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Nov. 21st, 2011

Lookies! Another infrequent post!
Eek, only a couple days to Thanksgiving and I'm starting to get turkey anxiety...
A couple months ago, in what was either an act of bravery or stupidity, I volunteered to do this year's Thanksgiving turkey, as my aunt's mother-in-law (with whom we usually spend Thanksgiving) is elderly, rather frail, and has to watch her money carefully these days.
My problem is, I get cocky about things when they are a long way off, and then anxious as they approach. And despite the fact that I've taken culinary arts classes, I do not consider myself a competent cook when it comes to recipes that involve meat. My parents are vegetarians, and I was born and raised veggie, until I joined the Dark Side (dark meat?) when I was a tween. While I like eating the stuff, I don't have much practical experience in preparing it.
I'm going to use a recipe from this month's issue of Bon Appetit, and I currently have a turkey defrosting in the fridge, which I might end up poking frequently and nervously, praying that it thaws in time to cook. Here's where I get flustered; I have to rub seasoned butter on the turkey, let it sit uncovered in the fridge (which I share with the parents), and make sure that the thing cooks to a suitable internal temperature, while hoping that it doesn't dry out or take up too much room in the oven, so that my mom has space for the stuff that she's making. And I also have to make gravy, but I figure if I botch that, it's not too big of a deal. And then I have to transport the turkey to my aunt's MIL's place, and figure out how to reheat it.
Mostly, I'm freaked out about the potential for food-borne illness. My inner vegetarian wonders why in the heck we, as Americans, still make such a weird, gross bird the centerpiece of a meal, especially when the majority of us would turn and run the other way if confronted by a full-grown, angry tom.
Well, if I really screw up, I could just tell my dad to call my aunt (who he doesn't even like that much, anyways) and tell her that the car wouldn't start, and then see if the amazing Indian place in Troy is open and holding their lunch buffet. And if now, to hell with it, pizza...