Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How NOT to Grill a Christmas Turkey!

This year was the closest to "The Christmas Story" dinner we've ever been! This is how not to grill a turkey. It shouldn't look like this. It should be a pretty dark brown and juicy! What we ended up with was charred and dry. It was a 'series of unfortunate events'. First, my hubby filled the entire grill with charcoal, instead of the usual placing of the pan to catch drippings, and building coals around that. It was a rather large turkey, so maybe he thought he needed the extra coals. I then, had the bright idea to place the bird in a roasting pan to try to make a buffer between the coals and the heat. That proved to be a bad idea. It caught on fire. After about an hour of grilling, our turkey looked something like this, although not quite as bad. (This is the look after trying to save an unsavable bird!)
I made the frantic call to my mother in law to ask if she just happened to have a spare bird. Luckily she did. I left in a flash to pick up the back up bird to roast in the oven~ by now, we figured we had to play it safe. The third of our series of unfortunate events came to light as I realized that I now couldn't make the cookies and desserts I planned since I now had a 15 lb. turkey in the oven! Again, I jumped in the car to desperately attempt to find an open convienence store~ hurray for Get-Go! Get-Go was opened for business and packed with holiday shoppers. Did they all burn a bird, or was it just me? Probably just me. I was able to pick up some chips, pop, and goodies for fill my dessert trays, and I was relieved to know that they also sold subs, just in case my back up bird didn't cook in time. I devised a plan then, that if by 4 pm., I didn't have a cooked bird, I would head out again to Get-Go, to buy holiday sub sandwiches! Good eating! Meanwhile, the hubby tried to save the burned bird.

He tried, but there wasn't much left to save. What he did 'save' was DRY! At this point, I thought the only thing worse that could happen would be the pack of hungry dogs running through the house, and devouring what was left of our bird. They didn't come and we're making turkey rueben's tonight with the grilled, dry bird! We were able somehow, to find humor in this day of near disasters. Everything somehow came together. We didn't have to eat at Get-Go. I've never prepared side dishes so fast as I did this Christmas. I was a chopping, slicing, shredding, mixing and baking maniac! I felt kind of like a ninja.

This is how the day ended. Nice. Cozy. Happy. The way every day should be! And, we have a story to tell for years to come. And I was tired...very tired.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cold day for the birds...

It's COLD here in PA today! The 24 degree F temps outside with lots of strong wind gusts have kept some of the birds hiding in cover this morning, but some are hungry enough to brave the wind to scoop up some food from the backyard. Enjoy!The cardinals~ especially the males look so majestic perched in the trees.This little tufted titmouse came around for some sunflower seeds. I was waiting for a bluejay to swoop down for some of the nuts, but this little guy happened along first. It kind of surprised me. I took the picture as soon as it landed because the jay's are so quick to eat and run!

Even this bluejay looks cold today, darn those northwestern winds!

So, this female cardinal will continue to get lighter throughout the winter to look almost entirely olive color with that stunning black face mask in February. She's a gorgeous bird.

This one might be Christmas card worthy.

I need to make a point of getting a good pair of gloves, a warm scarf, boots, and coat ready for my next birding date...it's way to cold to sit out (or hang out the window) without them!