Turkey Is A Miracle.

I know, I know. You're wondering why it's the middle of January and I'm talking about turkey. And miraculous turkeys at that. But stay with me for a minute.

Rewind to November 25, 2010. Thanksgiving. Not just any Thanksgiving, though. Oh no. This was the Thanksgiving of Three Turkeys. Dad had gone crazy, and decided that one turkey wasn't good enough. Mom made her perfect roasted bird as always. But Dad also smoked a turkey. Here Tom is, in all his crispy skinned glory. Handsome fella, ain't he?

The smoked turkey

The smoked turkey

And, since he had no fear of disfiguring burns, Dad also deep fried a turkey. They were all delicious, and afterwards the whole family took a nap until Christmas. Ever since that day, I have known, with nary a doubt, that as long as my parents live I will never have to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. They've pretty much got that handled.

So what's a girl to do when November rolls around and the local grocery store has bargain priced birds? Well, if you're me, you buy one anyway. The biggest one you can get your hands on. And you pop it into the freezer until January.

Right about now, you're probably thinking I might be as crazy as Dad. Who cooks a turkey in January? Well, I do. Because December is insanely busy around here. My husband works longer hours to keep Santa well supplied. We have his birthday. His brother's birthday. My sister's birthday. Our wedding anniversary. The baby's birthday. And, oh yeah, Christmas. On top of that, our oldest kids always leave to visit family. By the end of December everyone is exhausted, a little lonely, and in need of some relaxed family bonding. 

In waddles Mr. Gobble from the freezer. When everyone's schedules align, I cook a big turkey dinner for the family. Not the whole family. Just me, my husband, and the kids. That has always been the plan, and this year was no exception. Except for the miracle, of course.

You see, this turkey was no ordinary turkey. This turkey spent 18 hours soaking in a salt, sugar & spice brine. He was stuffed with onions and fresh rosemary and given a slathering of butter.  And 5 hours later, we ate that turkey. And ate. And ate. And yet... There was still more turkey. So I cut the meat from the bones to use later, and threw everything that was left into my roaster to make some turkey stock. I ended up with 12 quarts of home canned turkey stock. That's 384 ounces of stock. So I used some of the stock and a good amount of the meat to make Turkey & Dumplings for supper. There were leftovers. And there was still meat left. So I made Turkey Crepes. Two batches, one for dinner and the other for the freezer. There were more leftovers. And there was still meat left. I made Turkey Tetrazinni. There were leftovers. And there was still meat left.

Turkey casseroles

Turkey casseroles

It was the Feeding of the Five Thousand right here in my kitchen! Somehow, that one turkey made, by my best estimate, 417 casseroles, 13 turkey sandwiches, 3 pots of soup, and 12 quarts of turkey broth. Okay, I might have exaggerated slightly. And with a household of seven, I am gratefully sick of turkey. Until next January.

Katy Penwell

of Milk and Honey, Lynnwood, WA 98087, USA