Thirty years ago I cooked a turkey. It was the first turkey I'd ever cooked. Of course I’d eaten turkey at home at Christmas with my parents and grandparents, but not often. My family was not a bunch of great traditionalists and they had concluded, as many sane persons have, that turkeys are way too much trouble for insufficient reward. They’re too big, they’re too dry, and if you cook one for Christmas you’re still eating sad leftovers at New Year.
But the first year I was married and had a home of my own, I decided I’d cook a turkey. And as far as I remember it was pretty good, although my memories aren’t all that solid after thirty years, obviously. I seem to recall wrapping a lot of bacon around the turkey breast. This kind of thing, though obviously this isn’t mine:
And here’s the thing, here’s why I didn’t blog about this earlier, I know, I absolutely know, that somewhere there exists a thirty year old photograph, possibly a Polaroid, of me addressing the turkey I’ve just cooked, about to carve it. In my mind’s eye I can even see the shirt I was wearing that day, but can I find the photograph? Can I stuff?
And I’d really like to have it because if I did I could now do a compare and contrast. Last month, for Thanksgiving, I cooked my second turkey, just 30 years after I cooked the first one. It (and I) looked like this:
It was a good turkey, not too big, and not too dry, although, as we move towards the end of the first week in December we still have leftovers. All in all we've declared it a triumph, if a small one. The loss of the 30 year old photograph is, of course, a total disaster. What’s the point of doing or cooking or eating ANYTHING if you don’t have a photograph to prove it? I wonder when I’ll cook my next turkey.