photo by Sheri Dixon

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving is Sharing- Eat Off of Your Neighbor's Plate

So I went shopping at Ross yesterday.

I love Ross.

I got 2 bed pillows, 2 sets of sheets (1 sateen and 1 FLEECE. Yes. Fleece sheets. I'm officially in love), 1 thermal blanket, 2 autumn dish towels, 3 purple porcelain salad bowls, 4 assorted ceramic Portugese baking dishes (1 green small, 1 orange medium, 1 gold medium and 1 black extra humongous), 1 fabulous multi-color Mexican serving bowl, and 1 each shampoo, body lotion and shower gel.


I love Ross.

But that's not all that was in my cart. I also had 3 dinner plates that sort of matched the fall ones I have, since there will be 7 of us for dinner and I only have 4 pretty leaf pattern plates.

*Nothing in our house matches...on purpose. Dishes, glasses, even our dining table chairs- all different. Mainly because I love the way that looks, but also because when (not if) something breaks, it's easy peasy to get a replacement. Because nothing in our house matches.

The dinner plates didn't have a price on them, but I thought, "Huh. Guess they'll have to figure it out at the checkout".

At the checkout they called the supervisor, who announced to me, the cashier and the closest 100 people that those plates were part of a SET and not to be sold by themselves. I explained that they were, in fact, in the rack with all the other "buy by the each" plates and assured her I didn't rip open a box to get three dinner plates.

She said there's no way they could sell me those plates unless I wanted to buy the entire set. So I set them aside.

The supervisor left.

The cashier (and the cashier next to her) said, "I don't think that's right- I'm so sorry you can't get the plates. *I* would've let you buy the plates- it wasn't YOUR fault". She apologized to me THREE times and finally I said

"Honey? It's OK. Really. If not being able to buy those plates is the worst thing that happens to me today, it'll be a pretty good day".

And we all smiled.

I am thankful for family and friends, home and employment. And that yesterday, the worst thing that happened to me is that I was denied the dinner plates.

I haven't shared a recipe for a while, and since tomorrow is turkey day, here's how I make my turkey. In 34 years I've never had a dry one, either.

Thanksgiving Guest of Honor

Thaw out the turkey.
Make your dressing and put it in the crock pot, not the turkey. It'll be fine.
Trust me.

Preheat the oven to 325.

Wash out the turkey after taking out the little wax paper bag of innards and taking off the S&M looking metal thing holding its legs together.

Do what you want to with the neck and innards. We're talking just the turkey right now.

Place the turkey upside down in a foil lined roasting pan- mine is one of those speckled blue ones and I LOVE it.

Yes. I said upside down- breast down. It won't sit quite straight and it's not going to come out of the oven Hallmark card presentation-ready, but it'll be delicious and that's what we're going for, right? If you just want a pretty turkey to set on the table, the hobby store has some realistic looking plastic ones...

Why upside down?

Because Gravity, that's why.

While the turkey is roasting, it gets all juicy and squishy inside. If the turkey is 'right' side up (breast side up) all that lovely juice sinks down into the thighs, which, like most of us, are already plenty squishy enough. Turning the turkey upside down will assure that the juices settle in the breast meat. See? Tender and juicy.

To further hydrate your bird, after washing and drying and setting it in the roaster upside down, quarter an apple and an onion. Stuff 'em into the big hole where the stuffing would be going if you wanted to give your entire family salmonella.

Rub the bird with olive oil and cover with either the roasting pan lid or tin foil.

Place into the pre-heated oven and baste with additional olive oil every 30 minutes.

Cook the turkey till it's done. Since it's upside down, you won't be able to see the little popper outer thingie, but do not panic- it's easy enough to tell when the bird is finished- a fork inserted into it will produce clear juices and the legs/wings will start looking like they want to disengage from the rest of the body.

Once the turkey is finished, take it out and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving it up and serving it sliced on a lovely platter to your family, who will not care one tiny bit that no one precariously carried a 325 degree, 15 pound dead headless featherless bird to the table for dissection.

I promise.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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