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Turkey Lurkey Time


Did you know that there are over 35 ways to prepare and bake a turkey? Did you there are over 650 related recipes? I did not know. Rather I had no clue that to bake a turkey was such a feat requiring super strength, dexterity, skill and tones of patience. If I had known this from before, my mother’s request for me to prepare the Turkey and Ribs for Christmas lunch would have yielded a negative response. (Yeah right, like I could say no to my mother!)  It would have resulted in me ordering the stuff before and laying it out nice and neat as if I had prepared it. Did you know that HiLo will prepare a turkey for you once you ask? Who knew!.

BTW, in case you haven’t caught on as yet, I am no cook/chef/wiz in the kitchen. When I tell people that my skill is ordering food, they doubt me. Give me a list of people and I can precisely determine the amount of food you will need from any particular restaurant. Chinese food restaurants are very easy for me. I don’t think it’s a gift but it just developed overtime. I of course ignore those “special needs” idiots who need “leg and thigh only” or “peas must not touch the meat”. They need to be delivered from their neuroses.

Anyway, I digress. I decided that I would bake the turkey myself and of course, being the great chef that I am, I decided to defrost the turkey on Christmas Eve day. I took the turkey out of the fridge around 8am that morning and just left it in a bucket filled with water in  the sink while I ran errands and sourced the ribs for Christmas Day.

I didn’t fully understand, well comprehend that a turkey must be fully defrosted before baking otherwise all kinds of health concerns can arise and sundry baking drama. I read all of this on the internet over the days leading up to the baking moment and I just couldn’t understand why anyone would go through so much trouble for a stinking turkey when to cook/bake a chicken one does not go through all this drama.

Anyway, around 4pm, I settled down in front of the computer to decide on a final recipe for this turkey. The day before, a guy had told me that I needed to brine the turkey for like 12 hours and then stuff seasoning under the skin and everything would be ok. I had no idea what “brining” was nor was I leaving a turkey out in any kind of solution for 12 hours to achieve the moisture and taste he described.

Anyway, I settled on the recipe of an Australian Chef who simply took a big stick of butter (garlic I think) and mixed in some herbs and spices (parsley, rosemary, thyme yadda yadda yadda) into the butter and them he proceeded to put this mixture under the skin of the bird and viola, he was done. I liked it! It seemed simple enough and I would have no problem with the seasoning as I had loads of it at home. What I did not have was the type of butter he recommended. I assumed Blue Band and Flora Margarine spread would not do. So off I ran to True Value to get this special butter.

While at True Value, I kept searching for the special butter and kept getting upset as I realised that I might have to drive to Hi-Lo Alyce Glen for greater butter variety. As I was about to leave, I saw a friend named Kurt and I told him of my butter woes. He told me that I was creating work for myself. We walked me over to a section of the grocery where alot of Chinese products were and he handed me a bottle of “Chinese Chicken Marinade” and told me to bathe the turkey in that and placed it in an oven bag and all would be fine.

I was a tad confused. I asked innocently, “Umm why would I put chicken marinade on a turkey?” He stared at me as if I had donkey ears coming out of my head. Turkey is Chicken boy and it is just a sauce! I didn’t question his logic. I took the bottle of marinade and also picked up some oven bags and headed home.

I stared at the turkey for awhile when I got home. 

It big eh?

This bugger was big! There were still a few parts of it that were cold and slightly frozen, so I knew I had at least an hour or more before I placed it in the oven. And so I began to work! I got out my seasoning and placed it under the skin of the turkey (Oh I used some lime juice before as brine solution but I think the only effect it had was…well none). I then placed the turkey in a big bowl I had (that was too small for it but it had to work) and began to pour the chicken marinade on it.

After about two or six coats of the marinade on the turkey, I covered it down for 45 minutes to let the marinade soak in. I came back to the turkey a couple times within that 45 minutes just to baste it over and over so that all the juices stayed it.

At 7:25pm, I decided it was time to place the turkey in the oven. I had set the oven a few minutes before to 425 so that it would be ready for the bird.  I placed it in a tray and then proceeded to waits for the 3 hours it was estimated on the Butterball label that it would take to bake.

Here Goes!

Somewhere in my mind and mixed up in all the info I had devoured, that oven setting of 425 made sense. It was only 40 minutes later when I decided to check the Butterball directions that I saw the setting was actually to be 325! I ran quickly to the oven and changed it. I prayed that the turkey suffered no damage.

Being in the oven bag I realised that I could not keep basting the turkey like I had read so I trusted that this bag would seal in the juices and provide a succulent bird.

At 11:15, I jumped up from in front of my computer and ran to the kitchen as I realised that the bird had been baking beyond the required time. I am ashamed to say that Angry Birds Friends Tournament on Facebook was the reason I lost track of time.

