Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wow, I can cook!

So as most of my family and friends know, I've never made turkey dinner or anything big and fancy for dinner before.

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were always handled by my mother and grandmother, or Logan's mother. I would occasionally bake cookies or help out a bit here and there, but never had anything to do with the main components of cooking the dinner.

So today I cooked what was supposed to be our Thanksgiving turkey, but ended up being our Christmas turkey instead.

I learned a lot from this experience, I tell you what!

First of all, I need to get a real roasting pan, not one of those disposables. My disposable sprung a leak early on and now my oven needs a serious degreasing.

Second of all, I realized I didn't have a platter or any dish big enough to hold the turkey after cooking. I had to pop it in my wok while I spooned the veggies out of the roasting pan.

Also, I found out that the recipes I got off the internet were incomplete. One gave me the neat idea of using veggies (onion, carrots, celery, and a few potato and mushroom chunks) on the bottom of the roasting pan as a cushion for the turkey, as I did not have a rack for it to rest on. But it didn't show me anything about actually roasting the darn thing! And later, when I got to the gravy part, they didn't give any details as to how many cups of milk or how much corn starch. I had to guess by looking at the demonstration video and hoping I was right (I was a little off and now have tons of gravy, but at least it tastes good.)

I made a royal mess in the kitchen that had to be cleaned up three times during the whole process, thanks to the leaky roasting pan.

I started panicking when I reached the end of the roasting time allotted by the recipe I was using and the internal temp was still just below raw! I added nearly two extra hours before it got to an acceptable temp.

The veggies were really tasty (probably the best part of the meal. I will definitely do that next year.) The gravy was a bit watery (or milky, I guess you'd call it), but flavorful. The turkey was NOT dried cardboard, as I had been worried it would be. And so far, neither of us is screaming of stomach pains or dashing to the bathroom. The organic, whole wheat cookies and brownies were a bit dry, but yummy. Logan seemed pretty happy, so I guess it was a success.

We took pictures of the process and I wrote down a whole lot of notes from the experience so that next year I can do better.

The whole meal together: turkey, brown rice, gravy, veggies, and chocolate chip cookies!

Look, Dad! I can cook!

The cleanup time took a while. After looking at the amount of garbage generated and considering the amount of money spent (and wondering if we'll be able to finish the leftovers between the two of us), I do kind of wonder if this kind of meal is worth the effort it took. I learned a lot, it was fun, and it tasted good, but I was wiped out afterward. And I had to spend extra time cleaning up after. I do admit, however, that the cleanup wouldn't have been as big a deal if my pan hadn't been leaking.

My mother mentioned that the cooking time may have taken so much longer because of where we are. We are definitely in a different location than California, that's for sure!

All in all, it was a fantastic experience. I think I'll invest in a few more cooking tools and try roasting a couple of organic chickens in a few months. Maybe for my birthday ...

Merry Christmas!

No comments: