Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebration Failure Part 5

 Previously at North of 49:  Parts 1  2  3  4
After clearing up the discarded wrap, a job made more difficult by the presence of soggy packages distributed in odd spots around the floor, I decided it was time to stuff the bird and get it in the oven. As I hoisted the huge turkey into the oven I glanced at the clock and figured if I put it in now it should be ready to pull out around 5:00. Two hours later the smell of bleach had finally receded (I am a poultry paranoid, and bleach everything within sight after turkey prep) but, oddly, the smell of cooking bird had not yet filled the house. 
I decided to go out for a walk and try to regroup. By the time I came back the wonderful scent of roasting turkey would no doubt have filled the house, and I knew this would go a long way towards restoring my sagging Christmas spirit. This plan would have been fine except when I returned there were no wonderful smells to greet me when I opened the front door. Puzzled, I walked into the kitchen, expecting my nostrils to pick up the scent at any moment. Still nothing.
I glanced at the digital meat thermometer on the counter and the turkey was only up to 90F. That seemed odd. It was supposed to be done by 5:00 and it seemed like an extraordinary amount of cooking needed to happen in the next few hours. I opened the oven door and was happy to note I could faintly smell cooking turkey, but alarmed to realize that I was also greeted by warm, not hot, air. I decided to raise the oven temp up to 350F. 
In twenty minutes when I once again checked the meat thermometer what to my wondering eyes should appear but the same 90F reading! I decided the batteries in the thermometer must be weak so I madly searched the house for four AAA replacements. Of course there were none. So I opened the oven door again to wiggle a leg- the bird’s, not mine. After all, this used to be how I tested to see if a turkey was before I owned the fancy thermometer. 
Even in my sleep deprived state I knew as soon as I opened the oven door that the problem was not dead batteries. It was a dead oven. The air coming out of this doomed appliance was barely warmer than that surrounding me in the kitchen. It suddenly dawned on me why I had had trouble baking the shortbreads earlier in the week, and why the sticky buns would not cook properly that morning. My oven was broken. Complete with a semi-cooked twenty four pound bird in it. I was scrooged.

Christmas 1994
Karsten, Kristie,  David, Rebekah, Alexandra, Jay, Kellen 
Christmas 1994
Karsten, Alexandra, Rebekah, Kellen, David
It's not over yet.....!


  1. Such perfect timing! At least you didn't lose your touch on the buns. Right? But I'm sure that was of little comfort at the time. I hope '09 isn't remembered as the Progresso soup Christmas.

  2. I'm laughing with you, in that nervous knowledge that it could happen to any one of us, at any time....

  3. oh dear, oh dear...
    a semi-cooked turkey and such a big one at that, not nice, not nice at all, on top of all the other misfortunes, how will this all end...?
    groaning in empathy with you...

  4. I was expecting this. I've had an element burn out on me before, but I guess if it has never happened to you it can come as a shock.