Once again it’s Thanksgiving, a time for all of us to stop for a few moments, give thanks and remember, as the Pilgrims did, that an improperly cooked turkey can harbor a virus and kill you.
Even a live turkey can be dangerous. I say this because of a news article (a true story) I read about a woman who says she’s become a prisoner on her own property, stalked and harassed by a 25-pound tom turkey. Edna Geisler, 69, told the Detroit Free Press that the turkey wanders near her Commerce Township property each day from a nearby wooded area. She recently couldn’t get to her front door after a trip to the grocery store. Geisler, who has been bumped and clawed, calls the turkey “Godzilla.” A friend, Rick Reid, said the turkey went after him, too, and “struck a fighting posture” when he opened the door to his minivan.
After reading Reid’s description that the turkey “struck a fighting posture,” I was confused. I personally didn’t know turkeys had a fighting posture. What do they do, put up their dukes? But if they put up their dukes, they’d topple over, right? Maybe they just put up one duke, and hop around on the other duke in a threatening manner. Whatever they do I’m sure it would be terrifying to see one of them doing it at the door of your minivan.
You have to remember, however, that there was a time in this nation, centuries ago, when giant herds of these vicious predators roamed the countryside duking it out with whatever dared to get in their way. Or was that the buffalo?
Anyway, The Turkey Farmers of America stresses that, in selecting a Thanksgiving turkey, the No. 1 rule is, it should be a dead turkey. This is why you should look for one at your local grocery that has been frozen solid enough to deflect a .45 caliber bullet. If it doesn’t, put it back into the freezer and fire into the ceiling until the manager brings you one that does.
To avoid the previously mentioned Salmonella virus, the turkey must be prepared carefully as follows: First step, calculate what size turkey you will need. Home economists say that the average 175-pound person consumes 1.25 pounds of turkey over the holiday weekend. So, if you plan to serve 12 people you simply multiply 12 times 1.25, times 175, which means your turkey should weigh in at, let's see, carry the two, move the decimal point ... 225.5 pounds, basically the same size as Rosanne Barr.
Second step, when you get the turkey home, you should thaw it completely by letting it sit on a standard kitchen counter at room temperature for one half the turkey’s weight in hours, or roughly a month and a half.
Step C, once the turkey is defrosted, you simply cook it in a standard household oven at 145.6 degrees centigrade for 35 minutes per pound, adding four minutes for each 100 feet above sea level, which you can determine by using a standard household sextant. The turkey should be completely done by say, the second Saturday in December.
And just like Edna Geisler says — you remember Edna and her tom turkey — “Every time I eat turkey I am thankful and smile thinking of that awful bird, Godzilla.”