Sunday, December 25, 2005

Turkey in the Crock Pot - a family tradition!

Snowy Path (C) DByrd Manassas, VACornelia and I had a wonderful dinner tonight - traditional turkey and stuffing, and she made some special baby carrots with an orange glaze.

And we had wine and pumpkin spice cake for dessert with of course lots of cool whip (the fat free kind, not the real stuff).

And we had some special Godiva coffee that we got in exchange for some chocolates that one of her clients had given her. And we lighted candles and stayed in our p-js all day and relaxed.

I cooked the turkey in the crock pot. That's right in the crock pot.

Remember when they were all the rage, and people were talking about all the things you could do with them, kind of like our microwave culture today? When I was a child, the Crock Pot brand was the thing to have. There were cookbooks and recipes and articles about what you could do with a crock pot.

Now they have become blase'. But they still have uses - like cooking a 6 pound turkey breast that was frozen as hard as a Revolutionary War cannon ball on December 24th at 6:30 when I bought it.

But you wouldn't have known that had you been at our house for dinner this Christmas. The meat virtually leapt off what few bones there were. And the onion and sage that I added to the breast when I put it in the Crock Pot this morning filled the house with a smell that intensified the experience. All you could smell in our home (outside of the Christmas candles) was turkey, onion, and sage.

Cornelia had put one of those little plastic pop-up things in the breast, and periodically we would check to see if it had popped up. One o'clock, no pop-up. Two o'clock, no pop-up. Three o'clock no pop-up. See a turkey breast in the crock on low takes a while, sometimes as much as five hours or more. But the smell was driving us crazy.

Finally at 3:45, I looked and there it was. The little pop-up had popped and the turkey was done! And man was it worth the wait. The tenderness and juiciness of the meat made all that waiting seem like a distant memory. And there is still plenty left. (Two adults can only hold so much turkey before the tryptophan starts to kick in and you fall asleep in your plate).

I learned a little about crock-pot cookery from my mom. She taught me how to make meat loaf in a coffee can (a metal one, not one of those plastic things!) by standing it on end on top of a little aluminum foil and turning the crock pot on low. And meat balls and soup were always best in the crock pot. She also taught me how to make turkey or chicken in the old slow cooker.

"Just shove an onion up his ass and stick him in there," she said. "Put it on low and go to bed. When you wake up, it's done!"

Well she was right. And though the anticipation will drive you nearly out of your mind, sometimes the best things take a long time to work, and the result is beyond what you could have imagined

So I hope you had a merry Christmas. God knows the past year has been one of testing for a lot of people, what with the natural disasters, the war, and the political garbage that's been going on.

So here's hoping that 2006 will be better for you than 2005. A preacher said at our church that what he plans to do New Year's day is to lay out the calendar for 2006 and the one for 2005 and say to the past year "I'm here, and you're not! I made it and you didn't." Sounds like a pretty good plan.

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