I will never forget the first real turkey I ever cooked all by myself, fourteen years ago. Despite all the poking and prodding and other indignities required before roasting, we couldn’t find the giblets or gravy packet until Mr. Lucky carved up the bird some four hours later. Oddly enough—and may I say, thankfully—the turkey was unaffected, quite edible and wonderfully succulent.
Then last year, for reasons unknown, though I suspect he couldn’t wait to dig into the pies, he insisted I remove the bird from the oven after precisely three and a half hours of roasting, because the instructions said that was the maximum time for a turkey of that weight.
I was of the opinion that the turkey needed at least another fifteen minutes, perhaps thirty. But Mr. Lucky pointed out the evidence stacked against me: According to the instructions, it was supposed to be ready by now; the button that pops when it’s done had popped; and the tip of the needle on the meat thermometer just brushed the P for Poultry. The state rested.
Since when did he decide to become a stickler for following instructions? I tried telling him that unlike all the other instructions he promptly throws out (along with the corresponding sales receipts), these particular instructions are not set in stone, because ovens and turkeys vary; the button that pops when it’s supposedly done is nothing but a cheap gimmick; and it’s an old meat thermometer, not an oracle. The defense rested.
Justice is not only blind, but she knows precious little about turkey. Mr. Lucky prevailed.
To make a long story short, once the turkey was carved up, there was way too much pink in it. On the plus side, we were spared the usual week of leftovers.
This year I laid down the law to him. I’ve been doing this for years; I think I know my way around a turkey by now. I, AND I ALONE, WILL DECIDE WHEN IT’S DONE.
The turkey was the same size as last year, and came with the same instructions. I pronounced it done at three hours and forty-five minutes.
I was very pleased with it. Mr. Lucky gifted me with one of his rare compliments, and the Crown Prince, who came to stay for the holiday, devoured a whole heaping plate of it. Baby Bear wouldn’t touch it, but when I reheated some leftovers this evening and poured gravy over them, he was very interested and finally enjoyed some turkey.
And while reading my previous blog entry earlier this week, Mr. Lucky seized on Phyllis’s suggestion in the comments that we buy one of the smaller frozen pies, and bake it on Wednesday to create that baking pumpkin smell that makes me crazy. He agreed we couldn’t have too many pies.
I wonder if Phyllis could get him to mow the lawn?