0003 Indera 07: Son of Abomination

As I hope I've said before, I like snow. I do, really. I enjoy the appearance. I like walking in a light snowfall. I even enjoy tossing snowballs, and I get a mild thrill out of driving around and looking at snow-covered landscapes. Growing up in Texas, I never really had anything that people would consider "winter." The best we could manage was a heavy autumn every so often, with maybe black ice for entertainment, but real snow was a rarity.

Then I moved to Pennsylvania, and suddenly I understood what actual snow looked like. More to the point, I understood why people hated it. Six inches of accumulation on city streets will make them impassable to anything smaller than a duelie or a monster truck with chains, and I've had the good sense not to try to buy and then drive either of those. I did approximately USD1500 of damage to a Chevy Blazer getting blown sideways on a snowy road into a metal divider. Upon leaving the area, I was heartened to learn that, while "up the mountains" would get a lot of weather, Bothell rarely saw anything like that.

Of course, the year we arrived, we got precisely that kind of snowfall. I don't recall the exact details, but I remember clearly that one night my wife and my roommate set out for a quick trip for a computer component and ended up getting stuck for eight hours on the road, and that at some point during the winter we had to pack up some belongings and relocate to a hotel for three days, because the power in the apartment complex had died. Surely, though, such an event was a freakish occurance, not likely to happen again any time soon.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice....

As I type this, I'm looking at getting a good night's sleep, so that I can be in the office again for the first time in eight days. That's how much snow we've had this year. Three separate storms have hit us, or maybe one storm in three movements; it's hard to say. Either way, we've had between six and ten inches of accumulation since last week, and the weather reports I'm seeing say that we're supposed to get "a few flurries" next week. This after they told us that we'd see "an inch or two" last week. I am not hopeful. 

In fact, the weather was so bad that of the time I've been out, the office actually closed day. Two I spent sick because the weather had necessitated us turning on the heater, which in turn dried out my throat and nose so badly that I practically crusted over internally. One was some holiday that everybody around here seems to take really seriously. The rest I remained indoors, working from home, because our apartment complex is situated on the side of a steep hill down which I couldn't have safely driven the car even if my life had required it.

Not to say I couldn't get down the hill in an emergency. I could, surely. I would just likely end up on 405 South without having taken an on-ramp, if you get my meaning.

So, what does one do when facing the prospect of being snowed in? Commit nutritional atrocities, apparently. I think this is becoming one of those morally hazardous Lapinian traditions, like hot pepper consumption for Indians or Jerry Lewis films are for the French.

Some of you may remember the abomination that I created for Bandaza this year. In the end, while the flavor was great, not all of the chicken breasts came out done, the meat near the bones was undercooked, and most of the bacon fell off of the turkey during the cooking, which ended up making a mess in the bottom of the oven, as the grease-trap trick of folded foil underneath the baking plate did astonishingly little to stop the flood of meat juices. It was an experiment, well worth undertaking, but obviously "beta code."

I believe I've perfected "version 1.0" of the bacon-infused turkey. Call it "Son of Abomination."

On one of the few trips out of the apartment to secure supplies between snowfalls, Tanya and I decided that a smaller turkey, twelve pounds or so, would make for a good meal for a few days. We got an "artisan" turkey, which is to say we got a heritage turkey that's not a Large White. I'm not sure what breed it was, exactly; I believe it was a White Holland, but I wouldn't swear to it. I do intend to check, though, and whatever I determine it was, I'd definitely buy it again. At any rate, it was a little over twelve pounds and still slightly frozen when I went to bake it.

So, I got the turkey into the pan, and I thought about what I was going to do to stuff it, because I still had some stuffing from making a batch earlier since this has apparently become favored nibl around the Embassy for the vegetable-eaters. Then I found a package of bacon in the bottom of the fridge, and I knew what I had to do.

Recalling the Bandaza experiment, I realized that the reason the bacon hadn't stayed in place was, obviously enough, nothing had been holding it where it needed to be. I still had no pins or other obvious tools, but I did have an embarrassment of creativity, and I devised a fix: I wove a bacon "blanket" for the turkey, ensuring that the side-to-side strips were always weighed down by at least two lengthwise ones. The strips covering the legs I "tied" in place, wrapping a second strip around the leg at the thickest part and looping it over to help hold the longer strip in place. The ones over the wings, sadly, I could only drape in place.

The whole assembly I then put into a proper roasting pan, which then went into the oven set to 350F, for two hours. I then dropped the temperature to 300F for another three-and-a-half, at which point I pulled it out and declared it done.

This time, almost none of the bacon fell off the turkey. I think a total of two strips fell into the bottom of the pan, to become part of the drippings, which I meticulously saved. This roast, unlike its predecessor, was cooked completely, succulent from skin to bone, and infused with sweet and meaty joy. The turkey legs pulled off of the main bird without a fuss, and the wings did as well.

Now I just have to decide what to do with a SOLO cup full of turkey-and-bacon drippings, besides make the awesomest gravy ever.

I think this should be proof unto the gods that there is, in fact, a thing as too much snow. Though, considering that whole poutine thing up in Kanukistan, I'm not so sure.

Hang on. Fries... with bacon... and Swiss cheese... and turkey-and-bacon gravy....

I know what I must do.

Always one more try.... I'm not afraid to die.

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