    4. Tuck the ends of the drumsticks into the flap of skin at the neck, if it has a slit already cut into it for that purpose. If it doesn’t have that feature, take some twine and just tie the ends of them together pretty tight. Tuck the wing tips behind the back. Now brush some of that melted butter all over the breasts of the bird (if you don’t have a cooking brush, use your fingers/hands). Then flip the turkey breast side down onto the V-rack. In other words, the bird is upside down. Brush the back of the bird with more butter, all over.

    A tip: if the bird will not stay straight, prop him up by placing crumbled aluminum foil wads along his sides as buttresses. It’s easy.

    Put it in the oven now, with the turkey “upside down”. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour this way if your bird weighs 12 – 18 pound bird. One hour solid, at least, for a larger bird, up to 22 pounds.

    Take the pan out of the oven. Reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees. Before you put everything back in, flip the bird onto one side in the rack and put it back into the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, Then flip it to the other side for the same amount of time. Then finally flip the bird right side up and let it cook the rest of the way like that. (Use lots of paper towels to do this, or very clean kitchen towels.)

    Keep roasting until the temperature of the breast reads 165 on an instant thermometer, and the thickest part of the thigh reads between 170 and 175. Heavier birds have to cook longer than small ones, obviously.

    If you see the skin is getting too dark for your taste during that time, place a piece of aluminum foil over it. It’ll still cook, but it stops further browning.

    That’s it!

    Transfer the deceased to a carving board….and wait. Small and Medium turkeys should rest for about 30 minutes. Birds over 20 pounds need to wait longer, like 45 minutes.

    Carve and eat, baby!

    Now, you can get all hoity-toity and cook some root veggies in the bottom of the pan while the turkey roasts above, You would then build a nice gravy from that.

    Oh, and a root beer float. Can’t argue with that.

    Meantime, I’m also grateful for you, Poolie 🙂


    • poolagirl

      You are beyond hilarious! If I ever decide to cook a turkey, I will refer to this lesson! Glad you like root beer floats. And I am VERY grateful to have you in my life. Even though we only banter online and have spoken on the phone once (you called while I was ironing my pants), I still cherish your candor and your amazing humor. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Root beer float was so good.

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