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Talking Turkey


picture of a turkey

I'll start this blog post off with a Thanksgiving weather forecast.

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190° F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34° F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

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Many Americans prefer the traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. It's gotten a bit harder with the passage of time, though, since turkeys have started to figure out ways to elude gracing the table at the family gathering. Here are several ways they've done so:

picture of a turkey gone missing

picture of smart turkeys

For the turkeys who haven't managed to escape the Thanksgiving feasting, I'm sharing the recipe my wife Becka uses for our Thanksgiving turkey. Very simple, and absolutely delicious!

Herbed Turkey Breast (from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)

(If you use this recipe for a whole turkey, you'll need more of each ingredient, and you'll need to lengthen the baking time - details given below for each)

¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
6 fresh large sage leaves
1 (5- to 5½-pound bone-in turkey breast)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine the olive oil and garlic. Loosen the skin from the turkey without totally detaching skin; brush about one-third of olive oil mixture under the skin. Space evenly the rosemary and sage leaves under the skin. Replace skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; place in a lightly greased baking dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

For turkey breast, bake at 325° F for one hour. Uncover and bake one hour more or until a meat thermometer registers 170° F, basting the skin with the remaining oil mixture every 15 minutes.

For a whole turkey, bake at 325° F for 3 to 3½ hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in meaty part of thigh registers 180° F.

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I keep telling Becka that she needs to start her own blog - kind of a "Hints from Heloise" type of blog, but so far she has resisted. If you'd like to storm the castle to try to convince her to have her own blog, please say so in the comments.

Speaking of people's starting their own blogs, I'm going to talk a bit of turkey here. Knowing some of you as I do or at least seeing the caliber of your comments to my blog, some of you really need to make a New Year's resolution to start blogging yourself. I plan to do a post next week with advice on how to start your own blog. Those of you who are currently bloggers, please send me your suggestions through my contact form - things to be sure to do, things to avoid, etc. as I prepare that post. I can credit you for your advice, complete with a link to your blog, or you can remain anonymous.

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I'll end this post with a link to a fun (read: humiliating) quiz on turkey knowledge. I got only 8 right out of 20 on this one! I'm sure some of you can beat that score! 🙂 Take the quiz yourself by clicking here. Becka (a.k.a. Heloise) got 15 right out of 20!

What's on the menu at your house this Thanksgiving? We're having turkey breast, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn pudding, luscious cranberry jello, a green veggie (yet to be determined), and pecan pie.

I'm taking a Thanksgiving break from posting, so I won't be back at you until next Monday evening. Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Try to come up with more to thank God for than just the stuff He's blessed you with. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Praise service on campus today with the total focus on Christ. Absolutely awesome!

quotation...

"Do what you do to display who Christ is." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

You know you've had too much to eat on Thanksgiving if they have to call in the paramedics with the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the recliner.


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20 Comments on “Talking Turkey”

  1. #1 Kris Stephens
    on Nov 24th, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I matched you with 8 correct! Maybe my wife will do better?

  2. #2 Rob
    on Nov 24th, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    @Kris – The information on that quiz was pretty specific, wasn’t it?! You would either need to be very well-read or be a good guesser. Let me know how your wife does.

  3. #3 Zina
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 8:05 am

    I only got 8 right as well. If I had gone with my first instinct on several I would have gotten 12 right….

  4. #4 Michael
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Haven’t taken the quiz yet. Perhaps I’ll get to take it here in a moment.

    The blogging world needs Becka to begin a blog. Must there not be a yang to balance the ying? Also, if Becka blogged then we could really find out what makes Rob tick since behind every great man is a greater woman and the wife is normally the neck that turns the head.

    As for blogging, I’ve been tempted to start my own, but I just don’t see the need to dedicate the time necessary to doing a blog. Also, as a school teacher, I want to be careful to not give my students a forum for posting things online that would be inappropriate. So, in your post about starting a blog, perhaps you could address some of those concerns. Why should I take the time to blog when I have a lot of other more important (at least to me) things to do? Are there any special pitfalls a teacher could fall into?

    Thanksgiving at our house is pretty quiet and we eat fairly traditional food. The one thing that sets us a little bit apart is my mother’s macaroni pie. This is like mac and cheese on steroids. Layers of macaroni and cheese piled deep in a baking dish. Good enough to make you smack your mama!

  5. #5 Wally Lamark
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    I took the turkey quiz, and I got 14 correct!

    Thank you for the link to that quiz.

  6. #6 Bette
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    YES!!! Becka…we want a BLOG from you!

  7. #7 Rob
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 10:30 am

    @Zina and Wally – I’m glad you got to take the quiz, with mixed results. One question makes me scratch my head – who took the time to count the feathers on one turkey??? 🙂

    @Michael – I’d like to hear your score from the quiz. You will undoubtedly do quite well. Becka will see your comment about her having a blog. We’ll see if she is swayed. She has some favorite blogs that she follows and she sees what I do to do mine, so she knows what’s involved in having one. That may be part of her reluctance. There is a time investment involved, but it can be a big or small as you want it to be. Honestly, not everyone should have a blog, as can be corroborated by visiting some of them out there! You need a personal desire for it (a passion, even?) and a niche. I’ll comment on that more in my post. I highly recommend bloggers moderating the comments on their blogs. There are some sickos and whackos out there who delight in shocking others – in hit-and-run fashion. With good spam filters (an absolute necessity!) and comment moderation, the risk factor is in your hands. Nothing gets displayed that you don’t want displayed. In fact, it’s a good opportunity to teach when you opt not to approve a comment and write the person to tell him or her why. And the macaroni pie sounds wonderfully intriguing. If you want to sneak a piece out of the house for your friend Rob….

