I’ll never forget the first time I cooked my very own Thanksgiving dinner. (Nor will my dog and husband, who are both reminded every time they catch a glimpse of where their eyebrows used to be in the mirror).
If you’ve never done it before, boy, are YOU in for a treat. Sure, it can be a bit overwhelming, but rest assure, I am here to talk you through it.
The very first thing you should know is that there is a dirty little secret regarding the Thanksgiving turkey that no one ever really talks about. But since basic human decency has never stopped me before, let me just throw it out there:
You have to stick your hand up the turkey’s ass.
Oh, you read me right. Your hand has to go up the turkey’s behind and then pull everything you find up there out.
Why, you ask? I have no bloody idea. Something like 0.0007 percent of the population ever actually use whatever the hell is up there in their recipes. But apparently that small minority has some major lobbying power in Congress because legislation mandating that someone else deal with the “innards” before it ever gets to your local grocery store has yet to be passed.
Thus, until we finally get enough votes to defeat the powerful Gizzard Lobby, we will be elbow deep in turkey butt once a year.
Therefore, the very first thing you should do before cooking your Thanksgiving dinner is take your turkey out for drinks and a movie. A bit old-fashioned, sure, but I refuse to violate anything I haven’t first bought a cocktail and appetizer for first.
I’m a romantic, what can I say?
This should be quickly followed by a mature conversation with your significant other about who should be the one to actually stick their hand up the turkey’s ass. If you guys are anything like me and my husband, that conversation will go something like this:
Me: It should be you.
Him: Hell no.
If it is your hand that has to get intimately involved with the dead bird’s rectum, let me just say this about the experience, without going into the gross and gratuitous details:
I drew you a picture.
Then put the turkey in the oven.
An hour later, take the turkey out of the oven while another family member takes the batteries out of the incessantly beeping smoke detector. As it turns out, when the recipe book says you should completely cover the turkey while it’s cooking, they don’t mean with a plastic lid.
Other important Thanksgiving cooking lessons you should probably know:
A microwave is no place for aluminum foil.
If you are trying to mash potatoes with only a fork, expect to be mashing them until roughly Christmas.
If half of your turkey is burned, it doesn’t necessarily mean the other half is cooked.
Gravy should not be cooked until it can technically be classified as a “solid.”
Wine is good.
(As is vodka or, in a pinch, Nyquil).
Good luck, everybody! And Happy Thanksgiving!