Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Slut Turkey and guest Laura Griffin :o)

Hi everyone. I am thrilled to welcome Laura Griffin ( who is NOT a slut turkey) to the 'vert today. Please make her welcome and wow, she's got a GREAT giveaway for you all!

Slut Turkey

Is it really Thanksgiving? I don’t know how it got here when one minute ago I was rushing around Walmart looking for number two pencils and braded folders.

I sat down to write this blog, fully prepared to do the whole thanks-for-having-me!-please-buy-my-new-book! (but with some sort of clever twist that I was still banging my head against the keyboard trying to come up with). But then I looked at my calendar and realized I was scheduled to visit you all at Riding With The Top Down on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving!

So there went my book pitch (although, please do consider buying it). How about we talk turkey instead?

This is the story of my first Thanksgiving as a blushing bride… well, not really blushing. Actually, I was engaged and living up in Chicago and somehow my fiancé and I got roped into having our two college-student sisters join us for turkey… which I ambitiously offered to cook because my mother was way down in Texas. Of course, being hundreds of miles away didn’t stop my mom from wanting to help.

First, there was the barrage of “foolproof” recipes. I think I got at least twelve detailed letters from my mom and all of her closest friends. Lack of confidence in my culinary abilities? Perhaps. I am what you might call a distracted baker. My half-inch tall “cakes” are legendary. And then there was the three-layer sliding-icing cake that ended up naked in a pool of buttercream… But I digress!

Of the twelve helpful recipes, I chose Turkey in the Sack. I chose this recipe (which my sister dubbed Slut Turkey) not because it was pitched to me as foolproof--although that was supposed to be one of its attributes--but because there are few people I trust more than my mother’s best friend, and she swears by this recipe. Good enough for me.

So I bought my bird. I bought my ingredients. I even bought a card table so that our Thanksgiving guests would have an actual place to sit while they ate dinner in our closet-size apartment, where we usually ate on stools at the counter. I was prepared. And so on that bright Thanksgiving morning I got up and got straight to work.

The panic started early.

Step one: Prepare the bird.

My mom awoke at 7 a.m. to a desperate phone call. “Prepare?! What does that mean??

She quickly set me straight with instructions on washing, drying, etc., etc., this slimy, almost-frozen thing that had been sitting in my sink overnight.

For the next five hours (Yes, five. I assure you, this was a large bird. I was terrified of running out of food and not having leftovers.) I followed my mom’s best friend’s instructions to a T! I did not miss a step. I did not deviate. I did not get creative. I got that bird washed and seasoned and stuffed in that paper sack and sealed up tight, so it could cook to a succulent perfection. And I did not peek once, as I was strictly instructed by the recipe, and in my mom’s best friend’s handwriting off in the margin.

Finally, it was time. I took the bird out of the oven, and the kitchen smelled heavenly. It smelled like my grandmother’s house! Can you imagine how proud I was? The soon-to-be bride serving her sister and soon-to-be-sister-in-law a delicious, home-cooked Thanksgiving meal in our cozy little apartment with the card table beautifully set and the folding chairs arranged so invitingly around it… I was beaming with pride.

I put the roasting pan on the counter and decided to start the gravy.

Step One: Prepare the giblets.

I frowned. I pondered. I searched the kitchen, the fridge, the trash can for clues. For the sixteenth time that day, I called the Mom Hotline.

“Mom? Yeah, the turkey looks great, but what the heck is a giblet?”

Well, clearly I am not the only person incapable of following a “foolproof” recipe. I know this because I got off the phone with Mom and called Butterball, and turns out you know those nice plastic bags containing necks and turkey innards? The ones they stuff inside the bird for you to pull out before cooking? Turns out those bags are made of non-toxic material. My family is living proof.

What is your worst Turkey Day mishap? Leave a comment about anything at all and be eligible to win a signed copy of my new book, UNFORGIVABLE, and a $25 Amazon gift card to help you get started on that holiday shopping. Good luck!

Oh, and one last plug for the new book. Here’s what Publishers Weekly had to say about it: “The science is fascinating, the sex is sizzling, and the story is top-notch, making this clever, breakneck tale hard to put down."

