I’ve been meaning to start a new blog for some months now, but the busy-ness of moving from our old house to a condo kept me from doing it. Then it was time for Holidailies, and even though I didn’t start on time, I just couldn’t hold back any longer, so here I am!
Today I went to order a turkey for Christmas. In recent years we’ve been more of a spiral-cut ham family, both for ease of preparation and because I’m devoted to the split-pea soup that can be made later with the wonderful ham bone. There were a couple of years when I made paella, probably just to prove to myself that I could, and it was really good, but light in the leftover department, and I believe that the week after Christmas should not require much in the way of cooking, just maneuvering leftovers here and there while doing a lot of lounging.
Anyway, I discovered an excellent Italian meat market in the past year, and their stuff is so much better than the supermarket’s that it finally dawned on me that their turkey would very likely be superior as well. So off I drove to do the ordering, the question in my mind being how would I judge the size I needed without being able to eyeball the bird? When buying a turkey in the past, I always just browsed through the frozen turkey bin and picked one out that looked right, and I have no idea what the weight was. Our small circle around the table would include my husband Ricardo, daughter Sarah, and son-in-law Sean, who works in construction and eats for two, but what does that work out to in turkey poundage? Fortunately, a counterwoman at the market was able to help me estimate, and the two of us agreeing that too small of a bird is more carcass than meat (and having in mind the essential leftovers), we agreed on 12 pounds, which is also about as much as I’m guessing will fit into my smaller refrigerator.
The next question was, should that turkey be a regular, free-range, or free-range organic bird? Price turned out to be the determining factor, since whereas I could just barely see stretching my budget to the free-range category, paying a dollar a pound more for the organic was just going too far. Then I had to decide when to pick it up. Surely Christmas Eve was just leaving it too late and the market would be crazy with customers. What about the day before that, the 23rd? Also very busy, the counterwoman said. So I agreed to come on the 22nd, hoping for better conditions. That market has very narrow aisles and not much standing room, and I’m just no good at the elbowing and pushing. Better to try for less crowding.
When I mentioned my smaller refrigerator in our condo, the counterwoman said that when she had lived in a small place not too long ago, she had put her turkey out on the balcony at Christmas time. I have three balconies, but never thought of them as refrigeration! Is it cold enough, I asked, and she said, it’s probably as cold out there as in your fridge! New possibilities blossomed in my head! Side dishes partially prepared ahead–out on the balcony! How far might I go?
Back to the car I went, feeling a little of the Christmas excitement bulding. I had more errands to run and lists to tick off, but the turkey experience left me very la la la and planning rich gravy and fabulous dressing. This will be a great Turkey Dinner!