To be clear, I am pretty sure some folks would argue I never really was friends with my oven (cough, cough, Kenny), but I am officially putting it out there after my latest experience. (…oh, and who can forget this little gem of a cooking story from when we first moved here?)
My brother, sister-in-law and their 11-month old are in town for “fake Thanksgiving”. It’s kind of a joke, but they were originally planning to visit for real Thanksgiving. They got one look at flights for that time period and soon after, I got a call asking how we felt about visitors earlier in the month. Haha. Who can blame them? Traveling for Thanksgiving is expensive and crowded. So, we dubbed their trip “fake Thanksgiving”, and here they are!
I originally planned to make lasagna for their first night in. We were pretty busy earlier this week, so I never got to the store to get a few missing ingredients, so I changed my plan the night before to make a small turkey breast, potatoes, and stuffing…you know, fake Thanksgiving. I got everything ready and into the oven by 4 p.m. – probably a few minutes earlier. The package touted that the turkey should be cooked at 350 degrees for one and a half hours (Not per pound. Total cooking time.) Sweet. That gives me plenty of time to get everything else ready AND allows for a cushion for the meat to finish in case the package lied and the meat takes longer. (See? I learn from past experiences. Yes, yes, back East I used to host Thanksgiving and my turkeys were never cooked on time for a reasonable mid-afternoon dinner. We were always making the entire extended family cranky and sitting down to eat at like 6 p.m.)
Kenny came home from work soon after I put the turkey in, heard what I was making and looked at Dennis and Kerri and said, “Should I just order pizza now?” Hahaha. Yes. Anytime you hear I am making a turkey, the answer to that question is always “yes” from now on.
At least I am consistent. When we checked at 5:45 that friggin’ small turkey breast was only 140 degrees and pink in the middle. Let me tell you, if there’s anything that pushes someone so close to the edge of vegetarianism that they can smell the tofu, it is half-cooked poultry. Ugh. Ew. Kenny continued his “jokes” about ordering pizza.
We checked the turkey again at 6:00. Yea, no. This thing was cooking at a pace you’d expect a 20 pound turkey to cook, not a small boneless turkey breast. Dear heavens. At this point, I didn’t even WANT to eat this thing; I am sure the same was true for everyone else. I needed a break from it. So, we called the ball and ordered pizza. I turned the oven up and let that turkey cook for at least another hour, then let it sit on the stove and cool. We popped it in the fridge and ate it Thursday night. Longest. Wait. For. Turkey. Dinner. Ever.
For anyone that knows Kenny and / or my brother, you can imagine that they are running with this, and turkey jokes are going to follow me for the rest of my life. Literally. It’s worse right now because they are together and playing off one another. Some of the finest so far:
- “I think we should start cooking our turkey for Thanksgiving now.”
- After seeing a famous basketball player while shopping, Dennis called Kenny and told him he invited said basketball player over for turkey and a side of dysentery.
- “Did you put the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven yet?” or “How’s that turkey coming along?” now randomly pops up in two out of three conversations.
- “This lunch is taking almost as long as that turkey.” while out to lunch yesterday.
The good news? It actually tasted pretty good the next day. Gavin even asked for “more of that ham we had last night” yesterday. Yes, I know it’s probably not a good thing that it was turkey and he asked for seconds of ham. That aside – it means he liked it right? Haha.