Cooking a turkey

December 2, 2013

I know this is a little late, but the question arises… How does one cook a turkey? There are many ways…

  • Leave them to their own devices… whoops – wrong kind of “turkey.”
  • The classic roasting method either in an oven or roaster. It’s interesting to note that there may be more time spent sharing stories on “how to cook a turkey” than any other type of cuisine. I have cooked my share of turkeys… it aint that hard! Thaw it, de-giblet it, stuff it, throw it in a pan and into the oven… done! No disrespect intended.
  • The slow cook method. My brother in law used to practice this technique… see number 2 above and include “cook it slowly in the oven for 24 hours.” Again… it aint that hard.
  •  I once heard a radio show where people were encouraged to call in and give their favorite “turkey cooking schemes.” My favorite? Seal it in a double plastic bag and run it through the dishwasher for two cycles. Seriously. They say it “falls off of the bones.” I’m sure it’s great if you want steamed turkey.
  •  The “giant vat of grease” method sounds appealing to me. I’m sure it’s easy and one has the extra bonus of adding tons of fat to the low cholesterol bird. Not sure what it does to the stuffing… oh wait, that’s the downside… no stuffing. Well at least not the really moist kind that cooks inside the bird with all the juices flowing into it.
  •  Pressure cooker, or crock pot… see number 4 above.
  •  The best turkey I ever had was roasted in a brown paper bag… the kind they used to have at grocery stores. The bag was without any ink on the outside and it was lined with butter on the inside.
  •  “Brining” the turkey… see “Brining the turkey” on Google.
  •  I’m sure turkeys can be grilled over an open fire… never tried it. Sounds scrumptious… (I have never used the word “scrumptious” before. Sort of like the word “trousers”… who says that!?)
  • And of course you can stuff it with a chicken then a duck then a Cornish game hen, then a sparrow and then a humming bird… well okay maybe not those last three.

Now, making the stuffing and the gravy… well that is an art all its own of which I know little. As a matter of fact I suspect those two have much more impact on the “success” of a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal than does the method used for cooking the bird. And then of course there is the “expert” carver. Usually that is a member of the family who has had nothing to do with the preparation or the cooking… they are last minute “attention usurpers.” They ought to be like the “little red hen,” i.e., “You didn’t buy the turkey. You didn’t thaw the turkey. You didn’t clean the turkey. You didn’t stuff the turkey. You didn’t cook the turkey… so no, you don’t get to carve the turkey!” But alas that is not the American way.

Well okay… there are many things in our lives that offer numerous options. We can accomplish whatever we are working toward in a number of ways. But what about really serious things… and I speak specifically of the afterlife, or salvation. Are there many ways? Are there many options? Does it matter if we are Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Jews? Sometimes people will say, “It doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as you believe something.” REALLY!?!?! Whoops sorry…. just gagged. Or they think that there is only one god and that all religions lead to that god. REALLY!?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?! If that is true then all of the religions listed above are liars!!

We were discussing this very issue in our adult Sunday school class this past week. I shared with them the story of a candidate for the Pastorate into the Presbyterian Church. This particular candidate was asked how one obtains salvation. Their reply: “There are many ways to obtain salvation. I have lived in many cultures and I believe that Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists… all have their own way to god.” That person is now a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Wait hold on a second… I’m getting sick again…

In all seriousness, this is not about being unkind, or “judgmental,” or hostile as some would like us to think. It is simply a matter of proclaiming what we believe to be true. And YES, it should be done carefully and lovingly. Proclaiming EVERYTHING to be true however is not viable and it reeks of avoidance and cowardice. If folks want to proclaim a faith other than what I believe to be true… or claim no faith at all… so be it. I will continue to love them and be gracious to them… I do not however have to endorse their belief system. No matter what our culture says these days. I reserve the right to think and say that I believe some people are wrong. No biggie.

Do you know these verses:

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (notice it’s Jesus’ Father!)

Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.

Matthew 10:33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

John 14:6   Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

I would never want to oversimplify faith. But from a Christian perspective… unless Jesus is part of the salvation equation… then I think there are serious problems. Well at least from what the Bible says. If you adhere to another authority… then there is little else to say.

There are many things we can focus on in the faith. There are many issues we can take an interest in. But, can I encourage us to begin with Jesus? Let our thoughts, values, morals and interests emanate from the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Everything else is just a different way of proclaiming falsehood. Well that’s what I believe anyway.

“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”

-G.K. Chesterton

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