Recipe: Bad turkeys

|September 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

This happened a few years back – and I thought it would give you a chuckle –


Well – it’s getting closer!

Thanksgiving that is.

In today’s paper there is an ad for Tops Turkeys at Tops Markets. They say 29 cents/pound with a $15.00 purchase.

Not too sure about that one. You see – a few years back they (Tops Markets) had this slam-bang deal on their store brand turkeys. Of course, being a turkey family I purchased 4 Tops brand and 1 Riverside brand; stuffed them in the freezers – one for Christmas and the others for anytime we wanted turkey.

This one particular year – we were going to do something different. Since it was going to be a very quiet day and it was going to be just us – and of course that year they were going to have the stores opened on Turkey Day so that we could get a jump on holiday shopping – we had this “brainstorm” of cooking the turkey the day before Thanksgiving.

So the day before was quite hectic with the baking, roasting the bird, etc. and we used the carcass to make soup/broth so we did that as well. For Thanksgiving we would still have a great meal – but hardly any mess with all the extra pans. So we had visions of having dinner at noon, hitting the stores and SHOPPING!

Pffft. Hell with that idea.

The turkey was bad. And I mean BAD! It had to be tossed. So was the big pan of broth made from it.

OMG! It’s Thanksgiving! NO TURKEY.

Quick – grab one out of the freezer – and freeze our hands off doing the quick thaw in the cold water routine. We worked that sucker for two hours – massaging, wrestling – anything – just to thaw his butt (which got cut off anyway) and cook him up.

So our noon meal consisted of the veggies, salad, bread. At dinnertime we would have turkey and gravy with leftover sweet potatoes and veggies.

NOT! Turkey #2 – in the garbage.

Grab Tops turkey #3 – by 8 PM he was in the oven. By 12:30 in the morning we are tasting another bad turkey. Toss it.

Now it’s tops turkey #4 – he went in the oven at 8 AM the day after Thanksgiving. Then he went in the garbage by 1 PM.

What I should have done was taken all 4 birds, wrapped them up with a bow, found out where the damn store manager lived, gone to his house and force-fed him those turkeys. And then stick the rest where the sun don’t shine.

But instead – I went to Walmart. The day after Thanksgiving with all the loonies that knock down people at 4 in the morning to get their sale items. Me? I was there for a turkey! That’s it. No other shopping – just give me a turkey! After all – food stores don’t open till 6 or 7 AM – and I needed a bird NOW! Walmart is open earlier.

I still had the Riverside turkey from Tops in the freezer – but I was afraid to roast it. Not after the last 4 birds.

So here I am – cart in hand – I run to the grocery department – which of course I had to myself because the loonies went the other way. Grabbed a couple birds and went home.

Two birds in the freezer – one for a quick thaw with the massaging and wrestling all over again. Hacked off his ass and in the oven he went.

Damn good turkey. Made damn good broth/soup. Did I do any shopping? Yeah – for 3 turkeys at Walmart – that was it.

After that – cook the bird on Thanksgiving and stay home. Forget all the hoopla about shopping. It’s not worth it. And most of the time the same items are the sale price anyway. And be careful when the stores offer you such a good deal! There is a method to their madness.

You may wonder about the Riverside turkey I got at Tops the same day I bought the others. I refused to make it for Christmas. I pushed him to one side of the freezer as if he had typhoid and was quarantined. I did end up roasting him on a non-holiday in January. He was good and made a good soup/broth.

So you see – just because Tops has turkeys for 29 cents/pound – I’m not jumping for it. I’d rather pay much more and have a good turkey on the table.

I realize that the more turkeys (or other food items) a chain purchases – the cheaper they get them. And they get to store them in their freezers until they need them. But these birds had to be 2 years old or more. And to think that Tops Markets donates their brand of turkeys to food banks by the truck load. Those poor people who got them. And that was the year they (Tops) showed their big trucks loaded with turkeys going to the food pantries. I should have saved all those turkeys and put it on television for all to see.

Aren’t you glad I shared that one with you? The Thanksgiving I cooked 5 turkeys – 4 for the garbage and 1 for us. I think if I would have had company that year I would have been mortified! Never have I ever had that happen to me in all the decades of cooking turkeys.

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