Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Day 18 - "It's Just the Turkey"

Yesterday's blogging prompt (which I missed) was "Author's Choice."  So here is my contribution, a day late.

Deep-fried turkey became a Thanksgiving sensation, at least in the Deep South, during the late 1980's.  A tradition that began in Louisiana's Cajun country, fried turkey gradually became an alternative in many parts of the country to roast turkey at Thanksgiving and often, the turkey that graced the Christmas table. Since this blogger has never fried a turkey, I cannot begin to describe the process.  I have seen it done, so I do know that frying a turkey is best accomplished outside the house in a special "turkey fryer" that holds several gallons of cooking oil.  But back to the story.  My oldest daughter had just moved out on her own and wanted to have our family's Christmas in her new place of abode.  After years of preparing holiday meals for my own large family, I was more than ready for someone else to assume some of the responsibility.  So I eagerly agreed that we would accept her invitation.  But things didn't go the way I expected - by Christmas Eve, she had "assigned" the usual holiday dishes to her mother. And she "volunteered" to cook the turkey. This turn of events should not have surprised me.  When she was a teenager, I often referred to her as "The Microwave Princess," since her only interest in the kitchen seemed to be heating something in the microwave. 

Christmas Day arrived, and we opened gifts and had our usual Christmas breakfast.  After breakfast, I set about getting my "assigned" dishes prepared and ready to transport to my daughter's house about two miles away.  (No, she didn't move very far from home!)  With all of the turkey's trimmings in the car, we arrived at her house at the appointed time.  But what we saw as we were turning the corner was a total shock - a fire truck and an EMT vehicle were parked in the driveway and smoke was billowing out of two open windows! As I felt a sinking feeling deep in my stomach, I heard my daughter calling out to me, with a big smile on her face, saying, "Don't worry, it's just the turkey."  

You must be wondering what caused all of this drama, so here's the rest of the story. Without telling me what she planned to do, my daughter had decided to fry a turkey breast, not roast the entire turkey.  But she had forgotten to thaw the turkey breast.  Not realizing what would happen to that frozen chunk of turkey, she had attempted to fry the turkey breast in a large pot of hot oil - not outside, but on the top of her almost new kitchen stove.  Well, I don't think I need to go on - you can get the picture - one that involves fire, smoke, and lots and lots of grease! Fortunately, no one was burned or otherwise injured, except the turkey.

Years later, the "turkey fire" is a classic "remember when" Christmas story at our house. But it's one that I hope isn't repeated any time soon.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness - this could be my oldest daughter. I was just trying to find the top of my double boiler today when I remembered that she had ruined it by soaking her foot in it with Epsom salts. As long as I'm alive, she's not going to live that one down! Great post.