Monday, November 23, 2009

Let's Talk Turkey...

And I mean turkey!

Well, the turkey platter has officially been passed from my mother to me. This year marks my first as Thanksgiving hostess and, perhaps surprisingly, I'm not really nervous about it. My dearest and I have had a bit of practice over the past couple years at hosting non-holiday family dinners. And we cook a turkey for the two of us just about every year in October or early December. We like turkey... a lot.

When the mister and I first started our tradition of turkey for the two of us, we used a non-antique blue spattered enamel roasting pan. It always seemed a bit flimsy for roasting even a fifteen-pound turkey, nothing like the good and heavy vintage roasters. However, from these early turkey-cooking experiences, we learned the value of basting and perfected our stuffing recipe.

One day, many years ago, we spied a lovely brown Corona graniteware roaster in an antique shop. I'm almost positive that there was a beautiful heavenly light shining down on it and an angelic chorus singing as we approached this holy grail of roasters. Little did we know what magic this pan could do with a roast...

The first time we cooked a turkey in our magic roaster, it came out nicely browned, juicy, and tender, with minimal effort. The roaster is designed so that the meat essentially bastes itself as it cooks. And the really terrific thing about our magic roaster is that the turkey cooks more quickly than the total minutes per pound time. What a difference between using the modern roaster and the vintage roaster!

The only hitch with our magic roaster, and it's minor in my book, is that a turkey larger than about 18 pounds doesn't fit well. However, a year or so ago, we acquired a 1940s Westinghouse electric roaster. Last month, we cooked a 22 pound turkey in the electric roaster for the first time. It was almost as fabulously delicious as one cooked in our beloved magic roaster. So, now we've got all sizes of turkeys (or other roasts) covered. After all, we'll be hosting a big Christmas dinner this year too!

Here are a few photos of turkeys past (I mean the ones in the pan)...

Would someone please pass the sweet potatoes?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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