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Thanksgiving; Operation Plymouth Rock

A rough day at sea, sir

These start popping up closer to the actual holiday
These start popping up closer to the actual holiday
R Currer 2012
old world pumpkins
R Currer 2012

The near rocks off the port bow are a lot closer than they seem, and one of those rocks has the word “Plymouth” on it. The time to plan for that Thanksgiving bash is neigh and with poor planning Plymouth rock will land square atop the dining room table. The markets have done their part for amongst the Christmas stuff is scattered all the makings of a solid Thanksgiving dinner and it is up to the cook to gather the ingredients he or she may require to ensure everyone is unbuttoning the top button of their pants after the turkey has been totally demolished.

So many choices, so little time

As far as turkey (the bird, not the country) there are many choices – not so much species as the form it comes in. There's free range, not so free range, organic (can anyone show me an inorganic bird?), fresh, frozen, roasts, breasts, precooked, and cooked. Safeway, for one, offers the whole package from turkey to cranberry sauce for a price – a great idea for those who aren't even quite sure where the kitchen is. Jennie-o makes a turkey roast in a foil pan that is pretty good, takes about two hours in a 350 degree oven and is already smothered in gravy. Then there is the “turkey roast” that is packed a lot like the turkey breasts in plastic and a net bag. There are two varieties of this beast, all white and white and dark. The upside of this choice is a shorter cooking time, no waste, and no carcass to fool with after dinner so the host can join the rest in the living room watching the Detroit Lions lose. The downside is no carcass for soup.

A frosty porblem

Whichever choice, whole bird, breast, or roast ensure enough time to allow the thing to defrost. Trying to cram an entire bird into the microwave to de-ice will certainly void the oven's warranty and may irradiate the entire family. Cooking ahead is the way to go, after all the idea of Thanksgiving is for the family to be together vice the Norman Rockwell conception of the women in the kitchen and the men folk sitting around watching the devil be damned parade. Cooking the bird a day or two ahead and then freezing the sliced meat is one way to ensure everyone is at the table on T-Day. Having everyone bring something, buns, potatoes, the rather cliché “green bean casserole,” and purple wiggly stuff that passes for cranberry sauce is another way to make the festivities go a lot smoother and not drop the whole thing on the host's shoulders.

Get out the flamethrower

In the next article we'll examine some cooking methods for Mr. Turkey. While Thanksgiving is all about family, serving up a poultry flavored cinder will put a damper on the whole party. Cooking the bird isn't as daunting as it might seem and there is a lot of help out there for those who might run into a snag, although if the bird is still frozen and the guest are sitting around the table all anyone will get is a heaping helping of the three green bean casseroles that showed up on the table.

Places to get Turkeys


13828 W. Waddell Rd.
Surprise, AZ 85379
Store Phone: 623-476-1810

Store Hours:

Open daily 5:00 AM-11:00 PM


15510 W. Bell Rd. (at N. Reems Rd.),

Surprise, AZ 85374


Waddell & Reems
15367 W Waddell Rd
Surprise, AZ 85379

Mon - Fri 6 AM - 11 PM
Sat 6 AM - 11 PM
Sun 6 AM - 11 PM

Store: 623-214-6460


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