Friday, November 23, 2007

three-second rule

"Okay," Mom said, "Now I'm going to pick up this rack and I want you to slide the turkey off onto the platter--try not to turn it over."

"Okay." She tilted, and I guided with a couple of slotted spoons, and the bird slithered and lurched onto the platter mostly intact. A bit of meat skittered free and leapt of the counter onto the freshly-scrubbed floor.

I bent quickly to pick it up, bare-handed.

"It's hot!" Mom warned.

"I got it!" I said, and shifting it back and forth like a baked potato, I shifted it under the tap and rinsed it off. "What is that, anyway?" It wasn't a neck, and it sure wasn't the liver.

"The gizzard," Mom said. "Your grandpa will want that, wash it off and put it back in the pan; it'll go in with the stuffing and the germs'll get cooked off it."

We are not terribly concerned, in our family, about food that hits the floor or the counters in our house, as long as it can be rinsed off; we keep things fairly clean and figure that any minor extra bacteria strengthens our immune systems. Perhaps because of this, we are a healthy lot. But the gizzard was hot, and I tried to impale it on the meat fork to spare my fingers.

Gizzards are tough, however, and hard to impale. The gush of water knocked the giblet off the tines and straight down the garbage disposal.

"Oh man," I said.

"Ugh," Mom said. "Okay, we don't want it out of there. Fish it out and give it to the dog. Just don't tell your grandpa there was one."

There was a fair amount of giggling and burned fingers as I fished it out of the drain, still steaming. The dog was more than happy to choke it down, gnawing around the edges in the frigid air outside.

"Didn't that bird have a gizzard?" Gramps asked at the dinner table.

Me and Mom and Dad looked at each other, smirking. "Uh..."

"Sorta yes," Dad said, and we cracked up.

"What, did it fall on the floor?" Gramps said.

"Sorta yes again," Dad said.

"That was the first thing," I said.

"I guess the dog got it, huh?"

"Pretty much," Dad said, while the three of us roared and the rest of the family looked at us as if we were crazy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've had my adventures with giblets, but they were nowhere as hilarious as yours.

My first experience with a frozen turkey transpired as follows. We thawed the beasty out, and I groped for the giblets in the body cavity. Every chicken I'd ever seen cleaned had the gizzard and the liver there. After a frustrating search, I discovered the prodigals in a pouch at the neck.
That ain't natcherul!!!
It was mildly embarrassing at the time, but somewhat amusing in retrospect. I made the same mistake the following year.

The third year, I had learned my lesson. Now I have that tidbit of wisdom in my readilly accessible memory banks, but I may never use it again. We haven't roasted a turkey in a coon's age.

Had you served a turducken on the Day, perhaps one of the gizzards may have made it to the dining table. You know what a turducken is of course. It's a turkey which has eaten a duck which has eaten a chicken.