A Tale of Two Turkeys

Happy Thursday again, and Happy First Day of December, you wonderful Scribe fans!  Suze here.  It’s great to see you all again after the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Before we get to the “meat” of this post, some business.  If you’re a writer and you haven’t entered CTRWA’s Write Stuff contest, what are you waiting for?  There are still a few days left.  First prize in each category is a hundred bucks, which you know you want.  Go for it!  Click here for details.

Now, I know you’re all dying to find out what happened last Thursday at my mom’s house.  Remember?  The turducken?  Click here for a link to last week’s post so you can get yourselves up to speed if you missed it.

Mr. Suze and our son and I spent the morning at our remote woodland cabin, alternately watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and an awe-inspiring trio of bald eagles circling not too far overhead — two golden brown juveniles and an adult with a snowy white head and tail.  Once the parade and the aerobatics show were over, we headed over to Mom’s.

She wasn’t home.   We knew she wouldn’t be there yet, because she was doing volunteer work at her church.  So we brought in the box of turducken, and I set about preparing it for cooking.  Hmmm. A frown creased my forehead.  A distinctive aroma permeated the kitchen, and it wasn’t coming from my still-raw Turducken.  A tiny orangey light caught my eye.  Not a Faulknerian Light in August, but a very suspicious Light in the Oven.

I investigated further.  I strode to the oven.  I threw open the door.  A blast of hot air hit me in the face as I discovered — you guessed it — a 20 pound turkey, skin brown and crispy, hissing poultry steam from the vent holes in the old blue enamelware roaster pan.

Nearly four hundred years of family Thanksgiving tradition simply could not be denied.  Mr. Suze just shook his head.

I pulled out the cooked bird and replaced it with the turducken, prepared according to the package directions (leave it in the cooking bag and place on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven).  Mom came in the door shortly afterward.

“Oh, good,” she said.  “My turkey’s done.”  She had the grace to look a little sheepish (pardon my mixing of farm animals here).  “I had to cook the turkey.  Ooh, is that the turducken?”

She never did say why she “had” to cook the turkey.  Was it because the turkey was about to spoil and “had” to be cooked?  (unappetizing, but entirely possible)  Or was she simply compelled by a force greater than herself to cook that bird on the fourth Thursday of November?  The world may never know.

As for the turducken, reviews were mixed.  Like most prepared foods, this bizarre hybrid concoction was overly salty, or at least the rice stuffing was.  Maybe a “homemade” turducken would be better, but I can tell you that personally I will not be deboning and stuffing three birds anytime soon.  The turkey layer was judged to be fine.  The duck layer was generally not hated, but not really liked.  As for the chicken core, it tasted pretty much like the turkey layer, which is probably why chicken and turkey are never mixed together in recipes.

The other turkey ended up being sliced up for sandwiches the next day, and I made my famous Black Friday Stew with the carcass.  (I’ll give you that recipe soon).

What about you?  Do you have habits that you just can’t break, no matter how hard you try?  Inquiring Scribes want to know!


16 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Turkeys”

  1. Hmmm. it’s 8:30 in the am and I’m having cookies for breakfast on the sly. I’m forcing the children to stay in the other room watching their healthy PBS morning shows before school, so they don’t see me eating cookies for breakfast. Why am I having cookies, you ask? Well, I only have a few minutes and there really isn’t anything else handy. I considered a poptart, but really, what’s the difference? So it’s peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips for me for breakfast. But no, suze, I don’t have any bad habits that come to mind….

    1. But the Pop Tart has fruit in it. Unless it’s the brown sugar cinnamon kind, in which case you might as well have the protein in the peanut butter cookie. Doesn’t sound like a bad habit to me. Sneaky, yes. Bad habit? No.

  2. Hey Suze, thanks for directing me to last weeks blog that I missed doing a fab respite in the mountains of North Carolina. Love the turducken idea. Especially since my daughter-in-law’s pet turkey has taken over our lives. The book she wrote “Diary of a Pet Turkey” is a hit. And so is the turkey, named “Magic Marker” because it made squeeky noises when it hatched. But we all did indulge for our Thanksgiving, not with Magic Marker, but rather a store bought bird.

    Do you think you would have that many greats in front of your ancestors as noted last week, because the 1600’s is only 400 or so years ago. My husband Tom’s maternal family came here on the second ship. They settled Branford in 1644, would you believe, and the Harrison House on Main clarifies the voyage.

    Good to hear your Mom did her turkey anyway, fun the way you discovered it in the oven. I would be interested in finding one of those turducken for dinner one day. Did you say the duck and chicken are stuffed in a turkey? So you use turkey anyway? I am not sure I understand what it is.

    Thanks for the relish recipe. Our daughter in Georgia made a delicious one, but she did not give me the recipe. We all have our specialties. Mine is noodle pudding, not to be found anywhere. I will have to give out the recipe sometime. My son Paul makes the most delicious vegetable barley, lentil, pea soup from the carcass. That soup is actually a German recipe from my Ingis mother-in-law many, many, moons ago.

    Thanks for the warm, delightful blogs.

    1. Hi, Gail! Glad you’re back safely. Yes, it really is that many greats. Someday I will do a genealogy post and we can compare notes! Noodle pudding — sounds interesting.

  3. Hi Suze, I had to laugh while reading your blog. Lucky your Mom made the traditional bird. We have a traditional turkey, which my son names. This year it was “Bruce the Bird”, last year it was Gertie the Birdie. No matter how many times I try to change the menu, we MUST always have my special stuffing and twice baked potatoes. Thanks for your post. I won’t be getting in line to try Turducken any time soon.

    1. Honestly, the turducken was fun, and it wasn’t bad, really. But it was quite pricey, and we didn’t like it well enough that we would try it again. Giving names to your dinner — not sure how I feel about that! But stuffing and twice baked potatoes — that’s stuff I can endorse!

  4. I’m glad your mom made her turkey too. I’m not so sure I’d go or a turducken. I’m with Avery – chocolate all the way. Though it’s too good to be a real bad habit.

  5. I kinda of feel like the idea a turducken is almost wrong…. I’m not sure why. I think it’s the duck part. I keep thinking of Donald, Daffy and Daisy.

    1. Yes, the duck was really the weak link in the dinner. Personally, I like the white meat, and duck is all dark, so it had that working against it for me. But my son and husband always want the dark meat on chicken and turkey, and even they didn’t care for it. And now that you’ve made the association between duck meat and some of my favorite cartoon characters, I’ll probably never eat it again!

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