Saturday, November 24, 2007

Indian Gorging, Sleiman-style

After barely surviving a dry, hot summer, the pilgrims found themselves near the end of their proverbial ropes. Then, to make matters worse, around the third Thursday in November, Indians came and showed the pilgrims how to make enough food to stuff their faces... which, believe me, hurts a little more than a too-hot summer.

Lynné outdid herself once again, cooking the turkey to perfection.

For those who aren't sure, perfection is when the turkey is soft everywhere. As L and I discussed matters, the distinction between white and dark meat is more than just how much moisture the meat keeps.

Of course, juicy meat isn't all that special. (haha, just kidding - yes it is.) More than that, however, is the awesome cookly power of matching the proper herbs and spices to the meat. Watch Lynné's genius...
She prepared the turkey in a honey mustard glaze complimented with a rosemary herb mixture. Most doctorate theses aren't that eloquent.

Here comes the near-fatal hubris of Youssef... his eyes being bigger than his stomach.
What you see here is a turkey drumstick. If you've been to Scarborough Faire and paid $5 for a drumstick, it's okay if you don't recognize this. Lynné found a mutant turkey with thighs sculpted by hours on a commercial exercise machine.

This looked at first like no big deal. Just a drumstick, right?

The strategy thus far was to get as much down as possible.

In a way, if you think about the first feast of Thanksgiving, the entire strategy to overwhelm your enemy with food strikes a chord with Sun Tzu.

Each bite tasted so good...

It made me hungrier with each taste, but at the same time filled me more with it. It may be a flawed strategy, but the plan was to taste and eat as much of the turkey that came across my eyes. However, things got to the point where a new strategy needed to be adopted...
Thus, the sprint crunches. Oh yeah, for about ten to twenty minutes, I sat beside the table and began to do crunches and sit-ups and twist-ups and a (pathetic) pair of push-ups.

It worked, oddly enough. I wasn't as full as I was ten to twenty minutes ago - but whether that was due to my impromptu exercise routine or my brief pause in turkey consumption, we'll never really know.
But, if anything could be attacked with more gusto than I did the turkey this second time, I don't want to hear about it. Forks and knives only get one so far. Then, to properly handle the turkey, you've got to reach in with your fingers.
I love that moment. It reminds me of Star Wars, when Luke is wearing the blind helmet and facing off against the "remote" with a lightsaber... and of the throaty voice of Alec Guinness saying, "Reach out with your feelings."
My hands will smell herbally until the Tuckers get home (next week, right?)

What may be missed in this picture is that there was other food at the dinner table than turkey. There's gravy on some mashed potatoes, I believe. I didn't look that closely.
It was more of a cursory serving. Lynné, as she ate, asked me if I was interested in the other food - stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. "What other food?"

And yes, this Indian gorging ended at some point.
In fact, the remains of the poor fowl weighed about 15 pounds lighter when they were thrown out. Even to the end, I was picking off and eating small chunks - juicy and delectable.

We cleaned the table in a short moment and, just as I was lumbering over to the big sofa to rest, Lynné broached a subject I was completely unprepared for...
"Want some pumpkin pie?"


Lynne' said...

But he fell into a turkey coma. (We go through this every time I cook a turkey. ;)

Ryan said...

LOL. You got some really good pictures. We were so busy on Thanksgiving we totally forgot to take even one picture, I am really sad about that.

Ryan said...
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Lynne' said...

That was Saturday actually. We were with family on Thanksgiving. But as you can see from how Youssef loves my turkey, I had to cook one. ;)

Ryan said...

These pictures really make me want to make a turkey. I will have to try the honey mustard and herbs, maybe I will get one next week.

Lynne' said...

The key to a juicy turkey (besides the glaze) is to let it thaw completely and then soak it overnight in salt water before rinsing and cooking it. I stab it all over too to let the salt water get in. ;) I've never had a problem cooking them, and everyone who's had it have said it's the juiciest they've ever had! It's nice to get it all ready the night before too. Then on the day you cook it you just rinse it, pour some water and oil over it mixed with whatever seasonings you want, and half way through cooking it you can make the glaze and pour it all over it. Not a big deal. ;)
Oh, and today I made some turkey noodle soup with frozen veggies and leftover turkey. Also really easy and yummy. :)

Ryan said...

I usually cook mine in a bag and it comes out really juicy but I really want to try the glaze and herbs. I know, the fozen leftovers is my main reason for wanting to make a turkey, it's so nice. I hope I can find one next week. I will have to write down your glaze when I get my turkey. I am currently a vegetarian for a month but, I may have to cheat if I make a turkey.

Ryan said...

Where did you get your turkey?

Youssef Sleiman said...

We got ours from Check it out.

(No, I think L's mother gave one to us and L bought a second.)
[I'm going to go to and see what's there.]

Lynne' said...

There was a deal at Safeway .27 cents a lb if you buy $25 or more. And I bought two, but one I paid my mom back for because she was spending $25 and picked one up for me. (About $5.50 for a 20lb turkey) She was going to pick up a third for me but they were all out of the cheap ones where my mom was. (I've used the bag for a turkey before, but the way I do it now makes it more juicy. And the glaze is equal parts honey and mustard with a dash of salt and pepper. I don't messure, just taste test. You can use brown sugar instead of honey too.)

Ryan said...

ooohhhh Thanks this sounds so good! That is such a good deal. I hope I can find a pretty good deal too. I hope I can still find a turkey next week. I wonder what would happen if I did everything you said and then still put it in a bag? Is there such a thing as too moist? heehee

Lynne' said...

It would probably work except the glaze wouldn't get crispy, but some people might like it better that way. (I haven't used a bag because it was just one more thing to buy.) ;)