‘N

Halleluiahenry

I have several odds and ends to clear up today, both on this blog and in real life. Or odds 'n ends, cause you know how I like that. Especially how the apostrophe goes just at the front, like it is short for "an." Or "in." Like "and" is such a big word, you have to abbreviate it in the first place.

Have I already told you about how I used to work for a newspaper, and I wrote up all the wedding announcements? While I was 22 and had NO POTENTIAL FOR MARRIAGE in sight? I didn't even WANT to get married when I was 22, but every girl in my hometown was giddily rushing in to that paper to turn in her announcement, and you just know they felt sorry for me for being single single single, and they probably blamed it on the spiral perm.

The POINT of my story is someone once wrote "mother-n-law" and "father-n-law," etc. throughout the entire little announcement. You have no idea how badly I wanted to call her fiance and talk him out of that marriage.

So, first of all, Faithful Reader Leah is the comment of the week. Yeah, I KNOW I usually award it on Saturday. Shut up. Go click on This Week's Special if you want to see it.

Also, WHAT are we gonna read for book club? When we pick a book, should we set our meeting date for the first week in January, lest people be overwhelmed with holiday-related things?

Okay, I know there was something else I was gonna tell you, but Henry is driving me BERSERK and I have to leave this room before I snap his little kitten neck. I got him a dangly toy and he is obsessed with it. When we are not dangling and leaping, it has to go in the closet so Lula won't eat it. So Henry is in that closet right now, chirping and trying to climb to his toy. Poor Henry.

If I think of whatever I was gonna say, I will come in and update this. I have to go to the grocery store and get all the Thanksgiving food now.

Hey, how do you cook a turkey?
 

50 thoughts on “‘N

  1. Book club recommendation : “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. Excellent book about African American women working in white households during the 1960’s. Very thought provoking.
    Figured with you being in the south ‘n all.

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  2. Having made a turkey once and had ot turn out surprisingly edible, I say don’t try anything fancy, just throw it in the oven at 325 degrees for an obscenely long time. At a few points during the obscenely long time, baste it with whatever has collected at the bottom of the pan.
    Book club suggestion: “All About Lulu” by Jonathon Evison.

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  3. Wow…a cat being nothing but an annoyance…shocked, SHOCKED I am.
    I am telling you, “Where Is Joe Merchant” is a GREAT book. I might even join that discussion. So it isn’t as high-brow as some of the other suggestions. It’s got a love story, adventure, plot twists…awesome.
    I am making my famous sour cream apple pie to take to my mom’s. Baked from scratch. Crust and everything. Handsome, funny, AND can bake a pie?? HOW am I still single?

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  4. Mom of Nelson, I have already been assigned Serena for this months book club at work. I know I dont work there anymore, but they told me I was not allowed to resign from book club. Anyway, lets pick that one! That way I only have to read one book. Also too, I know that when I reply to these comments, my punctuation doesnt show up.  Annoying. noying.

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  5. I vote for You Suck, A Love Story by Christopher Moore since everyone seems to be all enthralled with the blood sucking Twighlight books. Hulk would probably laugh at this one. 🙂

