Holy buckets, tomorrow is December. Please say a prayer for Kyle, whose wife wouldn’t let him put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. I know that “Christmas tree timing” is a hot topic and I really have no opinion except that I am in possession of a bunch of Thanksgiving décor and am Toy Story-aware of the feelings of my box of paper mâché turkeys. As always, my sweet husband tries to be mindful of the fact that I, too, have a holiday by suggesting we also display Hanukkah decorations, which…what would that be? A baby pool filled with oil?
Speaking of oil, this American Thanksgiving Kyle deep-fried our turkey. I say “American” because this was our second deep-fried turkey in 2022 (and ever); we also had deep-fried Canadian Thanksgiving turkey, and that’s what I’m going to tell you about today.
As I’ve said in the past, Canadian Thanksgiving is exactly the same as American Thanksgiving, except that it’s on a Monday in October and it’s Canadian. This year, we decided to invite our eleven-year-old’s hockey team to our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner because their fall hockey season had recently ended and, more importantly, they are our friends. They are so much our friends that 1) I didn’t even bother to clean the house before the party (meh, they’ve seen it), and 2) when we sent the invite everyone immediately RSVP’d with the food they were going to bring, even though at no point did I say it was a potluck, because that’s what friends do (and especially what hockey friends do).
Our guests ended up volunteering so much stuff – including their own chairs – that all I needed to provide was the turkey. I did some quick math and figured that adults-plus-players-plus-siblings meant we could have up to fifty people, and so I would need two turkeys. No problem, I said to Kyle, I would make one turkey on Saturday (the day before the dinner) and one on Sunday (the day of).
“We’ll be out of town Friday and Saturday for a wedding,” Kyle reminded me. “Do you want me to see if someone else can do a turkey?”
“No,” I said, mindful of the fact that if I didn’t make the turkeys I would be nothing more than a guest at my own soiree. “I’ll figure something out.”
Here is The Something I figured out: I would get up early and roast one turkey at 8:00am, and the second at noon. I quadruple-checked the turkey weights and cooking times, and was 1000% solid on the fact that I could get two turkeys roasted and carved by the 5:00pm dinner. Plus, I’d have the back-up meatballs (if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I always make back-up beef), which would go in the crockpot and wouldn’t be subject to any oven-related issues, should they appear.
The Thursday before the party, as I was packing up for the wedding, Kyle said to me,
“Oh, I told all the dads about the wedding issue and they said we could deep fry one of the turkeys. It would be much faster, only 45 minutes.”
“But we don’t have a deep fryer,” I said. “And we don’t know how to deep fry a turkey.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Kyle said with a wave of his hand. “The dads and I got this.”
Normally, this would be the kind of last-minute laissez faire that would be ripe for a-fightin’ – but, as noted, these were our friends and I knew they would never leave me uncooked…nor would they care if things didn’t go perfectly. Also, back-up beef.
“Sounds good,” I said.
Sho’nuff, by Sunday morning my patio was graced by one of the dad’s deep frying equipment. Kyle moved it into the garage while I got the first turkey in the oven.
“Do you know how to set up a turkey deep fryer?” I asked him.
“Probably,” he said. “We’ll do it after hockey.” (OH YEAH, I forgot to mention that; the boys had a skate directly before dinner.)
“Is that enough time?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “It only takes 45 minutes. We’ll come here after hockey at 4, set up, and have the turkey ready to eat by 5. We got this.”
“Sounds good,” I said.
Turkey #1 was done right at noon. I pulled it out of the oven as Kyle set down his coffee and started arbitrarily injecting and rubbing Turkey #2 with random objects.
“Are you supposed to do that?” I asked.
“Yes,” Kyle said. He held up the injector. “This was in the box.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to roast it?” I asked.
“Yep,” Kyle said. “We got this.”
“Are you sure…” I said, pointing at the empty oven, and then, “Sounds good.”
Since I had a few extra hours on my hands, I pulled up YouTube because I figured it might be helpful if at least one person in the Kosior household was educated on the turkey frying process. After sorting through a LOT of content about house fires (one of our guests was a firefighter, so that was his problem), I learned that the oil had to be heated before the turkey went in.
