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Friday, December 1, 2017

Good morning crew,

After putting in about 6 hours of shopping, cleaning and preparation Wednesday night, the wife and I got up at a bright and early 7 a.m. Thursday morning to begin phase 2 of our first Thanksgiving. And what that involved mostly was cooking.

The pterodactyl that the wife bought for the main course had been soaking in an apple cider brine for ten hours, so the first order of business was to get that guy out of the brine and thoroughly rinsed. Then it needed to me massaged with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, thyme, basil and sage.

Then came a heated debate over whether to roast it breast side down or up. I am of the opinion that it makes the breast meat juicier when the bird is roasted breasts down. Eventually we compromised by roasting it upside down and covered in foil for the first two hours, and then flipping it over and uncovering it for the last two hours so it could get nice and brown and crispy.

Once we got the bird in the oven everything seemed to be going smoothly until the meat thermometer fiasco. It was after the first two hours when we pulled the bird out to flip him over.

I checked the temperature in the meaty part of the thigh and was a little alarmed to see that the thermometer read 190 degrees! The turkey is done when the interior temperature is 165, maybe 170. I was ruining it!

The problem was I have an analog thermometer with a two-pointed needle that spins around. I was reading the wrong end of the needle. The end I was reading was pointed to 190 degrees, but the end I was SUPPOSED to be reading was pointed to 90.

But I hadn't figured that out yet. So in a panic I turned the temperature in the oven down. Imagine my surprise when 90 minutes later the turkey still wasn't brown and had only heated up to where I could still comfortably touch the skin with my bare fingers. After four solid hours even this 20-pound condor the wife bought should be done!

Standing in the kitchen in front of a still partially raw turkey the conclusion that something was seriously wrong was slowly filtering into my thick skull. Either the thermometer was broken, or I was an idiot.

Fortunately we still had a couple hours before the wife's family was due to arrive, so cranking the oven up to about 400 I crossed my fingers and fervently hoped I wasn't about to give everybody salmonella.

While all this was going on the wife was busy with a bread stuffing, green bean casserole and her dehydrated mashed potatoes.

I don't mind saying that the stress had me drinking by noon. So when the guests arrived around 3 I was much more relaxed about the whole affair. And, I don't mind saying, the turkey turned out juicy and delicious. More due to dumb luck and guesswork than careful planning, but what matters the road as long as you get the outcome you're looking for?

Ok, maybe the bird was a touch under done, but nobody got sick. In fact, I ate turkey leftovers for five days afterward.

After all was said and done it took us two days to clean everything up and restore the house to order. So hosting Thanksgiving ended up involving about four days of work. I think next year we're going out.

At least now I know how the thermometer works.

Laugh it up,

Joe

joe@gophercentral.com

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"Another big story is that Prince Harry is engaged to Meghan Markle. And it was announced that they will marry at Windsor Castle this May. Right now, every bride is asking, 'Wow - how'd they get a venue so quick?!'" -Jimmy Fallon

***

"According to a new study, women are more attracted to men who talk less. Which is why you often overhear women say, 'Check out that mime.'" -Conan O'Brien

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"A cellist in Oregon was arrested after police found over 100 pounds of marijuana in his car trunk. Thankfully, when they pulled him over, he didn't resort to violins." -Seth Meyers

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My wife has these days when she wants us to "talk about things."

On one of these occasions we were discussing our future so I asked her, "What would you do if I die before you do?"

After some thought, she said that she'd probably look for a house-sharing situation with two or three other single or widowed women who might be a little younger than herself, since she is so active for her age.

Then she asked me, "What will you do if I die first?"

I replied, "Probably the same thing."




*-------------- Guaranteed to Roll Your Eyes --------------*

A man was wandering around a fairground and he happened to see a fortune-tellers tent. Thinking it would be good for a laugh, he went inside and sat down.

"Ah....." said the woman as she gazed into her crystal ball. "I see you are the father of two children."

"That's what you think", the man laughed. I'm the father of THREE children."

The woman grinned and said, "That's what YOU think!"

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