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  6. Turkey tips:
    1) If you are making/buying a frozen turkey, it should already be thawing, in the refrigerator (not out in the open). If you haven’t done this already, I highly recommend that it be on the top of your list, as in, maybe you should go out and do that right now. They say to plan on thawing 3-4 hours per pound, so a 16 pound turkey would take you 64 hours, or the better part of three full days. If you are doing fresh, I would hope you already have it ordered and reserved somewhere, cause good luck finding a nice fresh whole turkey that meets your size requirements the day before Thanksgiving.
    2) At 325º, allow 20 minutes of cooking time per pound for 8-12 pound birds, 15 minutes per pound for 12-16 pound birds.
    3) This is the most important one (probably should have put it first then, right? This is in chronological Turkey Day order, though) You really ought to use an instant read thermometer to tell if it’s done, because the thing about meat is that it keeps cooking once you take it out of the oven, so if you pull it out at the correct temperature, it will finish up just perfect while it rests on the counter. If it’s perfectly done when you take it out, it will be overcooked by the time it gets to the table (this is called carryover cooking). So, you want to shoot for 165º in the thickest part of the breast, 175º in the thickest part of the thigh.. white meat and dark meat cooks different, you want it all to be safe. Make sure the thermometer doesn’t touch bone when you take temperatures, as this will skew your results. Also, don’t rely on the plastic pop-up thing, it usually doesn’t go off until the bird is overcooked and thus dry.
    4) Let the turkey rest out of the oven, covered in foil for 15 to 30 minutes. The juices need to redistribute into the meat. If you cut right into it immediately after you take it out, all the juices will run out, and it will be sad. 😦 The turkey is so hot after being in the oven for 5-6 hours, it doesn’t even remotely get close to getting cold, if you cover it with foil, so don’t worry about that (I did.. but it all turns out okay).
    5) If you have a pressing question on the actual day-of, and though I think there are some Faithful Readers that might be waiting around to see what you’re up to, odds are you won’t get a quick turkey response when you need it. 1-800-Butterball is the Turkey Help Line, and they are trained smart home economists and nutritionists and such that can answer other questions. (I do not work for Butterball, but damn, would that be cool, huh?)
    This is my first doing it myself Thanksgiving, but I have been sous-cheffing for my mom for about a decade, so I think that’s pretty good information. Since I’m trying my hand at it myself, I’m in over-analysis, make it perfect, scientific method mode right now, so you get the benefit of the research I’ve just done and picking my mom’s brain over the past week.
    Oh, also.. It is not recommended that you cook stuffing in the turkey because it is hard for it to get hot enough inside to kill potential raw-meat bacteria when the juices drip onto the stuffing. If you’re into the whole turkey drippings stuffing, cook the stuffing in the bird, then pull it all out, put it in a baking dish, and stick it back in the oven for 20 minutes while the turkey is resting and get it up to temperature.
    Good luck!

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  7. Ugh, I just wrote you a whole damn dissertation on turkey tips. I really need to remember to copy the text before I send it off into the internet ether. *sigh* I don’t know if I can do it again.. Maybe I’ll muster up the ambition later (seriously, it was like 7 paragraphs..)

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  8. Katie should totally work for Butterball. My goodness with all that advice!
    Basting is the key part. Also, too, if you have cheesecloth? Drape the cheescloth over the seasoned turkey (I use garlic powder, seasoned salt, fresh sage, thyme and rosemary and Old Bay seasoning. Put the cheesecloth on and then drench the turkey with melted butter. Seriously? How can a person go wrong with butter?
    Good luck, Junie!

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  9. stuffy-headed, runny-nosed, crackling-cougher, pajama-cladded Sugar Mommy of a whiney toddler with bronchitis, who loves that she finally figured out she can make up any new name she wants in the comments, just like you says:

    I had a successful first turkey with this method!
    Using an already seasoned and thawed turkey, remove the innards (google this if you need to), put turkey in roasting pan on a roasting rack and cover the whole pan with foil. Put in oven at 250 degrees the night before. Let it cook all night (at least 12 hours). Take it out about an hour before the meal (this gives you time to cook the sides), and keep it covered to hold the heat. It will fall off the bone and be the juiciest turkey you’ve ever had.
    Trust me on this, even though you haven’t heard from me in weeks and I know I’m supposed to send you a package from my grandma’s stash and also a baked good. We are all sick, and, since hubs is gone, I am blindingly busy with single-parentness, and also gone for the week to my parents’ house and they have a computer that is your mother’s computer’s great-grandma. It doesn’t even have speakers. Not that it makes my tardiness any more excusable. Nor my use of run-ons, fragments, typos, and misplaced commas. I promise to get my schtuff together and shipped off for you when I get back home next week.
    Also, make sure you get a picture of you and Marvin pulling the wishbone. And then post it for us to see.

