As I stood over the sink, reading the cooking instructions on a twelve point five pound bird (why do they print them on the package? when there’s a handy dandy tag attached?), and reflecting on the four hour saga about to commence tomorrow in my oven (I do mean saga: cold bird; fiery … electrical tubing? whatever they call that; and a savory victorious finish), my eye lighted on a few choice words, neatly printed in unmistakable and literal black and white:
Do not cook your stuffing in your bird. We think your bird will take about four hours to cook, UNSTUFFED. We refuse to provide a stuffed estimate because DO NOT COOK YOUR STUFFING IN YOUR BIRD. The FDA says if you do this you will probably curl up and die. REPEAT: DIE. REPEAT: DO NOT COOK YOUR STUFFING IN YOUR BIRD. Put it in a separate dish where it will proceed to bake dry and flavorless as a four-hour fire hazard, because we are turkey breeders and not qualified to tell you how to cook your stuffing.
Well united company of turkey breeders or whoever you are, I DEFY YOU. My turkey is stuffed. Go stuff yourselves for Thanksgiving. Or … actually … don’t. Eat your unsatisfying morsels of dry, overbaked turkey and charred stuffing. Or tofu. Or whatever it is that healthy people eat these days. My turkey is stuffed.
REPEAT: My turkey is stuffed. It is in the fridge at this moment. I don’t know, but I suspect refrigerating a raw stuffed turkey is also going to kill me and the other ten-ish people who partake of it. Probably also the raw cookie dough I ate a month ago, the sushi from two weeks ago, and the mushroom I just ate off the floor after my toddler chewed on it.
It’s OK. The mushroom came out of a little plastic package so we’re pretty sure it’s safe. Well, it WAS safe. Before the toddler got it. But since he ate sand earlier today, I’m pretty sure we’re all going to die.
But not until after we’ve had some really delicious turkey with cornbread sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
Sincere apologies to anyone who has actually had recent food poisoning. Also, happy feast of St. Cecelia! Happy Almost Thanksgiving! And don’t forget to call your family tomorrow!