My daughter and her family have holiday meals with me.
My son usually has his holiday meals with his dad and step-mother. Once in a while those plans change. This year he was invited to the home of a woman he's been seeing. He had a nice meal with her family. He told me that he was also fixing a turkey dinner so he and his daughter would have "leftovers" to feast upon after the holiday. I was amazed that he was cooking something like this because I've never shown him how. I figured perhaps someone else had instructed him at some time through the years. He's a middle-aged man now. I know that he can cook some decent meals but I don't know the extent of his knowledge in the kitchen. I was about to find out.
Well, he called me on Saturday morning and said that he was coming over and bringing dinner....turkey and all the trimmings. Since you all know what happened with our "already prepared" meal at my daughter's, I was looking forward to some homemade authentic holiday food. He was soon at my door, roaster pan in hand. He said to me, "I'll just put this in the oven to warm it up and we can eat in about 30 minutes or so." Sounded like a plan to me. I took note that there didn't seem to be any cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie (drat!)....everything was apparently in that one roaster pan. I visualized creamy mashed potatoes.....mmmmm yum.
I set the table and fixed our drinks and soon he took the roaster out of the oven and ceremoniously took the cover off. He said....." it turned out pretty good....I'm anxious to see how you like it." You know what something smells like when its too greasy? Well, that's what was assaulting my nostrils as he stood there beaming at me. I glanced down at this half gone bird and observed that the cavity was still filled with stuffing and upon further inspection I found the bag with giblets intact, still inside the bird with stuffing covering it. It had been cooked that way.
All around the turkey in this roasting pan were potatoes and carrots cut up, much like you would do if you were making a beef roast. The potatoes and carrots had cooked in the very greasy turkey drippings. He had even tossed in a couple cans of green beans for good measure. I mentally added up in my head how long the stuffing had stayed in this bird. He fixed this meal early Thursday and this was Saturday late afternoon. Hmmmmm....3 full days. Not good. I was always taught never to leave the stuffing in the bird, that to do so could cause food poisoning. My mom was always so careful about that.....so, not wanting to take chances, I never stuff the bird. I toss an onion chopped in quarters and a couple stalks of celery in the cavity and leave it at that. I fix wonderful stuffing, but its in its own bowl and cooked separately.
I hated to hurt his feelings but I had to warn him about the stuffing. I told him not to eat it at all and to pitch it because of how long it had been in there. I tasted a bit of the white meat and it seemed ok but I didn't taste anything else. I was afraid to. Somewhere along the line he must have gotten roast beef confused with roast turkey. I am going to have to take him aside and give him some detailed instructions on fixing a turkey. His heart was in the right place but I don't need my granddaughter getting sick. He did say that he had horrible heartburn for the last couple days. I imagine I know exactly why too. I can't even begin to tell you how greasy those carrots and potatoes were. I have to laugh and shake my head. Where....in all his dreams....did he come up with a meal like that when he's had Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners so many times and they have always been traditional.....you know, with mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes and stuffing. It looks like everything is against me having a normal, regular Thanksgiving meal this year. Did you ever leave the giblet package in the turkey and cook it that way? I did....the very first holiday meal I fixed after I got married. My mom laughed so hard at me I thought she was going to pee her pants. It took me a lot of years to live that one down.