Lesson #2: If you’re going to cook a turkey dinner on travel, be sure there will be a kitchen present at your destination.
‘Cause have you ever tried to cook a 30-pound turkey without an oven? Make mashed potatoes without a stove or even a hot plate? Gawd.
Mr. Helpful had faithfully promised Ted back in June that he’d have a full-sized range and a nice big refrigerator installed into one of the cabins long before we arrived for Thanksgiving. During the interminable property tour, one of the first things I noticed about each cabin was its lack of range. My shock was nonexistant.
Each cabin did contain a bar fridge and cute little miniature microwave. We stowed the turkey the odd little half-sized refrigerator with freezer, and crammed all the other perishable items into the other two bar fridges. I tried not to think about what my mother-in-law, the chosen head cook, was going to do when she arrived after her own arduous journey to assess the situation.
(Of all my ex-in-laws, I miss my ex MiL the most. She is a truly awesome lady, and she handled this situation with a calm aplomb typical of her.)
The suite had a toaster oven and two “turkey cookers.” Not the big oil deep-frying kind. Instead, these were sort of rectangular crock pot/slow cooker things. The giant turkey didn’t fit into either one of them, though one of my nephews-in-law did. As bratty terror nephew grinned up into three different cameras, I bit back comments about cooking the kid up and serving him for dinner. He and his brother had been run wild all day, yanking on things, throwing them to the ground, and breaking them. The radio, some crockery, my last nerve.
MiL worked doggedly through the chaos. She tore the turkey apart with butter knives and bare hands. She set yams and then potatoes to baking two at a time in the toaster oven. She made stuffing somehow, and decided that she didn’t actually need to heat the dinner rolls.
I escaped to my room, ostensibly to cook green beans. I would have stuck around, but there wasn’t room in the “kitchen” for me. Honest!
To be continued…