Turkeys Aren’t What They’re Cracked Up To Be

I love roasted turkey. Love it with gravy. Love it in a sandwich. Love it with bread dressing.

Momma Benedetti hates turkey. Hates preparing it. Hates stuffing it. And especially hates cleaning the carcass after we’ve polished off the holiday meal. So, being the imaginative, quick-witted mother that she is, she decided one year – at an age when all of her offspring were pretty clueless – to set up a little white lie and told each of us that the other hated the bird, and that we were pretty special and instead would be treated to a delicacy called Cornish game hens.

And for years we accepted this reality and never questioned Momma’s explanation.

Many years ago, while living in San Francisco, my oldest brother and his family agreed to drive up from Southern Ca. and spend the Thanksgiving holiday with me. I was totally thrilled to have the family visiting and wanted everything to be perfect. After making some brief inquiries, it was discovered that my brother and I were not among the siblings that disliked turkey and that we both actually liked it – liked it a lot.

Before they arrived for the holiday, I asked my office staff for recipes to prep this gobbling, beard-sporting bird.  And everyone agreed that the best and juiciest recipe involved putting it in a Crisco-lined paper bag, and cooking it on high.

Yep.

I meticulously lined the paper bag with Crisco, cleaned the bird, seasoned it; plopped it into the bag, placed it into my spanking-new blue, enamel roasting pan and slid it into a blazing oven.

My family and I settled into the living room to watch the holiday parades, and I snuggled into my rocking chair and smiled; envisioning a meal fit for a king, with a lip-smacking, juicy turkey coming out of my oven a few hours later.

One parade and a football game later, I opened my oven, tore open the paper bag with visions of a Rockwell turkey dinner dancing in my head only to be shocked to see before me a dried up, leather-looking football with scorched stuffing bursting from its seams!

Yep.

Wanted to cry.

Had five hungry people to feed and there staring at me from my shiny, new turkey pan was a skinny, dried-up, leathery piece of jerky.

Cazzo! (Ot-so)

Standing behind me, as I carefully pulled out the blue enamel casket containing the remains of the bird, my brother quipped, “I don’t know about you, Luce, but I’ve always been partial to Cornish game hens for the holidays.”

“Turkeys,” he continued, “aren’t what they’re cracked up to be.”

Uh-Hun.

That was my first and last year using a paper bag to roast turkey. Now I just undercook it, or leave the giblets in their plastic bag and cook everything together until the turkey, giblets and bag are a nice shade of putrid brown.

Did I mention that my siblings and the Princess’s siblings have been volunteering to bring the turkey to our gatherings, lately?

Yep.

I just love cooking for the holidays.  Makes me break out in a rash every November that doesn’t clear up until after the New Year.

Have the Merriest of Christmases and a Happy New Year, People, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

 

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Published by

Lucie

After much encouragement and prodding by family, friends and professionals, I (a former Special ed. teacher and consultant from Northern Ca.) decided to take my FACEBOOK postings on my silly life with my life partner and 2 wacky cats and share them with a broader audience. I've brought laughter and joy to a number of people now for quite a few months and sincerely hope that I can bring a chuckle or two to all who read my bi- weekly entries on my blog. (Now let's hope that I can muster enough competence to figure out how to use this site in a reasonably competent fashion, so that I still have fun writing and others can actually "find me"!!!!) I wish all who enter "Lucie's World" much joy and laughter and ask that if I've touch your life in any way and made you giggle or smile, that you "pay it forward" for the week and share a moment or two of laughter with someone that you care about....

22 thoughts on “Turkeys Aren’t What They’re Cracked Up To Be”

  1. Every year the so called experts give out the best way of cooking a turkey, any one of which can add in failure. In 55 years of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, my only failure was the one that was supposed to be the easiest.

    I decided to cop out. After all there were only the two of us that year. I ordered dinner from Safeway that included everything, Just heat and serve.

    Well, the instructions were followed very carefully. However they did not mention the fact that the aluminum pan that the mashed potatoes would fold in the middle on removing it from the oven. I cooked my foot with potatoes to the point of several visits to Urgent Care to correct the damage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, Shirley! Ouch!!!!!! At least with my “disaster”, my EGO was hurt, but life and limb were not in harm’s way…….Thx for stopping by and commenting. Merry Xmas!! ❤

