Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 23, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 5


Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 23, 2019 


 by Deanne Davis

KATIE Tse....This and That


 An inspired title. Well, it’s that time of year again. Time for me to 
recycle my turkey article. This isn’t a cherished family recipe for the 
perfect, mouth-watering bird. It’s a comedy of errors that will make you 
feel better about your culinary skills by comparison.

 One year we bought a turkey. Even though we were going to 
Thanksgiving at our families, we’d never roasted a turkey before, and 
sometimes it’s good to challenge yourself just to see what you’re made of. 

 The cares and concerns of life distracted us, and our turkey languished 
in the freezer from Thanksgiving till Memorial Day. With a three day 
weekend stretching out before us, we figured it was finally time to roast 
our long term freezer guest.

 We took him out to thaw, and by Friday he seemed soft to the touch, through the plastic anyway. 
My husband researched roasting methods and decided brining sounded good. We got Diamond 
Kosher salt and some infrequently used seasonings. Then my husband noticed that our turkey was 

 “Enhanced, huh? Does that mean it wears a double D 
cup or something?” I joked. 

 Raising his eyebrows, “It means it’s already marinated 
and we should just go ahead and bake it.” 

 Turkeys go through a complex transformation on 
their way from slaughter to plate. They get a pop-up 
timer implant, and their legs are bound with a plastic ring 
resembling hand cuffs, except these are anchored deep 
inside its body cavity. Freeing this leg brace wasn’t made 
easier by the fact that, although the skin was soft, inside 
our turkey was still rock solid. 

 We weren’t supposed to rinse the turkey because 
its hibernation liquid was the brining solution, but 
we ended up holding him under running water in an 
attempt to defrost him. His cavity filled up with water 
and overflowed into the sink. All the while I’m recalling 
those antibacterial spray ads that show germs lighting up 
kitchen counters like a Christmas tree. After much work 
digging around the turkey’s knees, my husband finally 
dislodged the last icebergs of turkey juice and freed the 
legs from their handcuffs. 

 Then came the rub. My husband managed to massage a mixture of herbs and spices into all the 
unwieldy turkey’s nooks and crannies. Turkeys get their revenge by being particularly clumsy to 
handle, shifting their weight in sagging skin as soon as you get a grip on them. In doing so, my 
husband discovered a few feathers that had somehow made it through the packing plant. 

 “Door prizes!” I told him.

 Every so often we checked back with the directions. They told us to remove the neck, giblets, 
and a gravy bag from the body cavity. Just like a treasure hunt. Try as we did, we couldn’t find the 
giblets. It also didn’t help that neither of us were sure what giblets looked like. 

 “It’s not that big in there,” my husband said. “There aren’t a lot of places they can hide.” 

 We gave up and figured if we came across them it’d be like finding a toy in a Cracker Jacks box. 
One of the Food Network chefs had suggested putting an apple inside with cinnamon sticks. We 
didn’t have cinnamon sticks, so I cut up an apple and sprinkled it with cinnamon before stuffing it 
inside. That was my sole contribution, other than moral support. 

 When it was finally time to pop our turkey in the oven, we realized with its legs free, he overhung 
the baking dish. We searched for a larger container but found nothing. 

 “Maybe I can put the ankle braces back on,” my husband said, fishing the cuffs out of the sink. 

 After a short struggle he refastened the legs in their restraints and secured the whole thing back 
in the cavity. By now we were ready for a break while the bird baked.

 For the next few hours we checked the turkey and speculated on whether the drippings were 
burning, since dry-brined birds weren’t supposed to produce much liquid. But at the eleventh hour 
(not really, but it felt like it) the turkey exuded a lot of juice and that we were able to use with the 
gravy pack. 

 When it was finally done, my husband freed the legs from their ankle cuffs and peered inside the 

 “Oh my gosh, I found the giblets!” he exclaimed. “They exploded!” 

 The exploded giblets turned out to just be the apple slices, a bit puffy from the heat. At last the 
turkey was ready to eat, and for first timers, it turned out better than expected. After a few days of 
eating it, we even came across the giblets, still encased in their little bag. Like a prize at the end of 
the rainbow.

 *Have a great Thanksgiving, and check out my novel, “A Year at Apex” in paperback and ebook 
on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! It’s got more excitement than a of couple first-time cooks roasting 
a Memorial Day turkey.

Walking Sierra Madre, Arizona or just about 
anywhere this time of year is a delight, pure and 
simple. There are still pumpkins here and there on 
folks’ porches, which will last for months, till the 
squirrels, or in my case, the rabbits, find a weak 
spot and devour them. The bunnies, lovingly 
referred to here as “Spawn of Satan” as they will 
consume plants overnight that one has lovingly 
planted, hoping the rotten bunnies won’t like 
it. The little stinkers seem to eschew oleanders, 
Mexican Petunias, lavender, cactus and lantana. 
Yes, it’s OK to have pumpkins and Christmas 
lights simultaneously and I can hardly wait to 
get my laser light projectors shining snowflakes 
all over the front of the house. And I won’t even 
mention the lighted reindeer with nodding heads 
John absolutely loathed but I simply adore! 

