Gina Conkle | Remember Your First Turkey?
November 21, 2013
You know what I'm talking about: the first Thanksgiving turkey you ever roasted.
How'd it come out?
No matter what happened, the meal was an expression of your love. But, memories
of disasters can be fun. They stick out in better than the successes, don't they?
Oh, and my first turkey? A crispy golden outside, raw pink inside disaster.
I hadn't mastered the concept of defrosting among other things. But, as I look
back, there were some bigger things going on in our little apartment.
Brian and I were newlyweds. But, I was too busy introducing my husband to
my family traditions that I forgot the little defrosting detail. It was
just the two of us since our families lived in different states. I wanted my new
husband to embrace the same get-ready-for-Christmas-early tradition that I'd
He, on the other hand, told me he didn't want the "big production" meal. Neither
did he want to set up our apartment for Christmas so early. In fact, he'd be
fine with a string of lights on the window and sandwiches. But, he made his new
wife happy and went along with the program.
My "dinner will be ready in two hours" stretched into three and four hours. The
turkey stayed solid rather than turn into the tender, juicy centerpiece of our
feast. But, I confidently moved forward with the mashed potatoes and other side
dishes, sure that I knew what I was doing.
Then, four hours turned into five. It got dark outside. I remember all 6'3" of
Brian flopping on our living room floor. The kitchen was a mess. He got cranky,
reminding me there were lots of other things we could be doing (yes, I
know what he had in mind).
Finally, that bird turned the desired golden brown. I put it on the table with
cold mashed potatoes, chilly green beans, and now dried out bread rolls. I had
Brian take a picture of me standing beside the table.
Then, we discovered the uncooked insides. Ugh!
We still laugh about that bird.
I tried to find evidence to share my awesome debacle with you. A photo exists,
somewhere. My husband chuckled and helped with the search when I told him what I
was doing. He vividly recalled that mostly raw turkey, forgetting all the other
masterpieces since then. But, Thanksgiving comes with all kinds memories,
I learned something from that night of cold food. Past family traditions are
great. But, it's even better to create new ones. I also learned my new husband's
excellent skill at making me laugh in the oddest moments. Not a bad discovery.
Love works that way, giving you gifts in the most surprising situations.
Now, it's your turn. Please share your "first ever" turkey story. You can leave
a comment here or go to my
website and leave a longer story on my "contact" page.
And thank you, Fresh Fiction, for hosting me. This has been a pleasure!
8 comments posted.
Re: Gina Conkle | Remember Your First Turkey?
Just brings back memories of my "first pumpkin pie" for my husband. I must have forgot some ingredient, not sure what it was. It looked fine going into the oven (at least to me, but coming out of the oven after the timer went off, was this "thing" that looked like a pizza, only a pumpkin pizza. Crust wasn't too bad looking, nor did it taste bad. However, at the bottom of the "pie" was my filling - sitting there looking deflated, like all the air was gone out of it. To this day, my husband and I laugh about my first pie, of which thankfully I have been able to make a great pie that tastes and looks like a real pie.
(C Culp 10:28am November 21, 2013)
I am afraid that I had a similar experience of not
defrosting the Turkey well enough. However, the debacle was
shared with my brother and sister. We were in our teens and
certain that we could easily pull off the celebratory meal
for ourselves and our parents. After all, my sister and I
had read cookbooks extensively from a very young age. The
fact that we had little to no practical experience with
cooking did not daunt us. The kitchen looked like a war zone
by the time we were done. And the food? Well, the gravy
looked lumpy so my brother decided to use eggbeaters to
smooth it out in the pan. The stove was greatly sprayed
with tannish gluey stuff. The turkey was severely
underdone, the mashed potatoes were lumpy and underseasoned,
etc. We never did live down that dinner and we learned that
all the research in the world does not necessarily compare
with hands-on experience.
(G. Bisbjerg 11:23am November 21, 2013)
Hi Ladies! Thanks for sharing. My laptop jiggled up and down
as I had some good laughs at your shared experiences. Next
Wednesday is my "pie baking day." So I will think of your
pumpkin pie experience Carletta! :-) And "G" that's great
that you and your brother and sister wanted to treat mom and
dad to Thanksgiving made by you (very thoughtful teens).
Sooo true: books and research get you so far, but nothing
beats experience. I wish you and your families a great
(Gina Conkle 12:25pm November 21, 2013)
I LOVE the picture of the two of you!! You make a great couple!! I was wracking my brain, trying to remember what my first turkey was like. I even asked my Husband, and he doesn't remember any flops. The reason I can't think of any disasters, is because it's been over 30 years of making them, and I find making a turkey one of the easiest dinners to make. This year, I probably won't be having one, since my Husband wants me to take a break from doing all that cooking for just the two of us, but we'll see who wins out on this difference of opinion. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
(Peggy Roberson 4:27pm November 21, 2013)
Thanks! That is so sweet. We've been married almost 20
years now. I enjoy making the big Thanksgiving meal and feel
like now it's old hat. When it comes to the pie, I sometimes
go store bought, sometimes homemade. This year I have a
request from my boys to go homemade all the way and they put
their pie requests on a whiteboard in the kitchen. I hope
you and your husband have a great Thanksgiving. I bet your
feast is spectacular! Have a great Thanksgiving!
(Gina Conkle 10:11pm November 21, 2013)
I actually didn't realize there was a bag INSIDE with the neck
and giblets and cooked them in the turkey. It was a mess when
we ended up carving into it. You'd think your mother would
(Sharmila Prasad 4:56am November 22, 2013)
My first turkey kindof carved itself because it was so well
done. Er...I mean overdone. My mom's tradition was
dropping the turkey on the floor while trying to get it out
of the pan. The pets were happy about that and I can recall
the cat hopping in the roaster and then lifting his paws one
at a time to lick and then putting them back down and having
to start licking again. When they invented turkey lifters -
large forks or small pitchforks for turkeys, we got mom a
pair and knew the screams and special words weren't going to
come out of her mouth anymore, at least not for the turkey
(Alyson Widen 3:06pm November 22, 2013)
well, I learned that experimenting with exotic recipes for a crowd which expects the same old tried-and-true few things just doesn't go over well - rule #1: Don't Mess With Tradition; something will always go wrong - rule #2: Expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised when you only break one serving platter; be prepared - rule #3: Overplan - lists are your friend!
(Beth Fuller 11:36pm November 24, 2013)
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