What I’d like to know is, why don’t we eat normal food for Thanksgiving? Like lasagna or steak. Or at least, if we’re going to eat poultry, start with a bird that isn’t five times the size we usually cook, not to mention being frozen solid.
I mean, how do you know the time frame for thawing something that barely fits in the fridge?
This year, I was to fix Thanksgiving dinner for just three of us at our house. Then on Friday we’d head to Baytown for the monster family dinner. Two celebrations, two potluck dinners. Easy, right?
Before the holiday, I did a little
weightlifting shopping in the grocery store’s bin of frozen turkeys.
Lo and behold, there was one eleven-pounder in the bin. Thanksgiving was a whole week away, but I figured I’d better buy this specimen while I had the chance. Modest-sized turkeys disappear pretty fast. Apparently everyone else has also realized that an average family can’t eat their way through a bird the size of a footlocker before bad things start happening to the leftovers.
So I brought the turkey home and hoisted it into the fridge. I hoped it wouldn’t thaw too soon and spoil. Naaah, it was rock hard.
The day before Thanksgiving, it was time to make the do-ahead dishes. Since pies travel well, I’d volunteered to bake a couple of pumpkin pies for the Baytown feast. And one for us at home, while I was at it. I thawed out some homemade pie pastry, rolled out the three shells, and got to work on the filling.
Open three cans of pumpkin and plop contents into large bowl. Add spices…
Since pumpkin filling historically doesn’t set very solidly, instead of tripling the recipe exactly, I reduced the amount of milk and added an extra egg.
Congratulating myself on once again using all that math, I poured filling into shells. Some got on my finger after the first two, so I licked it off.
It didn’t taste right.
Uh-oh. I’d forgotten the sugar!
There was nothing for it but to pour the filling back into the bowl and add three pies’ worth of sugar. During my measuring and calculating, however, the pastry dough had softened quite a bit. Tilting one pie plate over the bowl, I watched as the filling poured out. The shell tried to follow, making it about three inches past the rim before I caught it and smooshed it back into place.
Repeat with second pie. Add sugar to bowl. Re-fill shells, add foil strips to keep edges from burning, and bake.
While the [lumpy] pies were baking, I started lunch. Reaching into the produce drawer for a half lemon I’d bagged, I was annoyed to feel the bag was all wet. Had water spilled into the drawer?
The bag was drenched with blood.
Ponders the unlikelihood of getting blood from a turnip, never mind a lemon.
Light dawns. “The turkey!”
Sure enough, ol’ Tom had defrosted and was leaking all over everything.
Put platter under turkey. Remove all produce from fridge and wash it thoroughly. Finally eat lunch.
Back to the pies. You know those foil strips? The filling baked itself onto them so when I removed the foil, a good-sized chunk of pumpkin-y crust came off with it.
But that filling was set, people!
The day wasn’t a total loss, since I discovered the fridge’s glass shelves can be removed for cleaning. The interior now sparkles.
And for the Christmas feast in Baytown?
I took a veggie tray.
How about you? Any kitchen mishaps you’d care to confess? Tell me about it in the “Leave a Reply” box below!
Thanks for reading,