Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Turkey Triumph

When we realized my mom would soon be leaving this earthly existence, I set about recording her life history on tape. (Many of you already know this..) I asked her every question I could think of and thought I had some valuable memories and information recorded.

It wasn’t until that following November (She passed away in July) and Thanksgiving was about a week away that I realized, with all the interviews and questions asked, I had forgotten to ask her for all of her cooking secrets for making the best tasting turkey and stuffing anyone could dream of.

That year, I had been crazy enough to offer to take on the task of cooking the turkey for our entire family. I thought it was important to carry on the Thanksgiving traditions that were always so dear to my mom. Though this was our first year without her, I thought we needed to be together as a family. It didn’t hit me I had no clue how to cook like mom did and I was sure that that’s exactly what the family was longing for—just like I was.

I learned a few lessons that year. For one, no matter if you have recipes written down follow it to a tee, nothing is as great as mom’s home cooking. (I had located mom’s stuffing recipe—I was so careful, still, mine didn’t taste the same) I set about asking anyone and everyone what their secrets were for the perfect moist turkey. Not knowing which would work best, I tried them all. I’m proud to announce the meat fell from the bones. Sorry, I had to brag—I have never cooked a turkey quite as well as I did that first year, even though every year since then I have attempted to follow the very same tricks. Go figure???

So with this blog, I want to make it’s purpose two fold. I am cooking again this year and would love to hear everyone’s secrets for the perfect turkey. I need another turkey triumph. So please! Send me your no-fail secrets and fast. I’m in trouble again!

The other purpose is this:

This is my last post before Thanksgiving so I feel I’d be ungrateful if I didn’t count a few of the blessings I am thankful for this Thanksgiving season. I’d love for you to share with us what you’re grateful for as well.

I am truly blessed to have a wonderful husband and family whom I love that will put up with my quirky ways—I am grateful for their support in all I do, and I have such good friends who stand by me and help me—bless all their hearts for tolerating me.

At this time of year I am reminded that each of the struggles and trials I have in my life gives me the opportunity to grow closer to my Savior, for which I am very grateful. I know these things are for my own good. They will give me experience and they can increase my faith. Something again, I am grateful for.

I am also grateful for my testimony, the atonement, and the peace that the gospel brings into my life; for the hope and direction I have because of it.

I am thankful for opportunities that have come my way; for the people who have helped make that possible, and the ones that have made my journey so enjoyable.

I am thankful to live in this country and for the freedoms I enjoy. I feel a great debt of gratitude to all those who have served our country to enable me the freedoms that I fear I may at times take for granted.

I also want to say I am thankful for my friends of the V-Formation. I consider their friendship an incredible blessing in my life. I love and admire each and every one of them. I am also thankful for the chance to gather my thoughts here (as haphazard as they may seem at times.) :)

I could go on and on, but I want to open it up to you. Here’s your chance to mention things you’re grateful for this year— and don’t forget, I need those turkey cooking secrets!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


Cheri J. Crane said...

Great post, Jeri. Like you, I've been contemplating all of the many blessings we enjoy. We've seen some miraculous things in our family, and we will be forever grateful for those items.

As for cooking turkey, here's my favorite way to prepare it: After it's totally thawed and ready to cook, slide strips of bacon under the skin on the breast side. I also add dried sage (I grow my own so it's freshly dried--way flavorful)under the skin, and I rub the skin on top with it as well. I season it generously with onion powder, garlic powder, and and a dash of salt and pepper. I will also cut up half of an onion and some celery and fill the inside cavity of the turkey for added flavor. Then I cook it inside of those turkey cooking bags you can buy this time of year. It helps hold in the freshness. Add about 2 tbsp of flour to the bag before adding the turkey. I shake the bag to make sure the bag is lined. Then after I set the turkey inside the bag, I seal it, and cut slits on top for ventilation. Then I set it inside of my roasting pan and cook it according to however big it is. Usually on 350 degree heat for around 4-5 hours. If it has a cooking button attached, simply watch for it to pop. If not, you can tell if a turkey is done by squeezing one of the legs. If it's tender, it's usually done.

Valerie said...

Lovely post, Jeri. You're in my mental (and heart) list.

My best turkey was one I got from Good Earth, organic or free-range, I can't remember. It was a bit more expensive but yummy!

Cheri had some great ideas above and I'm going to invest in some sage and bacon :-)