Giblets ruin holiday meal

Published 5:32 pm Monday, November 19, 2007

By Staff
Embarrassment is not something you want to serve up on Thanksgiving Day, but if you don't heed some warnings today that may very well be what you have a huge platter of Thursday.
To let you know how embarrassment can manifest itself, I'll recount one of my most embarrassing Thanksgiving moments for you.
A popular method for cooking a whole turkey in years past was to put the bird in a roasting pan with some hot water and cook the fire out of it for an hour the night before the big meal. The method called for leaving the turkey in a 500-degree oven for an hour and then leaving the oven door closed overnight. The result would be a perfectly cooked turkey that is moist and tender. (I realize this method may be frowned upon my many health officials these days.)
Shortly after my husband and I were married all those years ago, I volunteered to prepare the turkey for the family feast at my mother-in-law's house.
The family took me up on the offer, and my plan was set into motion. All I could imagine was pulling that perfectly cooked turkey out of the roasting pan on Thanksgiving and having the praise heaped upon me for such a wonderful job.
Presenting the roasting pan up to my mother-in-law gave me great pride. When she removed the lid from the roasting pan to move the turkey to a platter for carving, I got praise for such a good-looking turkey. However, the praise quickly turned into laughter and a great amount of ribbing from all of the females who occupied the kitchen.
Giblets were the cause for my embarrassment from my new family on that fated holiday years ago.
Now, mind you, I realize that a lot of people use these pieces and parts of the inside of a turkey to cook and chop up in some sort of gravy. I have never done this.
As a matter of fact, I can't see any great use for all those pieces. If I want some sort of meat products in my gravy, the Franco-American company better put them in for me.
But, I digress. Now back to the turkey. Since I don't use the giblets, I didn't even think about them when I began cooking my turkey.
You have probably guessed by now what happened. Yes, I left the giblet packet inside the turkey when I cooked it. And much to my dismay, my mother-in-law began by lauding me for “stuffing” the turkey. The trouble with that praise from her was that I knew I didn't “stuff” the turkey.
If I had made the discovery that she did, I probably would have snickered to myself and let it be a private thing between the cook and myself. But, with the fun-loving bunch I had just become a part of that was not to be the case.
Not only did she pull the giblet packet out of the turkey while laughing, she held it up for all to see. It took a few minutes for the rest of the family to be truly aware of the situation. My mother-in-law was laughing so hard she could barely explain her discovery.
In light of my history with preparing a roasted turkey for new family members, I have two tips to pass on to you today.
The first tip: Take the turkey out of the freezer TODAY. You certainly don't want to get ready to put that large bird into the oven and discover that it's still frozen. I'm not sure, but I've never heard of anyone being able to cook a turkey from its frozen state in just a couple of hours.
The second tip: Take the giblets out of the turkey BEFORE you put it in the roasting pan. If you will heed my warning, you won't have to endure the humiliation I have felt.
Actually, now that I think of it, I have a third tip to pass along.
Tip three: Let someone else do the cooking. You can always provide the cranberry sauce. Just remember to slice the sauce on the ridges formed by the can and you've got it made.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by email at