    @Bette – I’ll make sure Becka sees your comment….

  8. #8 Peggy
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    I agree. Becka should have a blog. Just be sure I get the e-mails!

    Probably will see you tonight, but if not have a Great Thanksgiving.

    I am looking for about 40 on Thanksgiving day.

    I am going to try Becka’s recipe.

    Wish she would send me a good sweet potato recipe. I lost mine.

  9. #9 Rob
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 10:39 am

    @Peggy – I’ll make sure Becka sees your comment – not only concerning your vote for her to start a blog of her own, but also your comments about the turkey recipe and your plea for a sweet potato recipe. We love sweet potatoes, and I know she has several good recipes to use them. Hope you, Ralph, and the fam have a good Thanksgiving together also. Wow! 40 in the house that day!!! I don’t know if you’ve looked at the current poll question in the sidebar of my blog, but it appears that there are a lot of “pluggers” among my readers – 43% of the respondents to the poll say that everyone is coming to their house!

  10. #10 Michael
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Hey Rob, I got 10 correct on the quiz. Appears I nailed the questions about the history of Thanksgiving but didn’t do so well on the actual turkey facts. Another confirmation that I am teaching the correct field.

    We’ll have to see about getting some macaroni pie “to go”. My wife and I just need to have you and Becka over some time. (My wife does a good job with macaroni pie now as well. 🙂 )

    And, I’ll look forward to hearing your pitch for blogging. One thing to consider, if I start my own blog, then I may not comment as much on yours. Then again, that would give you a chance to comment on my blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. #11 Deb
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Becka needs a blog! Becka needs a blog! I’m definitely campaigning for your idea, Rob! Tell her I would be a faithful commenter. 🙂 Plus, I’m definitely trying her herbed turkey recipe this week; I just printed off a copy. Thank you!
    Hope you and your family will have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  12. #12 Anna
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Hey rob,
    I got 11, don’t know how, also quite surprising as we don’t celebrate thanksgiving here down under! (I think i was just a good guesser, nothing to do with actually knowing the correct answers….)
    It was great fun, and your wife really should do a blog.
    That recipe looks so easy and delicious. Can you use the same recipe for chicken?
    Well i hope you all have a great thanksgiving!!

  13. #13 Rhonda
    on Nov 26th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I, too, am trying the herb recipe on the turkey this year. I vote for a Becka blog — she has all kinds of good tips I’d love to know about. I got 13 of the turkey quiz questions right — so obviously I need some turkey help from the all-wise Becka! 🙂 Emma and I have spent all morning working on tomorrow’s meal–so far we’ve finished the dressing, the sweet potatoes, the cranberry/orange relish, the pumpkin pie and the apple pie. That leaves the corn casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, and the turkey and gravy for tomorrow. We’re having a small group–just our family, my parents, one of my students, and a single guy from our church. But we’ll have fun no doubt! Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. #14 Rob
    on Nov 26th, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    @Michael – I’m glad you did better on the quiz than I did, but as we both know, as teachers, a 40% or a 50% is still an F in anyone’s gradebook. 🙂 I guess we need to study up on our turkey trivia, huh? As far as getting together some time to enjoy macaroni pie, no reasonable offer will be refused. If you did a blog, what would be your topic? If it’s something like turkey trivia, I may not have many intelligent comments to leave….

    @Deb – Let us know how you like the herbed turkey. Bet’s friend Rhonda commented after you that she’s going to try it out also. It’s become a mainstay in our house.

    @Anna – Sorry to hear that your score wasn’t much better than mine on the turkey quiz. I checked with Becka and she said that the recipe would work well with chicken also.

    @Rhonda – Wow! You and Emma are well on your way towards having your Thanksgiving feast ready for your family and guests. Everything you have planned sounds delicious. I’ve told Becka that you, Deb, and Anna all say she should do a blog. We’ll see if all this clamoring from her future public will have its intended effect. 🙂

    Thanks to all four of you most recent commenters for your greetings for a Happy Thanksgiving Day. We look forward to it, and some of our menu items are already in the works.

  15. #15 Barbara H.
    on Nov 27th, 2008 at 9:33 am

    I only got 9 right on the quiz (blush). Who knew Israel consumed so much turkey?

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  16. #16 Rob
    on Nov 27th, 2008 at 9:38 am

    @Barbara H. – Don’t blush – the quiz was pretty specific. I would have been too ashamed to publish my results if I had actually been able to study specific information in preparation for taking the quiz and then gotten only 8 right out of 20. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family too. Tell Jason I said “Bonjour!”

  17. #17 Ron A.
    on Nov 28th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks, your weather forecast was spot on. 🙂

  18. #18 Rob
    on Nov 28th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    @Ron A. – Good to chat a bit on Facebook, Ron. If that forecast was spot on, you must have had a good Thanksgiving feast! 🙂

  19. #19 Deb
    on Dec 1st, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Hi Rob and Becka ~ we did try your herbed turkey recipe, and it was good! I’m not sure, however, that anyone could tell a big difference in the finished product. Since I’m always up for a new recipe or twist on things, I appreciate your passing on the link. I’m glad I tried the herbed version!

  20. #20 Rob
    on Dec 2nd, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    @Deb – Glad you tried it and liked it. The taste is not radically different, but the combination of ingredients adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the taste of the turkey and to the gravy.