Monday, December 17, 2007

My Oven - My Enemy

Why can't I cook?

It’s not a matter of taste; it’s a matter of temperature.

I don’t seem to be able to properly heat food so that it not only tastes good but it’s not a threat to anyone’s health.

See - Deb gets a free turkey from work each year. Usually this bird sits in our freezer like a lost WWII airman waiting to be discovered by a forensic anthropologist. [I’m sorry. That one was really stretching it – but I’m trying to be light-hearted while facing my handicap.]

Rather than let the turkey take up space in our small freezer all year long I decided to cook the thing right away. On Sunday I inserted a thermometer into the deepest part of the breast and plopped the turkey in the oven. When the thermometer told me the meat had reached 161 degrees Fahrenheit I took the thing out of the oven and let it rest until its temperature continued to rise to around 165.

I carved the bird.

It was pink inside.

Deb said, “That’s a pretty pink bird.”

I glared at her with an electric knife in my hand and she immediately said, “I mean that’s a pretty . . . pink bird."

The deeper I carved the more raw meat I discovered. Thankfully the outside of the breast was done and seemed palatable so I was able to serve food to my family that wouldn’t turn them into root beer dispensers. But there was still a lot of turkey sashimi to deal with. Sliced thin I served myself a nice e-coli carpaccio. For some reason I felt it was my duty to eat the rarest bits. It was my penance.

Is this really that difficult? Hell, even the Shepard’s Pie I made on Saturday was undercooked (the mashed potatoes on top needed to brown more). And if you eat at my house on a regular basis then you know yourself that at some point I will serve you undercooked steaks, fish, prime rib and lamb.

It might be my lack of patience. Maybe I have a crap thermometer (although I doubt it). Regardless, eventually I’m going to hurt someone and I must be stopped.

This time, with the turkey, I’m waiting to pay. I’m reacting to every twinge in my stomach and every fart as if it’s a signal for the flood gates to open. And I deserve whatever I get. For I’m the king of raw and from my throne of porcelain I will reign.

Tonight’s menu includes PB&J, raw carrots, cheese and crackers with a side of cottage cheese.

I wonder if the girls would like gazpacho?


bon bon said...

here's what i can offer you.
first, you shouldn't put the thermometer into the bird until you're ready to test it. you're allowing it to heat up in the oven the whole time.
second, basic rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound at 350º.
there are other rules about starting at a higher temp then turning it down, and tenting it with foil at the end...yadda yadda.
but there are things out there called "recipes" which if you follow, can prepare lovely meals for you and your family. best of luck!

Dan said...

You tried turning the oven on?

Dwayne said...

I told you a solar-powered oven was not the way to go!

Dan said...

I think the root of the problem is Deb doesn't trust him with anything other than an easybake oven.


Donna said...

Dear Santa,
This year I would like a new stove... or a least a stronger light bulb.


Deb said...


Huh, what, Dan?

Dan said...

It's something I picked up from Oli when he comments on Paul's blog. I think it makes me seem dark and mysterious.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Deb, should take over in the kitchen..