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  10. Also, too, I saw somewhere that if you cover your turkey in bacon before you cook it, it will baste for you. The picture had it all basket-weavey, but I think it would be just fine if it’s not. Or even just pile it on in a heap, if you want. Whatev.
    BUT I didn’t baste at all with that over-night method and it seriously was the best turkey we’d ever had.
    Did I mention it was my first turkey? AND my mother-n-law came to eat with us, and SHE liked it, too.
    So there you have it. Over-night turkey beats mother-n-law.
    ‘nough said.

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  11. Brown paper bags. I make the turkey every year. I stuff butter that has salt and pepper mixed in it between the skin of the Turkey and the meat. Then I put it the roaster pan, take brown paper bags (big grocery store ones) and spray them with Pam spray. Then I wrap the turkey in the bags in the roasting pan. 325 degrees, 15 minutes per pound and let it go. No basting, no checking, just let it cook. After the appropriate time, take the turkey out of oven and let it rest in the roaster pan with the bags still on it for about 15 minutes. After that time, remove bags and WA-LA, a perfect turkey, browned to perfection and falling off the bone.

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  12. Speaking of annoying things people do with regard to wedding announcements … it drive sme batty when people get married and change their names on facebook to be FirstName ‘MaidenName’ NewLastName. Apostrophes are not parentheses, people. The apostrophes make it look like your maiden name is a nickname. Parentheses exist for a reason. Learn them. Use them. Love them.
    And that is my editorial soapbox for the day.
    Also, Hulk or June, please share that sour cream apple pie recipe. Because … yum!

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  13. I am totally with Hulk on the book selection – I LOVED “Where is Joe Merchant?”. My husband read it too, and said it read more like poetry than a novel, since Buffett is a songwriter. I”ve pretty much enjoyed all JB’s books…who’d have thunk it? (And I know by now June has chosen Serena, but I just wanted to give a shout out to Hulk for his choice.)
    I have no suggestions for turkey – I’m not much of a cook. I use one of those cooking bags and always stuff the turkey with lots of stuffing. After Katie’s advice, I’m going to look into a better way to do that. Truth be told, I’m not really all that fond of turkey. I only do it for the dressing and turkey soup from the carcass.

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  14. Hey, Hulk, my husband read The Help and loved it. Plenty of scatalogical humor. It makes me laugh just thinking about it… Which is rather disturbing considering all this talk about pie.
    Know what I mean, d-lou? *skkknk*

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  15. Hey, Hulk, my husband read The Help and loved it. Plenty of scatalogical humor. It makes me laugh just thinking about it… Which is rather disturbing considering all this talk about pie.
    Know what I mean, d-lou? *skkknk*

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  16. Hey, Hulk, my husband read The Help and loved it. Plenty of scatalogical humor. It makes me laugh just thinking about it… Which is rather disturbing considering all this talk about pie.
    Know what I mean, d-lou? *skkknk*

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  17. I will post the sour cream apple pie recipe tomorrow. It is an old family recipe handed down since I found it in the Detroit Free Press two years ago.

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  18. I am pretty much a word wizard and can spell almost anything… I never knew how to spella voila. I learned something new today. Just like that, Wa-la! 😉 I don’t think I even knew it was a real word. June’s blog~ Turkey tips and word alerts.

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  19. All I have to add to the turkey dissertation is, if you are gonna add stuffing, add it to the turkey between the skin and the meat, not in the cavity. That way it is cooked all the way through, doesn’t get the bacteria from being in the turkey and is not too soggy. It’s the best.