“The oil needs to be heated before the turkey goes in,” I said to Kyle as we cleaned up from lunch.
“Oh, okay,” Kyle said.
At 2:30pm, as Kyle was pulling out of the driveway for hockey, I shouted,
“Do you want me to start the oil while you are gone?”
And Kyle shouted back, “Nope, we got this.”
“Are you sure…” I shouted back, but he didn’t hear me.
Or maybe he did – because, twenty minutes later, I heard shuffling out in the garage. Our next-door neighbor (and party guest) was maneuvering the deep fryer onto a makeshift platform out the side door.
“Kyle said you were a little worried about time,” he said, dumping the oil into the pot.
“I’m a little worried about all of it,” I said.
“Not to worry,” he said. “We got this.”
“So I’ve heard,” I said.
Kyle was the fourth dad to arrive at the house after hockey. By that point, the first three dads – including the neighbor – were standing around the deep fryer looking at the temperature gauge.
“’Bout ten more degrees,” one of them said.
Another one tapped his hand on the side of the pot to confirm. “Yep, gettin’ there.”
The third nudged the stand with his toe and said, “Yep.”
Kyle, who had been wandering around the garage, took that “Yep” as his cue to go into the house. He emerged a few minutes later with an apron, gloves, and the turkey on the fryer stick(? Grabber? Unknown). He lowered the turkey into the deep fryer with the confidence of a man who had kerplunked a turkey in oil thousands of times before and was not doing it for the very first time without watching a single YouTube video – and then immediately wandered off again. His spot was replaced by two more dads, who also looked at the temperature gauge.
Those five dads stood around the turkey for forty-five minutes. At the end of the forty-five minutes, Kyle appeared from wherever he was, lifted the turkey out, set it on a cutting board in the kitchen, and, again, disappeared into the night. The five dads, plus two more, came inside as I was taking the turkey’s temperature. It was 15 degrees shy.
“It’ll get there; let it rest,” my neighbor said.
“Put it in the oven,” another dad said.
“Let it rest, then put it in the oven,” another dad said.
They stood around debating it for the next ten minutes – during which the turkey’s temperature got to its appropriate degree. As per his M.O., Kyle came back from the mall or whatever and carved the turkey. It was delicious.
That night, after we hadn’t cleaned up because everyone else had already done it, Kyle said to me,
“Deep-frying that turkey was really easy.”
“Easy for who?” I asked.
“Yep, pretty easy,” he said, ignoring me. “I’m going to do it for American Thanksgiving.”
“Better put the dads on speed-dial,” I said.
The photo above is of Kyle and his dad holding up the walls of the garage while the American Thanksgiving turkey was in the deep fryer. It, too, was delicious.
This week’s news has a Toy Farmer, a real farmer, and a lot of nice people looking to make the holidays bright for seniors and families. Read on.
The Grand Forks Santa Claus Girls are at it for the 106th year, delivering 1,400 gift packages to low-income families around the community with the help of donors such as Deeks Pizza. (Grand Forks Herald)
A management class at Mandan High School cooked up Thanksgiving dinner for five Roosevelt Elementary families. (KFYR TV)
Speaking of Thanksgiving, the Jamestown community put on its 31st free Thanksgiving meal, distributing 1,060 drive-up dinners. (Jamestown Sun)
Live in Fargo? Home Instead is looking for donors to help purchase 500 gifts for isolated seniors this year. (Valley News Live)
Live in Grand Forks? Alexis Kringstad is putting together gift boxes for area elementary school families and is looking for dollars to make it happen. (Grand Forks Herald)
A mobile meats lab is making its way around southwest North Dakota to teach kids about ag careers. (KFYR TV)
Happy 111th birthday to Fargo’s Helene Sandvig! (Fargo Forum)
Kyle sent me this article with the note, “This guy is my hero.” Dickinson’s John Jaeger is 92 years old and still farming…with his vintage equipment. (Dickinson Press)
This is the story of Toy Farmer magazine, which has been publishing from LaMoure since 1978. (Grand Forks Herald)
Let’s Be (Official) Pals!
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