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Road Trip Part 1

October 13, 2009

Hello Readers and a belated Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m a bit behind but I did make a little out of town trip for Thanksgiving with the family. I love a good road trip and this was no exception.  Now that I am committed to writing about my travel experiences, I am focused on visual images to support my story. Unfortunately this added some time to our journey as I requested stops along the way for photo opportunities. As it turned out, late seemed to be the theme of this journey.

I was a little late leaving my house (and I still managed to forget something) and we were a little late leaving from our rendez vous point as the recent snow on the Coquihalla suggested that ‘snowies’ should be installed for the journey. We were a bit later leaving which meant it was too dark for me to share any photographic evidence of the fall foliage but we were not too late for the moon.

Great trunk space!

Great trunk space!

You heard, I hope that someone decided it would be a good idea to crash a space ship into the moon to look for evidence of water in the form of ice beneath the surface? Well the day that happened if you looked at the moon from my part of the world it looked as if half the moon had disappeared! It was a spectacular site. Unfortunately all I can share with you are my sad attempts to photograph it. I learned, too late, that a tripod or at least bracing the camera on the car roof may have improved things.

We arrived at our destination late but our hosts, my parents, were still up waiting for us as they always do, and we stayed up even later.

Guess what? We woke up late – well not too late and headed out for the day.

These were warm and soooo good!

These were warm and soooo good!

Between Orchards, apiaries, errands, and a very late lunch we were too late to stop at our last destination Hannah and Hannah’s Orchards in Salmon Arm. Never fear! There would still be time on Sunday to pick up the last few things.

well beyond the usual varieties

well beyond the usual varieties

I love Thanksgiving. I am thankful that we make an effort to get together, prepare and share a meal. There are no gifts or cards or dressing up – just the family reconnecting and giving thanks that we have each other. But we do have our challenges and one of them seems to be Turkey.
To her credit, my mom has been saying for years that it takes longer to cook a turkey in Salmon Arm due to the higher altitude, but frankly, unkindly and now we know ignorantly, we dismissed her claim. Mom is always changing the recipe she probably skipped a step or something. Each year for the past decade – the turkey is late. Every year we come up with different excuses. Maybe it wasn’t thawed all the way through? Maybe fresh/organic/grain fed/free range Turkeys take longer? Maybe we had the weight wrong? Maybe it was the instructions we followed? Maybe the oven temperature is off?Prepping the Turkey
Now I’ve been vegetarian for 14 years so I’m not really affected by this and this year my mother really didn’t want to cook a Turkey because it’s always late and so my sister agreed to take this on.
She came prepared. Armed with ‘The Joy of Cooking’ and a digital meat thermometer she meticulously followed the directions. The turkey was soaked in salt water brine overnight. The turkey was re-weighed to insure that we had the correct starting point. My mom finally got some much deserved respect as ‘The Joy of Cooking’ corroborated her assertion that yes, height matters! Using a GPS and the Salmon Arm engineering website we were able to determine our height above sea level within about 10 meters and using the chart provided we adjusted the cooking time and temperature accordingly. The math was checked, double checked and we all swore not to touch any of the buttons on the stove or timer. We promised not to open the oven door except for pre-approved basting times. We had all the bases covered – this time it would work!

With confident optimism the turkey was removed from the oven at the preordained time after the temperature was verified by the digital thermometer. It was set to rest and await carving. My grandfather was a chef and we bring out his carving knife for such occasions. My brother-in-law inserted the knife, broke the skin, carved forward and…stopped. ‘Hey, do you want to come take a look at this?’ We all trundled over to see the bitter truth, still pink inside. Even with conscientious planning, attention to detail and accurate execution, the turkey still was not ready when it was supposed to be.

We are all pretty good natured about it and over the years have perfected ways of keeping all the other Thanksgiving dishes fresh and warm while we wait for the turkey. Every family has their traditions whether by planning or accident; our tradition is a late Turkey. The holiday just wouldn’t be the same without it!Turkey at Table

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 14, 2009 5:09 pm

    Oh Kim – I am so enjoying your writing and I’m eagerly awaiting each new installment. It’s become a highlight of my week.

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