Wednesday 11 December 2013

Talking Turkey

Just ordered my 15 pounder and I was reminded of past turkey disasters which make me laugh now although didn't at the time . In no particular order as Dermot would say …

Disaster 1 : Nigella's special turkey in brine recipe involved dunking your bird into a whopping great trough full of salted water overnight . We left ours in the garden on a table covered with foil and hoped for the best. The foxes didn't get it , but when we drained the liquor off on Christmas morning the inside of the trough was lined with slugs … all in their last death throes due to the salt of course but seemingly alive and , well if not kicking, sliming their way around our turkey . We still ate it … just didn't tell the boys.,

Disaster 2 ; I'd gone home to my parents new home for Christmas after my first term at university - they'd just downsized and hadn't quite mastered the new gas oven . My mother , bless her , was no cook, so presumably she hadn't even used it. We couldn't get it to turn on to cook the turkey on Christmas morning so ended up hacking great chunks off the breast and wedging it under a separate wall mounted grill to cook.  The gas board wouldn't come out to fix it on Christmas day ( hadn't expected them to but worth a try ) and we later realised that it was just the timer which was programmed to come on later which is why we couldn't get it to light . My father was a very practical and resourceful sort , so if the grill hadn't worked he doubtless would have lit a fire in the garden and torched it that way.

Disaster 3 ; Not so much a disaster but a pain in the neck . Husband had been working on The Good Food Show on TV that night and had arrived home with a massive 25lb Black Norfolk turkey that they'd been reviewing on the show ( along with a dozen others ) strapped to the back of his motorbike, the trouble was , as it had been under the studio lights all day , we had to cook it there and then so the oven went on at midnight and I had to set an alarm every 2 hours to baste the ruddy thing . Think I may have slumped and fallen asleep in my brussel sprouts the following day having had no sleep the night previous ( pre kids so we still had the luxury of being able to sleep whenever we liked luckily. )

This year , I'm ordering from the farm shop where they serve a magnificent hog roast for lunch whilst you collect on the 23rd . Hopefully I'll get a full night's sleep, be slug free and have sussed our cooker so we may actually get to enjoy it.


  1. Ah yes, I could tell you a turkey tale or two ... like the enormous one that wouldn't fit in the oven so we had to hack lumps off it. Happy Days!

  2. Somehow there are always memorable Christmas lunch stories like the year we forgot about the roasties until after lunch was over... Shame it's always the disasters we remember not the truly wonderful meals. The turkey/hog roast place sounds great may I ask where it is?

    1. New Lodge Farm - Bulwick Northants It's lovely not to have to brave the Tesco/Sainsbury/M&S turkey stampede !

  3. Wow that's a fair distance to go for a meal and a turkey. Thanks for the info though and a Happy New Year to you.