Thursday, November 25, 2010


More than once in my posts I have enunciated my lack of culinary skills and less desire to become the second Paula Deen than I want to spend my days dusting.

Somehow I missed the domestication of a housewife, despite being the last half of that word - wife.

In short summary of the above two paragraphs - I hate to cook and I hate to dust. I have the dust solved with a housekeeper.

Solving my deficiencies in the culinary department is a tad more difficult- to date I have found no one who wishes to cook two different meals 3x a day: (1) one meal in South Carolina cuisine for an underweight husband, and (2)  another meal in Tex-Mex for an overweight wife.

Therefore I try, but despite my efforts I fail, miserably fail and sometimes disastrously fail. I cannot enumerate the meals that have been burnt to a crisp. Believe it or not I even burnt fudge, and I was fairly adept at candy making in my family. Of course-candy is right up my alley-sweet.

I remember scorching rice, burning canned green beans, boiling eggs dry (that is really stinky), many loaves of toast and I am sure I have forgotten some lesser foods.

Twice I have nearly burnt the house down cooking beans--the kind you hydrate, like pinto beans.

Broderbund ClickArt
Turkey  Smoking?

I put the beans on to cook,  bring to a boil....and I  forget to lower the heat, and leave the house. We came home to a smoke-filled house with all the smoke alarms on. Once the beans were so burnt, they were glowing like embers in the heavy aluminum ware which was melting on the stove, dripping liquid aluminum into the drip pan under the coils.

The smoke was so bad we filed on our insurance to for smoke damage. They had to dry clean all our clothes and pay for a ceiling to floor cleaning of the entire house. My asthma certainly did not appreciate the intrusion of burnt bean smoke in my lungs.

But then all the dust disappeared with the smoke damage cleaning. Believe me there are better ways to get your house cleaned.
The German Shepherd we owned at the time was inside the house but had outside access. She met us at the front door. I certainly hope she did not stay inside because we were gone over three hours. She since has passed on to Rainbow Bridge.

In 2000, the year I met my biological family, my half-brother blessed me with a surprise early Christmas gift of a Ron Popiel Showtime rotisserie oven, featured on late night infomercials for several years.

Internet Photo
Showtime Rotessire Oven
 The infomercial certainly made your mouth water, so I decided to invite about  6 guests and treat them turkey cooked in the miraculous "set it and forget it" oven! After all the "forget it" part seemed to fit into my cooking disasters.

I am thinking this was a Christmas affair, but may have been Thanksgiving.

I bought the suggested size bird and carefully followed preparation instructions including basting, etc. I set the oven, but did not forget it, as basting periodically was required.

 The skin became darker and darker, but the thermometer indicated longer cooking was needed. I kept cooking; it became a totally black unidentifiable bird by the time the meat thermometer indicated it was ready to be served.

I was devastated as I had so carefully followed directions!

The invited guests were bringing the rest of the dinner, which seemed likely to become vegan, since the turkey appeared to be a total disaster.

Broderbund ClickArt
Turkey Buzzard
 As usually was the case, my Best Friend, the cooking editor for our area newspaper, arrived early (probably sensing disaster), and walked in my kitchen to be greeted by this roasted buzzard. She was appalled, even knowing my previous cooking failures.

I told her I had  carefully followed the directions. We decided to discard the skin and see if any part was edible. Once the skin was removed we tentatively tasted the dark and light meat.

To our surprise it was one of the best tasting roasted turkeys we had ever tasted. [Both of us prefer the decidedly less healthy whole fried turkeys, popular these days.]

The dinner was a success, more for the story of the black buzzard (as we named it) than the food.

The moral of the story is you can't believe everything you see on TV. I still wonder how all those infomercials missed having a black turkey...or was it really turkeys they were cooking!!! Only the Shadow Knows!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!!!


Arkansas Patti said...

Oh dear, I was always intrigued by that "set it and forget it" line.
How funny and how fortunate you had a pro friend. I'd have probably dumped it or given it the dog test.
Hay, the skin isn't good for us anyway.
Have a good, if wet Thanksgiving.

Lisa said...

Now see! This is why I love Coward's Corner with Luckie...I am a terrible cook with a Southern Husband, I hate to dust and all the other things you said. BUT! I really am sorry you burnt the Fudge! Oh! How will I ever get over this one? The Fudge of all things! :)

Happy Thanks Giving!

xoxo, Lisa

Lorna said...

I ALWAYS believe TV commercials---it's why I watch public televison. I haven't blackened a turkey but I have curled, straightened, oranged my hair with sad results due to my faith in advertising.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Anonymous said...

Well, Patty did her turkey the conventional way in the oven. I don't know how long it cooked but it looks delicious. I suspect your bird will be fine and all will enjoy it.

Small City Scenes said...

You have the very best stories so it is a good thing you are not a cooking whiz---I imagine life would be so boring.
I dispise dusting. My indoor chore as a child.

I wish you a happy thanksgiving and give thanks that all your adventures turned out so you are still telling the stories. the alternative is not so good. LOL MB

lakeviewer said...

NOT a testimonial for trying out a new appliance under these circumstances, but a funny story never the less. You do know I have a food blog, right? I'm sure you have a few recipes to carry you through most days.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

CHERI said...

I know I can always count on you for a good laugh! I imagine life with you is full of excitement! I'm not the greatest cook either but I can cook a decent meal. However, baking isn't my expertise. Awhile back I tried baking my good friend's sour cream pound cake. I was so excited as I took it out of the was beautiful and even had that "crack" that a successful pound cake is supposed to have. HOWEVER.....after being so excited over how it looked I couldn't wait to see how it tasted so I cut into it ran all over the plate in a big blob! After my initial shock I burst into gales of laughter. Called my friend who gave me the recipe. She didn't believe me so came right over to see. We never did figure out what went wrong, but she has promised to bake all my pound cakes from now on!

Linda said...

Sounds like you need to keep a cooking pro high on your list of friends.

Enjoyed the post. I believe you and your husband's situation is worse than the one at our house.

Perhaps you should go for dust and trade the housekeeper for a cook.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Oh, my! I have one of those "set and forget" ovens, but have not (yet) tried a turkey. I have successfully roasted a whole chicken, also pork loin. I haven't had anything burn up (again, yet.) A funny post, thanks. Hope you, H and Luckie had a good Thanksgiving Day, despite the weather. It rained nearly all day here and, as you no doubt experienced, turned considerably colder. 71 degrees at 11 a.m. - 43 degrees at 5 p.m. Brr!

Dimple said...

You are a wonderful story teller! I also dislike housework, although I like my house to be clean and orderly; I am usually on one side or the other of balance!
I'm glad BF is a pro and you looked under the skin of that bird!

My "Edge of Winter" photo, I was thinking of time rather than temperature. The picture was taken on Veteran's Day, and we hadn't yet seen extreme cold or snow, but 8 days later the cold hit, then the snow, and now we have over a foot of whiteness on the ground...

faye said...

You do write the best stories.!!

I dislike infomercials .. the only
gadgets I buy that are advertised
on those shows are ones that have
been tested and recommended by friends.

I'm not a big turkey fan either...
just don't mess with the mashed

Liz said...

Great story!