Friday, December 01, 2006

Elizabeth Reflects on Fear of Salmonella and Other Holiday Traditions

So, Thanksgiving morning this year began as it usually does: with me standing at the kitchen sink, elbow-deep in a frozen bird and swearing.

“What are you doing?” my Youngest asked.

“Trying to find the neck,” I grunted over the sound of running cold water. My fingers were nearing frostbite stage.

“What neck?”

“The turkey’s neck.”

Youngest contemplated my epic struggle for a minute. “What’s the neck doing in the turkey’s butt?”

“Gross!” my Eldest yelled from the next room. Eldest is a vegetarian.

“I don’t know. That’s where they always put the neck.” My fingers had latched onto something. Either I’d found the neck or there was a big hunk of neck-shaped ice in there.

“Huh,” said Youngest meditatively. “Wouldn’t it be easier to get the neck out if the turkey wasn’t frozen?”


“Maybe you should use hot water, then.”

“Can’t,” I panted. That sucker was good and frozen in there. “You’re only supposed to use cold water to thaw a turkey.”


“Because you might get salmonella otherwise.” I anticipated the next question. “Salmonella makes you throw up.”

“Gross!” yelled Eldest.

“In our family,” I explained to my only meat-eating child, “we always take the turkey out of the freezer too late because we’re worried that we’ll get salmonella if it thaws too soon. That means that we always spend Thanksgiving morning running cold water over a frozen turkey. Ah-ha!” I said the last triumphantly as I pulled out the turkey’s neck.

My youngest eyed it. “That’s a weird tradition.”

“You’re telling me.” I threw the neck into a pot to make broth for the gravy. “Now we have to get the giblets out.”

“What’s the giblets?”

“The heart and the kidneys and—”

“GROSS!” screamed the vegetarian. any holiday traditions YOU'D care to share?

PS: pic of Daniel Craig for no particular reason! Better than a turkey pic, don't you think?



Diana Holquist said...

Y'a know...

I'm reading your post and I'm wondering, how is she ever going to get from turkey neck to Daniel Craig..?

Daniel Craig shoots the turkey? Daniel Craig shoots the vegetarian? Daniel Craig....ahh, Daniel Craig....

Now there's a nice new Thanksgiving tradition for you!

As for our Thanksgiving traditons, I'd have to go, forget it. I'm sticking with Daniel Craig...


Shari Anton said...

I really, really have to get out and see this movie! Lovely picture, Elizabeth. Thanks!

Rika said...

Lol, Elizabeth.. great blog. Your kids are too funny. I don't have any stories cos Mum does the cooking.. Hehehe..

Shari.. I'm joining the "I really need to go see this movie" club too. Even men are talking about Daniel Craig's body.. lol..

Happy holidays everyone,

Kelley St. John said...

I actually brought my hubby in to read this one; I laughed out loud, Elizabeth!


Elizabeth Hoyt said...

YES! Yes! Everyone should go see Daniel Craig. He's my new obsession!

And, sadly, Kelley, the scene in this post is repeated EVERY year...

Diane Perkins said...

I have an even BETTER Thanksgiving tradition! Get your sister to do the turkey. It worked this year and I'm going to try to make it traditional. Because I could actually feel what you went through, having had the experience--although it beats actually getting Salmonella, which our family did one year. Won't describe it.

And Daniel Craig? He's okay, but he's not Gerard Butler!

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

"And Daniel Craig? He's okay, but he's not Gerard Butler!"

Them's fightin' words, Diane!