After all of the advice and instruction, I went with... Well, I still don't know for sure. I have roasting bags (in case I go for that) and tinfoil (for tenting, in case I don't) and a baster (which I do or don't need depending on who you ask). I have lemons and onions and rosemary to put in the cavity. I have herbed butter to put under the skin (the idea of which makes me whisper "it puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again").
I have four cookbooks, two magazines, and a printout from the Butterball website on my counter.
I woke up at 6:30 thinking about stock. Two recipes (and a friend) said I need it. But I don't have any.
I've also realized I don't have any dessert-type noms and if you think my brain can cope with the notion of making anything else right now, you are crazy. But then, so am I, because apparently I am going to the grocery store.
Everything seems more doable when the wine rack is fully stocked. Everytime I walk past it, I swear it winks at me. "Relaxxxx. I can toooootaaallly help you with this." (It sounds like the surfer dude turtles in Finding Nemo.)
I don't feel good about my trip to the grocery store. I mean, the nice people shouldn't have to be at work. That's crappy. But then again, they looked bored, so ... I don't know.
Maybe after I finish my coffee I'll start tackling this beast.
Or I could just order Chinese food.
No, I'm going to cook it.
Everyone who told me that turkey is easy is a lying asshole.
Here's what happened: I took the turkey out of its shrink wrap and discovered this mystifying bit of hard plastic holding the feet together.
No one had mentioned this, ever. In all of my turkey talk, not one person ever said, "oh and it will be wearing plastic shoes. Like Barbie. Only, you know, not."
However. Everyone and some of their uncles was all "get the neck and gizzards out! That's yucky! Can't cook with those in!" so I thought -- rationally -- that Barbie needed to lose her footwear and got out the scissors.
Yeaaaaah that didn't work. I don't know how that's attached but, even though the feet were released, the plastic was firmly anchored in.
So -- cursing to myself -- I filled the sink with cold water thinking, I'll thaw it out.
Oh, and everyone who was all "the gizzards and such are in a bag?" YOU LIE. There was no bag. There was what looked like the leavings of a serial killer stuffed into my turkey. I didn't know if I should keep wrestling with that plastic bit or call in CSI. It was nightmareish.
So I did what any rational Yellie would do: I called my mom.
"This? Is a fucking nightmare!" I said, not at all dramatically.
I explained the shoes and the icky. She said, "oh. You just ... Leave the shoes on."
I looked at my turkey. "What? I needed to take the Ickers out because they were in a bag but plastic shoe tie things are okay? I don't understand this and, fuck it, I'm not doing it."
"Yes you are."
"Might as well. Can't suck less."
So I cut off what I could see of the plastic, grimly reached in and yanked out the Ick, and went to work. Quartered lemons, stuffed 'em in the cavity. Chopped up an onion and stuffed that in too. Rosemary sprigs -- in you go. Pulled the skin away from the breasts and slid my hand in. I thought, "It's like a glove!" And then thought "I am going to be in therapy forever."
Under the skin: butter. More lemon. On the skin: olive oil. Rosemary. Salt and pepper.
Poured stock in the roasting pan, added lemon and onion and rosemary to THAT, and picked it up to put in the (preheated) oven.
And that was when my roasting pan broke.
"Fuuuuuuuuuucccckkkkk!" I said to the cat, who was keeping a curious but safely distant eye on the whole thing. And then I just got MAD. "Cook a turkey, they said! It's easy they said!"
The handle on the roasting pan listed uselessly to the side. Mocking me.
"I was in O.M., pan. Screw you." I got a cookie sheet out and put it underneath. It barely fit but no matter.
TurkeyZilla is in the oven.
And I need a drink.
Note: if you're gonna baste, even though your mom told you not to bother, try not to melt one of your silicone potholders when sliding the oven rack out.
But if you DO happen to do that? It would be a good time to open that wine.
Second basting. Managed not to fill the house with the acrid smell of melted silicone. Have no idea if the meat thermometer is touching the thigh bone or not (it's not supposed to. I don't think) so I'm hoping the pop up timer is a thing that works? Or something?
I'm also hoping I can get that thing out of the oven without spilling molten lava cooking liquids over myself, what with the "broken roasting pan" issue. That will NOT make for a festive holiday, and I don't want to have to explain my folly in the ER. Next year? I'll buy a real roasting pan.
More wine, anyone?
After four hours in the oven, the juices in the pan seemed like they needed to be siphoned off a bit. Which wouldn't be a problem because I have a baster, but which was a problem due to clumsiness.
That's okay. My entire kitchen needed to be scrubbed down anyway. Probably.
On the other hand? The pan juices smell so amazing that I'm almost sorry that I'm not making gravy. ALMOST.
Is it done?
I think it's done. Maybe?
I'm taking it out.
I hope it's done.
I hope it's not TOO done.
Holy shit. It's delicious.
I have no idea how this happened, and I have no idea what I'm doing with all of this turkey.
I do have a notion that I need to thank some people for their advice. So, in no particular order, thanks and big hugs to:
Charlene Hayes, Jodie Coward, Jessica Brodeur, Julie Rowe, Linda Campbell, Kristen Flink, Tricia Finch, Dot Winchell, Helene Harriman, Kelly Tipping, Neha Vanscoy, Shilo Fiel, John Perham, Matt Bemis and anyone and everyone else who offered advice and encouragement along the way (or invited me to eat with them and avoid the horror).
You guys are awesome.
And Martha Stewart can kiss my ass.