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Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey Sunday!

Can you see the big smile on my face? If you were at my place sometime between the hours of noon and midnight of this past Sunday, you definitely did. I just had the best time ever hosting a hexadecimal group for a thanksgiving potluck. These people are definitely the closest to me in my life right now, and I hope all had a fantastic time. I know I did!

I was talking with a couple of them during the dinner and it was the first time for many to really celebrate thanksgiving without feeling left out - spending time with friends who were able to clearly communicate with each other, either through sign or speaking - and I think it went off with nary a hitch. I like hosting but I gotta admit, I was nervous as heck all week - at times, my organizational abilities can be hit or miss and I had the biggest responsibility of all -preparing the iconic turkey dish! This was a daunting task for a first-timer who has only eaten the end result, never taking part in the actual cooking process. I didn't even know that you're supposed to thaw a frozen turkey for several days before actually roasting it. So this year, I got educated - picked up some pro tips by someone in the know, got things right and planned out several weeks in advance - and it still came down to the wire. Heh.

I picked up a 20lb turkey four days before cooking it. Let it thaw out in the fridge set at about 40 degrees F, any colder than that would have made it thaw slower. I took the bird out of its wrapping (contrary to the written instructions on the package) and stuck it into a big ol' roasting pan. Sat there in my fridge, looking back at me.... taunting me.... mocking me... oh wait no that's the bowl of jello next to it that's looking mighty tasty. Yum. Anyway, last night I got the turkey out in its mostly unfrozen state and took out the neck and giblets. Then I slathered it with some cook-able margarine mixed with lemon herb for flavor. Smelled great! Let that soak in until the morning... set the fires for 325F, plugged in Scotty-bird and set ablaze for 4 1/2 hours. It quickly turned brown so I put on some aluminum foil over to focus more cooking....

So why I am detailing the boring parts of the cooking? 'Cause, dang it, I want to do this again. Not this year, mind you (I'm so glad it's over!) but because I think writing down what I did right will lead to greater success the next time I make it! This, coupled with the one-plate-per-person potluck gave us OMG plenty of good eats!

There were so many leftovers that people were telling me to keep the munchies and have 'em for food this week. Looks like turkey's on the menu for a few weeks now....

I wanted to give a big shout out to the kickass helpers of the event - Alex, for doing awesome mid-event clean up without even asked; Seth, for guiding me with advice and direction about food when needed, and making some of the whooaaaaaa greatest hot chocolate ever; Kel for being her wonderful self, and being superbly helpful and staying late after; and everyone else who helped make the time pass so quickly!

I am now officially zzzzzzonking out....sweet dreams all!

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