Happy Holidays and happy reading!

Laura Griffin is the bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels, including UNFORGIVABLE, which comes out Nov. 30. Laura’s books have won numerous awards, including a 2010 RITA Award, a 2010 Daphne du Maurier Award, and the 2008 Booksellers Best Award for romantic suspense. Visit her web site at www.lauragriffin.com.

36 comments:

Linda Henderson said...

My mother for many years was the only one allowed to cook the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. That was the way she wanted it. So when I moved away and didn't live close to any of my family I had to learn to make it myself. I was 30 and had never cooked a turkey. Needless to say I did everything wrong and when we sat down to dinner mid-afternoon the turkey was not done. So we had a meatless meal until the turkey finished cooking that evening. It was the first and last time I cooked a turkey. By the way, I hate turkey and NEVER eat it.

seriousreader at live dot com

Lori said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

For years, I had an oven that ran about 25 degrees hot. I got so good at cooking in it that when I finally got a new oven, and cooked my first Thanksgiving turkey in it, I of course, cooked it about an hour less than it should have been (hey - in my old oven it would have been perfect!). So out comes the turkey, which smelled heavenly, and hubby went to slice it. Oh dear lord, it was totally pink and uncooked inside. Yuck. We ended up with microwaved turkey that year. Ewwww.

Oh, and the year my SIL decided to cook the turkey in the crock pot? Yeah, I don't recommend it.

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release. I don't cook, but I don't think our family has ever had a major catastrophe while cooking the big meal. I have seen my cousin getting frustrated in making sure the dark meat is well done and trying to keep the white meat from drying out.

Virginia said...

What a cute post. I can't say I have ever had a meal mishap so to speak. My meal usually come out pretty good but my mother taught me to cook pretty young. Most of my catastrophe's have been things just happening at the worse time during the cooking of the meal. Like one year I got up in the middle of the night before I was to cook and the bathroom sink was leaking so I spent the night before the meal mopping up water in the bathroom floor and trying to cook the next day while husband try to fix the sink before guest arrived.

Rula Sinara said...

Hi Laura,

I left the giblet bag in the turkey on my first Thanksgiving too! I also tried making mashed potatoes from scratch...without a potato masher. Who needs one when you have an electric mixer, right? Little did I know that mixers do something magical to potato starch. I could have used the results to plaster walls, lay bricks, glue craft projects...you get the idea. Plus, I had company and a reputation for being a good cook :0 hmmm.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...
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mariska said...

Dang ! we don't celebrate thanks giving here. but still I want to win your latest book , Laura ! :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

krisgils33 said...

what an excellent story! I love the slut turkey! I've been fortunate in my turkey cooking endeavors, but one Easter I bought the cheapest ham I could find. I was fairly freshly married and it was my first hosting of a huge group. I thought I was saving money which would put me in the realm of domestic goddess!! it was the most disgusting ham. unbelievably salty, tough, and just tasteless (well, other than the salt). Since that time, I make sure I don't skimp on the main part of the meal!!!

Helen Brenna said...

Welcome, Laura! Fun story and what a nice holiday giveaway!

We had a mini-family reunion here at my house for Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Something like 25 people. Two birds. One of them, I brined. Had the bag out in our garage - it's often cold enough here in MN to do that - and the bag broke on me! Thank heavens it happened out in the garage, but there was sticky sweet brine EVERYWHERE! I almost cried. This is when wine comes in handy!

MsHellion said...

I'm thankful for blogs featured the day before Thanksgiving. :) I'm still at work, so it's nice to have stuff to read on a quiet day--and this one is a FUNNY one. *LOL*

I'm not sure this qualifies as a "mishap" (though I did burn my dinner last night if it's any consolation--and I mean BURNED IT. It was like an inch of black magma crust on the bottom of my pan. My apartment reeked ALL NIGHT.)

I love cooking for Thanksgiving. Mom allowed me to help with the cooking, so I've learned to cook turkey from a "youngish" age (mid-teens or so.) For years I'd try to do something exotic or cool to make Thanksgiving more special, but in the last few years I've settled into the reality that when it comes to Thanksgiving, family doesn't want change. They want the sides they grew up with, and they don't want "added crap" in them. If I want to be exotic, I'll have to save those recipes and try them out on my friends at a later date--it works out much better anyway.

