Happy Thanksgiving, Don't leave the turkey to inexperienced cooks!

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I was scheduled to work and after much hassle and back and forth discussion with management: "yes you can have it off, no you can't, everyone else in the depart. is off" etc. I decided I just wasn't going to work that day. Sorry to disappoint any shoppers but my parents are very old and this could very well be their last Thanksgiving.
Because of the possibility of me not being able to cook the dinner my Dad decided to buy and cook the turkey.
When I arrived at the house to work on the side dishes it should have dawned on me that I didn't smell any turkey cooking. After messing around for about an hour I heard my Dad telling my Mom he was going to put the turkey in. I thought he was talking about putting the convection probe in and that it had already been cooking. No! he was just putting it in the oven and said it would cook in one and a half hours at 325 degrees. It was an 18 lb. turkey! I was shocked to say the least but my daughter agreed with him and said they had checked and double checked and it would be done when it reached 180 degrees and that would only take one and a half hours.
Well they took it out at the prescribed time and I tried to convince them that it was not done even though it was nice and brown. The drumstick did not move easily when wiggled, the meat did not feel soft and done when pressed and the juices were very bloody when pierced in the joint. They insisted it would be done after it set for awhile and the recipe said it was normal for the juice to be pink.
Needless to say it was not done when my brother carved it and it had to be put back in a 425 degree oven and cooked for another 30 minutes. By that time the side dishes where getting cold and it was getting late. We had to eat the outer parts of the turkey that was done. What a hassle. My Dad belatedly determined he had put the prob in the drumstick instead of the inner thigh causing it to turn the oven off way to soon plus not even be in the turned on oven nearly long enough.
By next year I am sure this will just be a humorous memory but today it wasn't very funny.

Scan from: Good Food Magazine Nov. 1973


Kathy said...

I'm glad you got to enjoy Thanksgiving with your parents, despite the undercooked turkey. And it will be one of those great memories you laugh about in the years to come.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Oh, my. It is tough to coordinate all those different dishes. I've had similar misadventures on Thanksgiving. Hope things are looking better today.

~~louise~~ said...

I hope you can't see me laughing cause I know it wasn't funny then but I think we have all had our fill of Thanksgiving mishaps. Once I had to run my turkey around the block when my propane ran out! The important thing is you were there for the day. I sometimes wish I would have spent more Thanksgivings at home instead of at work. (I worked for a newspaper) Thanks for sharing your story Rochelle.