Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – Thanksgiving feast tales


By Rosie Preston

Is there anyone in the world, at least the United States, who will buy – or at least think about – turkeys during the Thanksgiving holiday? I know my mom could cook a great tasting turkey. I’ll never forget the first time I cooked a turkey. Even though I made a huge mistake, it was delicious!

A friend (what would we do without them?) cooked her turkey in a large paper bag, which can still be found at some grocery stores. She told me to place the turkey in the bag, tighten the bag, set the oven to 400 degrees and cook all night. The evening before Thanksgiving, I put the turkey in the oven and went to sleep. Of course, I just had to check on my turkey the next morning. I carefully set the bag on top of a large container to make sure I did not spill turkey juice all over my kitchen. I’ll never understand how that paper bag did not catch fire!

I slowly opened the bag, and the turkey smelled and looked delicious! Feeling proud, I called my mother to share the news. She asked me if I had removed the bag that was located inside the turkey. I told her I had not, because I did not know about it. After I hung up from laughing with my mom, I inserted kitchen tongs to remove the inner parts of the turkey. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I let the bag cool and I fed it to my large dog. Happy Thanksgiving, my dear pet!

I later I took the turkey to my parent’s house and everyone placed the turkey on their plate. My heart was racing as I was waiting for some kind of criticism, but not one person complained! In fact, they said it was so tender and asked how I seasoned it.

I just couldn’t share with my family, because as most people have said through the years, a turkey is a dumb farm animal. No one said that the person who cooked said turkey was also the smartest person in the room (IQ 007). I knew I would never live down cooking the turkey with the innards inside it if they knew!

Turkeys are big, and I still feel a little guilty about cooking them, along with chicken hens and whole chickens. But I never felt guilty enough to skip enjoying the wonderful Thanksgiving meal. I’ve learned since then that nearly everyone cooks turkeys differently. A friend of mine spreads mustard all over the turkey, and after it is almost done, she puts brown sugar in a mixture of pineapple. It is so delicious! Many people are now frying turkeys and buying turkeys that are already cooked and ready to serve. They say there are different ways to skin a cat; there are also many ways to cook a turkey.

Several years ago, my friend told me this story about what happened when she started her Thanksgiving meal. She has a chest freezer that opens from the top and is very large. She saw the large bag she had put in the freezer but could not reach it. As she inched closer and closer to the bag, her legs went straight up towards the ceiling! She could have stayed in that freezer until she was missed by her family arriving from different parts of the state to dine with her.

She somehow got hold of the bag and inched her way out of the freezer. She felt like a survivor, for sure! She took the bag into the kitchen and opened it. Guess what? That’s right! She had a ham in the freezer bag, no turkey! I still find myself smiling every time I think of my friend being half in and half out of her freezer. In fact, we made a joke about it: “I just turked a ham!” Don’t ask me how that came to be; it just did!

You probably have your own turkey stories. If you would like to share, please email me at There is another turkey story I will share with you next week. This one completely blew my mind!

Subject change:  The hol-idays have slipped upon me again! Where did the time go? I think I’ve been very busy, and sometimes I didn’t even look at the date. I depend upon my phone and computer to make sure I don’t miss appointments I’ve made with doctors.

There is something I’d love for you to think about when you are making a Christmas list. The Messenger newspaper cost only $30 a year, and everyone loves reading a good news newspaper! The contents of The Messenger are very diversified, so there is something you will truly love to be in your mailbox every Friday. What else can you give a loved one than a gift that lasts all year? Look up our website and you can find out more if you are interested. The reason I love having the real newspaper in my hands is that I often take days to read it!

Keep smiling, Rosie

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