Rachel and friends

Confession: I’m 37 & I’ve Never Made a Turkey

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Rachel and friends

So here’s the thing. I’m 37 years old. I run a food blog of sorts. I’m a self-professed foodie. One of my few hobbies is reading cooking magazines and books. The only TV you’ll ever catch me watching during the day would be a Food Network show.

And I’ve never made a turkey. In 37 years. (Sigh.)

Back story:

My sassy friend Keith–who also happens to be my boss and pastor–texts me, Polly, and two other church staff wives a few days ago…

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(Yes, he just addressed the text “women”. Typical.)

Then, somewhere along the way, two of my younger friends, Emily and Rachel, chime in with all kinds of helpful information about where to buy the turkey and what recipe they’ve used…for four years now!

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Some quick math tells me that they’ve been making turkeys since their twenties. What was I doing in my 20s? Letting my mommy or mommy-in-law make me turkey. (Bless them.) What have I been doing in my 30s? Letting my mommy or mommy-in-law make me turkey. (Bless them.)

In the midst of the group text exchange, I felt the need…perhaps prompted by the Holy Spirit…to confess two things:

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Pretty vulnerable, eh? I mean I trust these friends. I really do. And, they should know these things about me. I am a failure when it comes to turkey preparation and manual transmission operation, you know?

Well, apparently I’m not alone. Polly opens her big mouth and also admits to never having made a turkey. Whereupon, we receive this final text from sassy friend Keith.

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Those who know me know I like a challenge. Well, maybe the real truth is: I don’t like to lose. It’s taken me 37 years to realize it, but I’m LOSING in the Thanksgiving category. But, all that is about to change, baby.

Am I excited about being responsible for preparing 20 lbs of raw meat for guests for the first time? Do I relish the idea of giving that bird a 24 hour salt bath in my fridge? Do I want to set the alarm on my day off to get up early enough to have it ready for lunch? Nope. But, people, this is game time. And, I’ve got my game face on.

Turkey this Thanksgiving is…ON!

(Pray for me. Please?)

To be continued…


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10 replies
  1. Bethany says:

    Rachel, I hosted Thanksgiving last year, and our turkey was the best ever. Years of food tv and magazines do help! I used Rachael Ray’s butter-under-skin-overnight (dry brining) method and BOOM. We are never (willingly) planning to eat a turkey at our in laws’ or my folks’ house! It could be the pride in accomplishment though. It may have been a top ten moment in my 32rd year on earth!

    Of course, you will nail it or have a whimsical died-trying escapade … And both are click-worthy part 2s!

  2. Melissa says:

    I can so identify with you in this post haha…I have never made a turkey either (and I’m 30). I watched and helped my MIL do it once, but just once. Now…she does typically host Thanksgiving (and we host Christmas and my parents host Easter) so making the turkey really hasn’t technically been “on my plate”…but still, I feel ya! 🙂 I have made whole chickens and ducks…but not a turkey.

    Oh and…I can’t drive a stick shift either. 🙂

  3. Liz says:

    Rachel, as one of those mommies-in-law who has prepared many a turkey, don’t fret! In fact, the turkey is probably one of the things I fret least about with the whole Thanksgiving meal. Now, you’ll probably get a flurry of responses telling you otherwise, that brining is the only way to go, but I tried brining one year and honestly could not tell a bit of difference vs. traditional roasting & basting, and decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. I just start the bird breast-side down for the first 30 minutes or so of roasting, so that the juices go down into the white meat, then flip it over and continue. But that’s just one old girl’s opinion. I’ll stay tuned, pray for you (per your request), and am confident you’ll rise to the challenge!

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you, Liz! What a great idea to flip it. I can’t believe how much sage advice I’ve gotten this past week about turkey-making. There are so many tricks that people use. I hope to someday be an advice-giver. Just hoping not to mess it up too much this time around. Ha! Appreciate your encouragement and prayer!

  4. Rebekah Fox says:

    Umm..Rachel you caught my eye with this post. I, too and scores of women reading this, have also never cooked a turkey! And I loathe the day I have to!! (i can already picture myself buying about five deli rotisserie chickens and telling my family, “eat up!” lol.

    Good luck in your endeavor!

    And p.s. You don’t look 37!

    Maybe 25.

    Just sayin.’ 😉

    xo, Rebekah