Turkey in Fridge Intimidates Me


Scott's employer gave everyone a turkey for Thanksgiving! Instead of being grateful and delighted, I'm intimidated. This will be my 18th Thanksgiving as a married woman, and only my 2nd time cooking a turkey. The first time was our first Thanksgiving. It didn't go very well.

Three things went wrong, our first thanksgiving as man and wife. I will tell the worst thing last.

First, I hadn't realized that a turkey needs several days to thaw. Here it was, Thanksgiving morning, and my turkey was still frozen. Well, I used the old trick of running hot water over it in the sink, and it thawed out in less than an hour. One problem rolls off my back.

Second, cooking a turkey dinner is a big job! I made four pies, as well, and I plan to do so again this year. Again, it will be just the two of us, so I don't have the added pressure of performing for company, but still. I started preparing meals when I was 10, but usually that means heating a frozen or canned dinner. Most of us modern women don't normally cook turkeys. I'm grateful to my sister-in-law for telling me about turkey loaf after that first Thanksgiving. That is so much easier! But, this year we were given a turkey, and money is tight, so I'm going to cook it.

Third, right after I served the first turkey I ever cooked, my husband broke bad news to me: the next morning he would be going out to sea. He was in the US Navy, so that was always a possibility, but what lousy timing. I was going to be eating all these leftovers by myself. We cried so hard then that we couldn't even eat what was on our plates. Thank you, Mom, for recommending I just freeze it all for when he got home.

So, there you have it. The turkey in my fridge intimidates me, and now you know why. I got Scott to help me choose a stuffing recipe from The Joy of Cooking. We're going to make apple and onion dressing, minus the raisins. I'm making two pumpkin pies and one apple pie. Only the turkey and stuffing will be from scratch. I bought canned pumpkin and canned apple pie filling. I make my own crust, but I press it rather than rolling it. It's pretty easy. I use instant mash potatoes. I know how to make gravy, and I am going to try, but I have cream of chicken soup on hand, just in case the gravy doesn't work out. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!