Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Gone Awry

We had such a good time having an outdoor Thanksgiving at TowerCamp last year that we wanted to do it again – sort of. The whole process sounded a lot easier if we did it in our backyard. Granted we can't target practice and I can't blow anything up with a rifleand some Shockwave but we wouldn't have to deal with scary neighbors, weather or an hours drive.

So we made a BB gun range, a knife throwing target and a paper turkey to blow up with an “improved” M90, gathered fire wood for the fire pot, invited my parents, his Mom and Uncle, as well as Ivy and her Dad.

The Island King wanted to replicate last year's turkey in a can

and he added two beer can chickens to be cooked on the grill.

Island Girl and Ivy went on a baking binge the day before so we ended up with five pies and 3 cakes – which made for a very impressive dessert table.

Well, it would have looked impressive if we'd actually set it up but that never really happened.

Last year's turkey was a little on the done side so this year the Island King used a bigger can and less charcoal. He put the chickens on the grill a while later but the main focus was on the big bird.

Everyone hung around the backyard and enjoyed being together while we waited for the bird to cook.

I had a buffet table set up but didn't want to put the food out until the birds were ready.
Because this whole event was to be spent outside, the dining room table and kitchen were more of a staging area – meaning there was stuff everywhere.

People started getting hungry, I put everything in the oven to warm and when the timer went off, he pulled the turkey out of the can and I started getting things ready to go outside.

Until my Dad came in and told me to hold off on that. There might be a problem.

The Island King brought the turkey in and shows me the thermometer sticking out of the turkey's thigh.

73 degrees.

Hmmm. I love sushi but have a real problem with raw poultry and this bird is a lot closer to raw than cooked.

The oven was full so he took the turkey out to the grill, moved the not quite ready chickens to the side and added more charcoal. This 21 pound turkey is going to take a lot longer to cook than expected.

Folks were hungry, the appetizers were gone and after a while I noticed that the Island King and I were the only ones in the back yard.

I walked inside to find everyone holding plates full of dessert. I was told that everyone was starving so they dove into the only food that was out.

I was really embarrassed but I can't tell you how happy people were. Who really has room for dessert on Thanksgiving? And isn't dessert the best part of any meal? People were happy.

I turned the oven off and we feasted on blackberry pie, apple pie, chocolate pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, pound cake, apple cake and carrot cake.

It was not a bad experience.

Meanwhile, the Island King is doing everything he can to get the turkey to cook.

The turkey wasn't cooking any faster but the chickens were done pretty quick so I turned the oven back on, reheated the food – again and cut the chickens up.

By this time everyone was pretty full from dessert but they did manage to eat a little of everything with the chicken. Which was delicious by the way.

The sides were all a little dry from heating and reheating so many times but at that point the meal was more ceremony than anything.

Except that our timing was seriously off which meant it was getting dark out, it was cold and the wind had picked up which would have made eating outside unpleasant.

Plan B – make a plate and find somewhere to sit.

The afternoon ended and everyone headed home, full and happy about the order the meal progressed.

Later that evening we were sitting around the fire when I asked the Island King where he put the turkey.

He jumped up and ran towards the grill to retrieve the turkey that he'd forgotten. At this point I was sure the turkey had gone from raw to a charcoal briquette but he opened the grill to find a golden brown, perfectly done turkey.

Thankfully, the charcoal must have gone out right about the time the turkey finished cooking.

It was just about then that we realized we hadn't blown up our little turkey.

It was dark and at that point I was warm and comfortable next to the fire so we'll have to blow that turkey another day.

I considered the whole event a chaotic mess but everyone there talked about how much fun they had and how they especially enjoyed having dessert first.

Maybe we'll start a new tradition.

The big draw back is that I now have a 22 pound turkey that we'll be eating for a long time.
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