Lessons from a Turkey

12343150_1066584016707837_886438887_o.jpgI never thought a turkey would be able to teach me about adventures. A real turkey, maybe, but not a dead one. And yet somehow 12 pounds of turkey meat gave me new insight and wisdom on adventures.

This year, my friends and I had a Friendsgivingmas (yes, you read that right) celebration. And as we are now the adults, cooking the turkey fell on the host’s shoulders. Which was me, someone who had never cooked a turkey before.

Despite my inexperience in the kitchen, I looked at this as an adventure. Cooking, especially cooking an entire bird, was out of my comfort zone, but I went ahead with it anyway. Through the cooking experience I learned a few things about how to be prepared for any adventure.

The adventure started when we unwrapped our turkey breast to find out it was actually an entire turkey – legs, wings, giblets, and all. We hadn’t prepared for this and had no idea what to do with a whole bird. Lesson #1: Expect the unexpected.

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Definitely not a turkey breast. Nonetheless, I dove right in and fetched the giblets out of the cavity.

There were a few moments of panic, but after the initial shock of finding an entire bird instead of a slab of meat, we did what all college students would do. I called my mom. Lesson #2: Have someone you can call when the going gets tough.

After some wise words (and reading the instructions on the wrapper), I learned that cooking a turkey is actually pretty easy. Once you thaw the bird (which you should start doing a few days in advance, not less than a day like us), you need to release the legs from the ties, rip out the neck bone, and stick your hand inside the body cavity in search of a plastic bag full of the giblets. It sounds harder and grosser than it really is, promise. Lesson #3: Don’t be afraid to get your hands messy.

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Preparing our turkey for cooking.

The instructions advised us to put it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Our turkey went in as a pink, meaty mess and came out looking like something people could actually eat. It seemed like the hard part was over, but the fun was just about to begin. Next came carving the turkey. With a little help from my good friends Google and YouTube, carving it wasn’t too much of a disaster. Lesson #4: Do your research.

Cooking a whole turkey turned out to be easier than I expected. The turkey tasted good, was ready in time for dinner, and no one got sick. I didn’t think it could be done, but somehow we did it.

Lesson #5: Don’t underestimate your abilities.

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