Monday, June 22, 2009

Thanksgiving in June

So, our dear friend John gave us this giant turkey a few months ago. The thing weighed 20 lbs. He gave it to me to get it out of his freezer. I had no idea when we would eat this monstrocity, but alas, last Thursday I had looked at it long enough.
At this point, I either needed to drive it back over to John's house, or cook the dang thing. Mind you, I've never really cooked a whole turkey, so starting with a 20 lb bird was probably not the best idea. I looked around online a little and one tip was to roast it upside down so that the juices dripped through the bird and kept the breast from drying out.
Well, it didn't work perfectly. It was still pretty dang dry by the time I got done with it. I didn't think of covering it though...mainly because I don't really have a pan big enough to cover it, so I just said "to heck with it" and cooked it. Honestly, at this point, I didn't even care if it turned out, so long as it was out of my freezer.
By the time it got done cooking and I had basted the thing 50 times, I was the hottest woman in Chicago. Of course, it was a hot and steamy day...perfect time to roast a turkey in the oven all day! What was I thinking? As most of you know...I don't operate that way. I don't plan and figure out when would be the best time to cook a faux-Thanksgiving dinner. I just get mad that it's taking up space and cook it.
The first night I made an actual turkey dinner with stuffing, salad, and gravy. I was too hot to make the potatoes I had intended to make, so I skipped that. Literally, by the time I had it all out for the family to eat, I had to go lay down in the basement and cool off. I don't even think I ate it that night. But....I DID make gravy from actual turkey drippings that day, and that was worth the heat, I'll tell ya'. I've seen my mom do it, so I had some experience with the process, but I got step-by-step instructions from Pioneer Woman. I could eat that on anything.
Okay, so after that, I did not want to heat up our kitchen EVER again, so I found a great recipe on Epicurious the next night for a great turkey salad that has avocado-lime dressing instead of mayonnaise. I did not have all the ingredients, but it turned out anyway. It was very yummy, I thought.

Well, after that, we still had about 16 lbs of turkey left, so I made us turkey sandwiches on toast with the gravy over the top tonight. Not bad. Nothing to turn your nose up to there. This picture, however, is not mine, but I needed a picture of turkey sandwiches, so thank you Foodnetwork.
So, with now only 14 lbs to go, I pulled off what was left from the bird before I did the dishes tonight and made a pot pie to put in the fridge for tomorrow night. I've posted that recipe before. It is also not a particularly summery dish, but you know what: I wrestled that friggin' bird for a few hours one day and now I've had 4 dinners out of it! So, thanks for the turkey John and Amy! We enjoyed it afterall and now I have more room in my freezer for what really belongs there right now: popsicles.

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