How I Burnt The Thanksgiving Turkey

Life is full of surprises, and you never really know what’s going to happen next. All you can do is be prepared and learn from each and every situation. Whether it’s something on your end or not, mistakes help us grow and become a better person. Just like the mistake I made when I burnt the family turkey. And yes, it’s finally that time of year I share this story.

For Thanksgiving I had taken on the role for making the turkey for my family. I took this responsibility almost 10 years ago. Luckily for me, that’s all I had to worry about, nothing else. The role used to go to my brother-in-law before it became too much of a hassle for him considering he had other additional things to make. I volunteered to make the turkey because I knew my mom was allergic and the turkey cannot be cooked in the household. I wasn’t living at home anymore at this point so it made sense. Plus, I felt like it would be a good opportunity to take on something new. Now I’m not exactly sure how many times I made the turkey, but there was one year where I undercooked it. This had to have been my first or second attempt at it. At that moment I was still considered a beginner in the kitchen. However, I’d like to say nowadays I’m very skilled. It only takes time and practice to become good at anything, as long as you are willing to put in the effort.

In The Clouds

After a few opportunities at making the turkey, I was doing pretty well. At this point in my life, I was living with some of my friends I made back from grade school. For those of you who don’t know, the day before Thanksgiving is the biggest bar night of the year. I had gone out to that a few times, but this one particular year I decided to stay in. One of my roommates, Vincent, had a coworker that gave him this cookie edible. It was pretty small in size and if I remembered correctly, we never tried edibles before. So this was definitely going to be quite the experience. I’d like to say also that I hardly ever smoked marijuana prior to this event, so I had no tolerance for this at all. One of our buddies, Eddie, came over to partake in this activity with us. The plan we had was to try it and play Civilization V. We were pretty hooked on this game for a moment. So Vincent cut the cookie into about 8 small pie sized pieces and the 3 of us took one each. The cookie was very potent because when you would bite into it, you didn’t really taste the cookie at all. It was all Mary Jane! Then we started playing the game and after about half an hour in we didn’t feel anything. So second round of the cookie down the hatch and from there, it was alright, alright, alright!

About an hour after we took the edibles, everything just became a blur. I could not function properly. I’m pretty certain I blacked out a little bit too. All I know was Vincent and I took the last 2 pieces. Now that I am remembering it correctly, we skipped the tripping out faze and went to blackout mode. That was for me at least. Eddie, who should have just crashed on the couch ended up driving home. I later found myself in the bathroom having to pee. As I was going… I couldn’t stop. The flow was constant for what felt like 2 minutes which is an eternity in the peeing aspect of things. All I know was that I no longer wanted to go and made the decision to pull up my pants. Did not care if I was still peeing or not. Just hoping for the best! After that, I was rinsing my face with water then just staring at myself in the mirror. They say nobody who has ever used marijuana had died from it(that’s what I heard at least). I thought that was about to change that night.

Long story short… we didn’t have turkey that year. I was still in the clouds the next day. Never knew you could be high for longer than a day. I eventually made it to my mom’s later that night. Half the family had already left to go black Friday shopping and I’m over here struggling to eat anything. It was like a hangover. I only told my sister about what had happened, and I’m sure she let everyone else know why there was no turkey for Thanksgiving.

Extra Crispy

Let’s go back a few years from now. I was living with Ross and his wife at the time. Ross and I were at Lowe’s looking around for something when we came across a deep fryer they had setup for anyone that wanted to deep fry their turkey. Thoughts started racing and next thing we knew, that was the plan for Thanksgiving. This was new to both of us so it would be interesting to see how it goes. Now Ross to me was like my mentor in the kitchen. A lot of what I learned was from him. Thanksgiving morning arrived and we did all the necessary steps on how to deep fry a turkey without it exploding like people have done. On this day, it was cold and windy, so we had to set up a barrier to cover the flames from the wind. Because he was there with me, the turkey turned out great. A beautiful golden brown, juicy and just ever so delicious. Mission accomplished!

Fast forward a year from that, I was on my own again. I loved how the turkey turned out from deep frying it, I wanted to do that again. This time I was at my brother’s place. He and his wife left to do a little shopping I think, leaving me alone to do my thing. I got everything set up, and the day was much nicer than the year before. What could go wrong…? Apparently a lot. I wanted to add something new to the mix, so I tried a recipe that called for brining. Keeps the turkey nice and moist and full of flavor. As I dropped the turkey in the pot, I was having issues with getting the temperature right. It was below where it needed to be, so I kept raising the temperature. But unfortunately when it got up to temp, it kept going up. By this time I had dropped the needle to bring the temp down but it’s hot oil, temperature takes a while to come back down. I was so confused. I felt like Joe Dirt at the oil rig job he did. Eventually the temp went to where I wanted it to but the damage was done. Did not think once to take the turkey out of the fryer to let the oil cool down before placing it back in. And yes, I did noticed the turkey getting much darker than normal but I thought to myself, “Maybe it’s just darker in the oil.”

After pulling the turkey out, it was burnt to a crisp. There was so much going through my mind… before I just decided to head to my mom’s. Boy was that a treat when I arrived with the turkey. Everyone had themselves a good laugh and continued poking fun at me. All I could do was just sit there and endure the fact it happened. There was a plus side to this though. With the brine, and through the dried extra crispy outside, the turkey was still very good.

Be Thankful

Despite undercooking or burning a turkey, the fact of the matter is that it’s Thanksgiving. To be around loved ones and also be thankful for a happy and healthy life. Just last year with Covid being a factor, we canceled our Thanksgiving because I had gotten Covid several weeks before. But we just had to be safe so that was the decision to make.

I feel like here I can be more myself. Letting out some of my inner thoughts and sharing what I’ve gone through and what I’m currently going through. But nonetheless, being able to express my feelings. As a kid growing up I’ve always had a difficult time expressing my emotions with anyone. So if you were to ask me what I’m thankful for, outside of family and friends, it would be this. To start my own blog and use it like I would my personal journal. I get to share my stories with the World!(Universe maybe) Not having to keep things bottled up. And they say writing is very therapeutic. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Have a safe and joyful Turkey Day!

One thought on “How I Burnt The Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. Ha, this looks like something I’d do on the regular, being culinarily-challenged and all. But for you it was an honest mistake. Thanks for sharing this story though, and writing can be therapeutic indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

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