One year I decided to go all out and make homemade rolls. I was dreaming of warm, fluffy rolls--not those sad store rolls my Dad always bought--and I spent about four hours making these rolls. LOTS of work. Some panic as I wondered, "Is this EVER going to rise?" and finally when they were baked and done, and I proudly passed them to my family, NO ONE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE ROLLS. Every other dish--including the green bean casserole that even idiot could mix together they grunted about, but my precious 4 hours of work rolls, not a bloody word.

I was so livid I vowed I would never make homemade rolls for them again. And I haven't.

I'm a grudge holder.

Virginia C said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all : )

"Searching the Bird"

One year for Thanksgiving, I had a 24 pound turkey to cook. I don't ususally buy the big birds, but it was a gift from my employer. I am rather squeamish about bird body searches, and this one was still partially frozen when I put it in the oven. I did do a body search, but I was unable to find those packets of things that I am afraid to open. Well, the bird was a beauty when I took it out of the oven. Seemingly cooked to perfection. However, when I carved it at the table, things took a nasty turn. As the meat was sliced and served, not one, but three mystery packets made their appearance from the turkey. I assume that in those packets were the giblets, the turkey neck, and the gravy mix. I will never know, because I don't open those things! This was not my finest moment as a cook, but it will be one of the most remembered! No more 24 pound turkeys at my table : (

Maureen said...

Happy almost turkey day! Since I have volunteered to cook all desserts this year I realized yesterday that this could not happen unless I started last night since I have to work today. This morning I put the pumpkin pie in the oven with plenty of time to cook before I had to leave for work but somehow the oven turned off or was turned off so then I didn't even know how long it was cooking for so I guessed. Hopefully I was right but anyone wanting pumpkin pie might want to be cautious.

runner10 said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Laura!!
I don't have to cook the turkey. Thankfully!! I am just fixing a salad. I hate to think how dinner would turn out if I did the whole meal.

Laura Griffin said...

So fun to read all these stories! Glad I am not the only rookie who didn't know what a giblet was...

Laura Griffin said...

Love the homemade bread story. I have never been successful at anything involving yeast / rising dough. Luckily, my family loves those Sister Schubert rolls that taste like homemade. Yum...

LSUReader said...

I don’t have any real turkey mishaps to share. I do remember rising at dawn for years to put the turkey on (Thanksgiving and Christmas) before I discovered those handy-dandy cooking bags, which cut down the cooking time by half. Ugh. All those wasted hours of sleep. Happy Thanksgiving, all.
(Email in profile.)

chey said...

The worst turkey mistake was miscalculating the time to cook the turkey and we had dinner late.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Welcome, Laura!
I just posted on my FB page a picture of the wild turkey who lives in our yard. He's so gorgeous he has a whole harem.

Other than under and over estimating cooking time--I know I'm not the only one who's done that--I had a baked potato explosion in my oven one year. What a mess.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Michele Hauf said...

Welcome, Laura! I find the book cover very intriguing. I bet it will do well!

I've been told I have to make sweet potatoes this year, yet I've never made them before, so I'm angsting over upcoming mishaps. Despite my combing the stores to find some decent pre-made sweet potatoes, I came home with a big bag of pre-chopped potatoes, so fingers crossed tomorrow goes well.

Keri Ford said...

Hi Laura! Turkey in the Sack. Is that a turkey cooked in a paper sack? those are WONDERFUL.

worst mishap: I was helping grandma one year. about 30minutes before everyone was to arrive, we pulled the dressing from the oven, set it aside and the glass dish EXPLODED. Dressing was everywhere. Grandma hadn't even grabbed her shower yet. She pulled her vacuum cleaner out of the closet, said she wanted a new one anyway and we sucked it up in the nick of time and pushed the spare dressing in the oven.

donnas said...