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  20. Twice this week Jan and I are on the same page. I make a killer maple, apple cider and herb butter that I put between the skin and the meat of the turkey. Then a little more rubbed on the outside and be sure to save about 1/2 cup to start the gravy with.
    I promise and swear to you on all that is holy and tasty that this turkey will win you some fans. If you want me to post the recipe just give me a jingle. or a holler. or a facebook poke. or whatever.
    Really looking forward to the secret family pie recipe of Hulk’s tomorrow!
    And June, I will read whatever book you choose. You are the boss here!

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  21. Hulk: looking forward to your secret old family recipe.
    Cosmo’s Dad: You need to help us out here…didn’t I see that you won one of Pioneer Woman’s cookbooks????? Could there possibly be another Cosmo’s Dad? nahhh
    June: just how much catnip did you stuff that new toy with anyway? Shame on you for tripping sweet little Henry.
    June: If your next door neighbor, Bumpus, has dogs, don’t let them in your house.
    Happy turkey cookin ‘n eatin!

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  22. DAVID COPPERFIELD!!! It’s the book I’m reading now; It’d be so awesome to be able to share my classic-novel-geekiness with you guys! Plus, if you have adult books, I can’t read them. 😦

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  23. Nahhh… I’m the only Cosmo’s Dad, and we did get the turkey off the dog’s head, however things are a bit off kilter (should I have used hyphens, off-kilter) anyway Grandma caught the dog but she fell into the double-wide and I think we broke an axle.

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  24. I too, will look forward to Hulk’s secret family recipe. Although I must admit I cringe at the thought of homemade crust.
    I have never had a fried turkey and really want to try one, but I don’t think I want a virgin run of it on Thanksgiving.
    My husband grilled a whole turkey last year and it was very good.

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  25. Chelsea in Texas who is now Very Much Craving a Bacon and Cream Cheese Toast late night snack. And no, I'm not high or pregnant. says:

    Personally, LOVE the bacon idea. If we could work cream cheese into the recepie, it would be perfect. My two favorite “secret ingredients” in recepies are bacon and cream cheese. Also, cinnamon. And vodka. Mostly the bacon and cream cheese. Jeez, I am just the picture of good health and self discipline over here.

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  26. I stick the turkey in a plastic bag and shove it in the oven. That’s all. Doesn’t matter if it dries out or not, just put lots of gravy on it.
    You’re welcome. Oh, and I’m reading The Glass Castle finally – best book ever.

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  27. Hubby usually cooks our turkey on the Big Green Egg. It’s delicious. Before cooking I grease it well with cooking oil and sprinkle lemon pepper and garlic salt on the outside, then loosely stuff the turkey with onions, celery tops, fresh rosemary and fresh sage for added flavor.

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  28. I’m from Australia and have NO idea what the Big Green Egg is? Apple pie recipe would be great on your Blog, June.
    Maple, apple cider, herb butter recipe would be great Too. Hey, June you need to start a recipe file on your blog so we can all share our delicious recipes. We do not have Thanksgiving here so we only get to enjoy Turkey at Christmas. Poor us.

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  29. One year, I decided I was Martha Stewart, Jr. and made turkey according to her website tips. I had to send my husband out for cheesecloth, it took him 3 hours to find it. I expected everyone would be falling all over themselves telling me how wonderful my turkey was – but no comments at all. Now I just follow the directions on the Butterball tag.

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  30. Elsie, who's going to a friend's house for the Feast of Saint Turkey so won't have to cook anthing but the pumpkin pie says:

    Cut up an apple, a stick of celery, an onion, and a carrot. Stuff them inside the cavities of the turkey. Then follow the directions on the turkey wrapper.
    I vote for _The Help_ for a future book club selection.

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  31. I think turkey is yucky and sad so I can’t help you there (though you’re all set with lots of advice!)
    How about for next time…The Art of Racing in the Rain? My book club decided to pick whatever was #5 on the NY Best sellers list that week and that was it.
    Happy Thanksgiving and I hope all your cooking goes well. I will be in Plymouth MA for the day!! America’s hometown (until Provincetown gets it’s way).

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