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  2. Hi Lucie
    Your Ma is a clever cookie, parden the pun!!! Cook/Cookie ( get it!!!, ) 😕
    Don’t ya have them Turkeys you buy at the supermarket with a pop up doovelacky in it that tells you when the Turkey is done, you just chuck the Turkey in one of those oven bags that ya also get at the supermarket, only it is a clear bag to check that ya dooverlacky pops up when the Bird is done…
    Works every time Lucie, ya can’t go wrong with this, the clear bag that you whack a tie on it once the birds in the bag then into the oven…the cookin’ instructions e.g. time and weight very important to note are on the bag ya buy the turkey in.
    The dooverlacky is the key, once she pops up bobs ya uncle, TURKEY ON THE MENU FOLKS num num!!! Works every time mate…👍
    if ya feeling like gettin’ ya hands dirty ya can squish up some shit to stuff the bird with, before ya cook it of couse 😉 not necessary, just make a gravy with the cooking juices in the bag still that you cooked the bird in…
    I love Turkey…best tasting bird of them all and Cornish game hens, well according to ya Ma would taste ( one and the same ) if ya cook it like I say mate!! 😏
    Blowing me own trumpet here a bit mate, but next time thanksgiving rocks around, take it as gospel, cook the damn Turkey like I say and it will be finger lickin’ good ol’ mate…😜
    Crisco spray in a paper bag, ‘ strike me lucky ‘ the freakin Turkey can’t see whats goin’ on, he’s suffocating, CPAP nightmare!!! 👀👀👀
    Now having said all that, the first Turkey I ever cooked is turning in his instant grave, the trash bin still.
    I stuffed the thing with bread and onion and parsley, no seasoning, I stuffed him until he was double in size already 😕
    Didn’t sew him up, in fact couldn’t unless I resorted to trussing him with a freakin large needle and twine
    I lay him spread eagled ( well turkeyed in fact ) into a bloody big roasting pan, shoved a pound of butter all over him, and left him to die a slow death in a very hot oven..
    Smoke and a shocking smell billowed from the oven, around the oven door, hours later…
    Well there had been an enormous explosion, there was burnt stuffing in every corner of the oven, The poor old Turkey was just black and adhered to the bottom of the roasting pan, took me forever to scratch him off and trash him..😭
    ‘ TURKEYS JUST AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY’RE CRACKED UP TO BE ‘ Lucie.
    Love life in Lucie’s shoes
    You always conger memories, fun, laughter, debate, experiences we can all relate to in real life mate.
    You are a real True Blue ( budiful genuine, legend person ), Lucie!!!!
    That rash sounds nasty mate, throw a few vinos into mate and it will settle!!
    I am gettin’ set to cook the Turkey for Christmas here in Oz..
    As long as he has a dooverlacky in him, I’m cooking with gas mate 😉😜
    Hugs wrapped in love headed your way dear friend from
    Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ m laughing so hard i can’t stop coughing!!!😂You crack me up, Anne girl! And yes, i ‘ve used the pop-up turkey thing-a-ma-bobs!And I’ve also used the plastic bag do-hickey. I find it easier to have the relatives cook it!😆😍Your stories always male me laugh…i “m soooo glad that you “re on the road to recovery and that the news has been good. Ya had me a tad worried, girl….keep on swimming, buddy. You’re one hull-of-a broad, Anne girl!!!😍😆🐋🐠🐳💖

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    1. Yes, it is, Meatball!!!! But laughing you have my TOTAL permission for….I like it when I can make you laugh, Steve….I wish I were laughing. This CPAP machine gave me a wicked viral infection (or at least that’s when I started getting sick….) So now the conundrum: do I use it any more???? Hm…..oh well…. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Being vegetarians, we don’t worry about the turkey, but I’ve never, never heard of cooking it in a paper bag.

    My sister, bless her, was the world’s WORST cook. (I always called her Lucretia – but not to her face!) Her husband had a mild heart condition and his doctor told him to cut back on salt. My sister, being German, figured if it was worth doing, it was worth over-doing, and did not put salt in ANYTHING. Bread made without salt doesn’t rise properly, biscuits without salt are hockey pucks, and stuffing made with only whole wheat bread and parsley is abominable.

    So far he’s outlived her by about 30 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, turkey. I like turkey and I’m a good cook, but I’ve never produced a turkey that tasted good to me. Don’t know why. Other people manage to get it down without choking or spitting it out, and my husband tells me it’s good — but then he likes all meat so dry it tastes like jerky. So, like you, I try to dodge the turkey assignment. I admire your mother’s creativity; she was a wily thing, wasn’t she?

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  5. I have never heard of roasting a turkey in a Crisco lined bag. Who are these people?! Maybe it works sometimes, but they must have left out some instructions. What a bummer for you! Glad your bro was light-hearted about it. I’ve only had to cook a bird once. Undoubtedly, my husband helped, so it turned out okay. Usually, I too, have the joy of just dealing with some side dishes. We’re always assigned mashed potatoes, and my husband makes those also. Wow. I’ve got it so easy! But, yes, turkey is great–esp when someone else cooks it!
    P.S. Now I really want to try a cornish game hen!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hahaha! Funny! I remember your mom cooking Cornish game hens. Always wondered if it was okay to break tradition of the turkey meal. In fact your brother and I had this discussion this year! Love the memory of the turkey in the bag greased with crisco! You kept asking me, you think it’s okay, a paper bag in the oven?? Sure I said! we went for it! We were pretty smart. Or so we thought. Fun days, good times! Oh how we’ve grown.

    Liked by 1 person

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