Our Thanksgiving menu is planned with the old 
traditional favorites to go along with the turkey, 
but I’m adding a pumpkin-cream cheese pie 
which made my mouth water just reading the 
recipe. Mashed potatoes, turkey breast, honey 
baked ham, creamed spinach as always, but best 
of all, is inviting family and friends to share the 
feast and all the familiar family stories. Like this 
one, but I know none of you folks have ever had 
the following experience...

The Ghost of Thanksgivings Past

The Festive Bird is in the stove,

And time now for a nap.

I laid me down, closed my eyes,

And at the window heard a tap.

It’s far too soon for guests to come,

I need a little peace!

The stuffing’s ready, cranberries chillin’,

Pies overflow with pumpkin fillin’.

The tap just keeps on at my window,

But I’m not gonna look!

There’s nothing more for me to do,

This is one tired and sleepy cook.

So I snuggled deep down in my afghan,

Turned my head the other way.

I don’t care who’s at that window,

They can tap all day.

Off I went to slumberland and dreamed a lovely 

A kitchen, clean and washed and spotless, 

everything just right.

But then I dreamt a dreadful dream,

That made me shriek with fright!

The tapping at my window,

More insistent grew.

And what was out there tapping,

I’ll now describe to you.

The Ghost of my Thanksgivings Past,

A turkey that was huge!

Tapped his enormous beak at my window,

And loudly gobbled…. “J’ accuse!”

“Fifty Thanksgivings, and more,” he said,

“Since you walked down the aisle.

So many turkeys you’ve served up, 

With sweet potatoes and a smile.”

“All those turkeys come and gone,

And still your gravy’s awful!

And the year the turkey hit the floor,

Should be declared… unlawful!!”

“Most of them were nicely done, I’ll give you 
that,” he said.

“But some were cooked so badly,

You should have ordered Chinese instead!”

What an awful dream, I thought, as I cowered in 
my bed.

The Ghostly Turkey wasn’t finished,

With his accusations many.

And I, offering excuses,

Discovered I hadn’t any!

But then he smiled and said to me,

“Your crimes are all forgiven.

For those who’ve gathered at your table,

Have rejoiced and laughed for hours.”

“We turkeys relish meals like these,

They are sweet as summer flowers!

Enjoy today, with friends and family,

gathered ‘round your table,

Give thanks for health and joy and peace...

Then share this Thanksgiving fable.”

And with a last gobble…gobble, the Ghost of 
Thanksgivings Past,

 Flew up, up, and away…

And I heard him exclaim, ere he flew out of 

“Happy Thanksgiving to all…

And for heaven’s sake, learn to make better 


Hope your Thanksgiving will be the best one ever!

My book page: Deanne Davis


Christmas is just a few short weeks away and my 

“Sunrises and Sunflowers Speak Hope” 

Would be a really nice gift for everyone you know.

You can find it on

“Star of Wonder” a delightful Christmas Kindle 
story is there, too.

Follow me on Twitter!

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Commentary - My last of a three part series


 What ever happened to the TV and Radio Commentary? A commentary is simple, one person’s 
opinion on an event, a happening or a live event, well that’s what I got when I googled it. I plan to 
offer a commentary here every now and then. Obviously these are social commentaries and are not 
aimed at a person, ethnicity or any certain restaurant. Basically things that happen to you and me 
on a daily basis. If you have a counterpoint I’d love to hear it, these commentaries are also available 
in print, you just need to join my mailing list! That is easy just go to my website diningwithdills.
com and contact me and of course on Tuesday we have our podcast available just type in Peter Dills 
and subscribe.

 Here we go again!! , Last week we spoke of why we apologize when we know darn well we did 
nothing wrong. This week I discuss the age old is the customer always right? First off NO !!! I 
know here in California our restaurants resources are being squeezed with rising costs, especially 
minimum wage. I read a story on a passenger on 
Southwest airlines that every time she flew, which 
apparently was very frequent, she’d send a letter of 
complaint. After 15 of these letters the “complaint” 
dept gave all the letters to the CEO, his response, he 
wrote her a handwritten letter simply saying best 
of luck we’ll miss you!! Andrew Cherng owner of 
Panda Express tells me that the customer isn’t always 
right but we have the mindset that we want them 
to be satisfied. I hear stories from friends that own 
restaurants of the customer eating the entire dish 
and then complaining that they want their money back. The phrase “The customer is always right” 
was originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in 
London in 1909, and is typically used by businesses to:

 Convince customers that they will get good service at this company

 Convince employees to give customers good service

 Fortunately more and more businesses are abandoning this maxim – ironically because it 
leads to bad customer service.

 My opinion? I gave it away but I know there are just people out there that complain, the customer 
is usually right, but some people and restaurants just don’t Mix !!

 Listen in every Sunday at 8 AM to my show on Go Country 105, I’ll even give you my direct phone 
line 866-479-1051

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