The first year I had my kitten, I came home to my mom's house and of course brought him with me. Well he was little and cute and furry and liked to jump on things. My mom was cooking and had just melted the butter to put on top of the turkey. It was sitting in a bowl on the counter. The kitten decided he needed to see what was in it and jumped up. He didnt make it onto the counter but he did hit the edge of the bowl. Which then proceeded to fall on him and cover him in melted butter. This was one of those hate water cats. So he wouldnt let us give him a bath. We did what we could to get as much off it as possible, but he just had to clean himself until it was gone. He though was black and white, his chest was white. And for the rest of the visit and a little bit after we went him, his check was actually yellow. It was so funny and we felt so bad for him all at the same time.

Laura Griffin said...

Hi Keri,
It exploded?!! How awful! You probably spent the meal wondering whether anyone was going to get a glass shard... Leave it to a grandmother to save the day.

Laura Griffin said...

Oh, I have a new kitten this year, too! On my way to go check that pie sitting on the counter. She gets into everything.

amy kennedy said...

Hi Laura! Love the cover of your book.

My sister and I were helping my mom get everything ready for dinner, the last (?) thing we did was make the gravy, my mom had the drippings ready to go, she opened the flour canister and discovered...flour bugs, those little tiny brown bugs.

It was all the flour she had. We stood there a moment looking at each other -- looking at the bugged flour, and my mother said, "Well, they are protein." And we made the gravy -- laughing.

We also ate the gravy -- it was fine. No, really.

catslady said...

My mom did the holiday cooking for most of my life although now I've been doing it for the last 3. Early on in my marriage though I decided to make a turkey dinner for an uncle who had nowhere to go. I borrowed my mom's special pan with cover and got instructions. Unfortunately, I remembered to put the turkey at a higher temperature for the last hour (so it could brown) but I forgot to take the lid off (dah). It was so overcooked. Then I found out years and years later that this uncle hated chicken or turkey (he worked at a turkey farm as a kid). I guess he must have gagged some of it down lol. My turkeys have improved greatly lol.

Laura Griffin said...

Hi Amy,
Bug gravy. Very creative. :-) Gravy is very important around our dinner table... We would have charged ahead, too, despite the bugs.

traveler said...

I made turkey for many years and they turned out fine but one year I decided to change to stuffing recipe and this was a disaster since it ruined the turkey flavor.

Pamela Keener said...

I was going to make Pumpkin Roll as one of my contributions to Thanksgiving Day Meal. I pulled the roll out of the oven and set it on the counter to cool a bit before rolling it up. All of a sudden it was on the floor with my dog trying to eat it. I was devastated. I started over and all was fine.
Happy Thanksgoiving!
Gobble Gobble
Pam

Cindy Gerard said...

So glad to have you here today, Laura. It was great of you to take time to come by! And as for the rest of you: I have a coy of Unforgivable in my hot little fist! I'm so thrilled!!!!

Cindy Gerard said...

Forgot to mention .... Unforgivable has the most BEAUTIFUL cover ever! And the book is great - i know because I got to read it and give it a quote. You don't want to miss it, all! seriously. it's a great read!

MaryC said...

My nephew let the dogs in from the back yard without telling us. The
dogs were at the table ready to grab the turkey before they were spotted.

Can't wait to read UNFORGIVABLE!

Dina said...

my worst turkey day mishap was that I got the flu, but didnt start to feel bad until after I cooked, so to me I was so afraid that I would get my family sick, turns out it was only me and didn't even get to enjoy the food. :(

I must admit that when I vcooked y 1st turkey, I also forgot aboout the little package inside the neck area, but luckily didn't do any damage to my turkey. :)

Lois said...

Well, given that I'm not the one who cooks, fortunately, I haven't had any mishaps. But I do remember the first time I set out to make home fries on my own for an average, ordinary day, I did forget that I was supposed to boil them first before actually frying them. Oh well. LOL

Lois

CrystalGB said...

My worst turkey mishap was when we did not put it in the fridge to thaw early enough and it was still frozen in the middle on Thanksgiving morning. I thought we would never get that turkey thawed.

Wilma said...

I cooked all the holiday meals for at least thirty years. Now that I'm older and not in the best of health, we either go out to eat, or one of my daughters has the meal at her place.

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