Thursday, December 27, 2007

Turkey and whiskey a la mode

When you have been cooking with a bad oven for a long number of years, it is easy for a good oven to become a bad oven. And not in a good way.

Our old electric cooker -- the one with which I cooked our Christmas dinner in 2006, for example -- had a wonky oven seal. It had also given up its internal glass door one day in spectacular fashion, exploding while hot into a million tiny fragments that danced like a netted shoal of fishes on the cold, tiled, kitchen floor. But I was used to cooking with it, despite these flaws.

"Add another hour to the time," I would say, having done all the cooking-time calculations.

This year, 2007, I installed a new oven. Then I uninstalled it and moved the cabinet to another position. Then I reinstalled the oven again. This week, I stuck a 20-pound turkey into its stainless maw and tried not to think about the seven place settings for Christmas dinner. Many hours later, the turkey was not inedible, but to me it was a little dry.

"In the oven too long," I thought.

The old cooker used four large electric elements to heat the huge cauldron in which we cooked the 2006 ham. This year, in 2007, the halogen-heated ceramic hob I fitted into the counter (then uninstalled and refitted into another, permanent kitchen surface) only needed one-and-a-half rings to bring the water to a furious, steaming maelstrom. The meat eventually fell like large pink raindrops off the bone.

"Tender," Herself called it.

"Over-cooked," I said to myself.

But the turkey tasted like turkey and the ham tasted like ham and no-one has been unaccounted for since December 25th with possible food poisoning. We are, however, more stuffed with turkey than the turkey ever was. We have had turkey with ham and ham with turkey. Turkey with gravy and turkey without. We have clawed the last shreds from its bones and served them cold. There was even talk of turkey soup made up from the bones and the last bits of pale flesh. But the ham finally ran out yesterday and the stinking remenant of the turkey walked itself out into the wheelbin today.

I am now replete with good old fashioned pork chops and mashed potato and have no particular yearning to taste fowl until at least St. Patrick's Day -- which, incidentally, is not allowed by the church to fall on March 17th in 2008, so we are shaping up for two days worth of St. Patrick's Day festivities next year. We've done it before. We know it can be done again.

I must ask Herself what became of the jar of apple sauce she dropped into the shopping trolley in Lidl in Ballyfermot this afternoon. I thought it was to feature in this evening's meal.

I am presently having a whiskey and red lemonade (with ice, thank you). It is a hard and unfair life all round.

1 comment:

Fitz said...

Presently having a whiskey with ice. no red lemonade. I know I probably should but sod it it's Christmas.