This past Thanksgiving was quite memorable. I finally have a moment to capture these memories on the blog!
I had been slowly coming down with a head cold, and woke up Thanksgiving morning so sick I didn't want to move. And so, I didn't. We brought the kids into our bed and hung out there for a while.
We decided not to travel for the holidays this year, with the kids being so little and their sleep being so not-good, even in the best conditions, and as it turns out it was a good decision for a lot of reasons. But that doesn't mean that the entire day we weren't missing our family in New Jersey... really badly.
We would have celebrated on Thanksgiving day with my family since they live close by, but my brother didn't have the day off work so we planned to have our meal together on Saturday.
Which meant it was just the 5 of us here in Wheaton all day! Rob made a Dunkin Donuts run for and 2 cups of coffee and 5 donuts later (I ate Maddie's, ha!) it was time to get to work.
We had decided that we would attempt to deep fry a small turkey since we had no place to go, no one else to feed, and all the time in the world. Best. Decision. Ever. Rob had picked up a deep fryer maybe the day before Thanksgiving, and we had gathered the necessary supplies/ingredients but who knew you'd need more than 3 gallons of oil to fill that pot!? After putting the turkey in the pot and filling it with water, and then removing the turkey to measure the water line in order to figure out how much oil we would need, we were shocked to discover we didn't have near enough oil on hand. Rob went back to the only grocery store that was open and bought the last 3 gallon jug of oil on the shelf.
When he came home, we got the bird ready. And by we, I mean Rob pulled the guts out and trimmed the fat off and disposed of that weird little package of who-knows-what from inside the cavity, and washed it in the sink while I told him what to do from across the room. I have a really hard time handling raw poultry, don't ask. Only since we've had kids (with sweet little mouths that need to be fed and depend on me to do it) have I been able to pull the meat off of a fully cooked rotisserie chicken! Can I also just pause for a moment here to say, those random hairs that stick out the goose-pimply skin of whole turkeys? Those might be the end of me for how disgusting they are.
*My knight in shining armor, with that nasty bird all ready to go thanks to him.
Seriously, I took this picture to remember that act of love on his part!
Seasoned per a friend's recipe - which by the way, do you guys really use a whole cup of salt!? I think next time our only adjustment would be less salt, by about half. The garlic powder is genius.
That would be 5 gallons of peanut oil.
Don't worry the stomach turning part of this story pretty much ends here and now it just gets mouth watering and awesome.
The set-up. Rob and I took extra precautions and lowered the turkey on the spit down into the oil using a broom handle so that we could stay a good 2 feet away. It was a good thing - that oil bubbled up like crazy as we dropped the turkey down in, and stayed at a pretty rigorous rolling boil for the 45 minutes that the turkey cooked in it! Crazy.
At one point while Rob was standing guard nearby (we didn't leave it unattended for a second), the neighbors came out to see what we were doing! Or did they really know, and just want to make sure we weren't about to burn our house down?
Awesome looking bird, yard still in tact and zero burns or injuries. Mission accomplished.
While Rob cooked the turkey, I finished the rest of the meal: my best version of his grandma's sausage stuffing, homemade applesauce, noodles in broth, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a pumpkin pie.
We spent a lot of time inspecting our first deep fried turkey. It looks crazy. And a little barbaric.
It was the best turkey I've ever had in my life. To be honest, I hardly ever take a slice of turkey at Thanksgiving (oh for shame!). I can really do without a dry, fairly tasteless piece of meat. But this turkey was so full of flavor and juicy, and not at all what I expected. It didn't drip with oil, and the only thing that wasn't great was how salty the skin ended up getting. I don't eat the skin anyways but Rob does, and later that night he did have a stomach ache, from the salt and oil in the skin we think. The verdict was DEFINITELY do this again!
The aftermath. Yes, I have to bribe my kids to eat certain foods by giving them gross amounts of ketchup and mustard.
We cleared the table, and as Rob started in on the dishes I took Maddie up to her room with a bottle to put her to bed. I'm not sure what we were thinking, but neither of us really made a plan about who was responsible for the older 2 kids. And so for a few minutes they ended up roaming the upstairs unattended. At one point I saw through the crack in Maddie's door Ellie wander by, and that fleeting thought of 'I wonder if Rob is keeping an eye on them, or if he thinks they are in here with me' would have been a great one to act on. Instead I kept feeding Maddie, and I KID YOU NOT - 2 minutes later Ellie appears in the doorway looking like someone had slashed her with a knife and my heart stopped beating.
In my semi-panic state, I calmly called out "Ellie? Are you ok?". It was dark but I could still make out something red all over her, and the most alarming part was a slash-looking line across her forehead.
However, I realized she was not crying or panicking and so I reasoned that it probably wasn't blood. It was too drippy looking to be lipstick or lipgloss, and then it hit me.
The damage had been done by the time I ran to her, and then we found Robbie in Rob's closet with the half empty bottle of OPI's "Senorita Rosalita" - a fabulous shade for toes, not so hot for the master bedroom carpet or MY DAUGHTER'S BODY.
Partners in crime. These two... I was so relieved that no one was hurt, which helped keep the clean-up process civil. I sponge bathed Ellie in Acetone while Rob patiently scrubbed the carpet with spot remover, and after a really good bubble bath everyone and everything was back to normal.
And that was how Thanksgiving 2011 ended. :)
(And then we went to my mom and dad's house for a fantastic meal on Saturday, but I didn't get any pictures because Rob had come down with my cold by then and was so sick he had to stay home. Which meant I didn't exactly have time to take pictures. Sad!)