I took it out and well here is the result below:

Oh Lord What ah do here?

Oh Lord What ah do here?

I got scared immediately. The damn thing was burnt and it didn’t look brown and tasty like the one the Australian chef has taken out of his oven. It looked sick! I didn’t cut it or taste it that night as I feared that I might just chug the entire thing in the dustbin and order KFC chicken the next day! Thank goodness I remembered that Christmas Day is the ONLY day that KFC is closed in Trinidad.  So I covered that bugger down and prayed for the best.  The Ribs fared much better and I must say everyone was pleased the next day except me.

On cutting the turkey on Christmas Day I discovered that the top part of the breast area was rather dry. The other parts of the turkey were rather moist and tasty but my OCD only concentrated on the dry portion.  I was disappointed.

Everything went off well on Christmas Day and I was told by everyone that they will look forward to another succulent bird for Christmas 2013.

I nodded in agreement as I knew that someone will be baking that damn thing for me next time. No headache again.

How was your Christmas?

P.S. I was “Detour” T-shirtless this Christmas. Finally, the Gods have heard my cry!!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Humor

 

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I’m a WHORE – DUH!!


Thanks Mandy for the best blog title I’ve seen in ages!!!

Ok now that I have your attention..

Yes the statement above is true (as if I needed to tell you all that).

This has been a problem that I have suffered with for years but after watching a few episodes of a television show, I decided that it is time to acknowledge who I am. I needto let the world know it and embrace me. No longer shall I hide behind anything. This is who I am and while I am no so proud of it, I know this will make me start the healing process.

Sigh…. My name is Stefan Simmons and (gulp)..well….

I AM A HOARDER!

I have been in denial about it for years but on Sunday while alone in my apartment, I suddenly realized that I have way too much stuff scattered all over the place and most of it I do not use on a regular basis.

My apartment sees some emasure of reprive when my housekeeper comes over but even she is slightly dumbfounded as to how my apartment can get like this and more importantly, where the hell does she put stuff?

I am proud to say that she manages very well and for at least a weekafter she has cleaned, my apartment looks as if a decent person lives there.

Here is the root of my problem: I am a collector. I am scared to throw away stuff for various reasons:

  1. I think I will need it again
  2. I want to hold onto memories attached to it
  3. What if I am audited or have to return something?

I seem to collect the following things:

Books & Magazines:

I bought the Ipad so that I will help the environment and not use paper (well that was the plan), but I can’t help it when I see a new magazine I want or a book on sale, I just must have it!!! Not every book I see has an ebook version and even so i still haven’t gotten over my need/desire to hold a book in my hand and flip through the pages. Yes Yes i know I need to get over myself but it is what it is. I am weaning off this habit as we speak (although last week i bought 3 new books and one of them i actually had the ebook version of it but still want the hardcover for my collection.

 

Receipts & Bills:

A long time ago, I lost a receipt for an item I had purchased that didn’t work at all from day one. The company wouldn’t take it back and me hurdling it onto the floor of this establishment and speaking about the maternal anatomy of the company didn’t endear them to want to help me further ( nor have I ever been back there since).

But that was in 2001 and I have grown up since then (hopefully).  So now I throw away NOTHING.  All bills and receipts are kept in a drawer, on the table, on the floor, in my bedroom, in the ktichen…all over (but always near to the item that was purchased). Not even PriceSmart, Hi-Lo and Tru Value receipts are left out.

I felt proud of myself last year when Pricesmart told me that I hadn’t renewed my membership and I was able to go home and pick up the receipt and bring it for them to see (they had credited someone else’s account in error). Of course finding the receipt wasn’t as easy as I made it out to be but at least I had a general idea where it was (I think in my bedroom was a general enough area).

I recently found the bag of bills/receipts from my European trip in 2008 and every visit toNew York, there is a bag with all the related bills (just in case my credit card statement doesn’t match up).

Alas there seem to be no expiry date or “destroy by” date for any of this. This is something I have to work on.

Clothing

I always get buyer’s remorse whenever it comes to purchasing clothing and unless I’m in a foreign country, returning the item never seems like an option. I always say to myself:

“Why return it? I’ll make it someone’s Birthday or Christmas Present!”

Unfortunately I either never remember the item or I never have someone (in that size) to give it to and so it ends up in the “I’ll wear you when I get smaller” pile or “Why De hell did I buy this” pile. The latter pile is larger than the former because I always see someone in a certain style, buy it and when I try to venture beyond my mirror in it, it never happens. Someone (whose name I will NEVER mention) bought me a pair of skinny jeans and while it seemed like a cool idea, the minute I tried it on, I knew that THIS style would never see the light of day on me.

The only clothing item that i buy alot of and don’t mind hoarding is underwear. Somehow whenever I travel, I MUST buy new udnerwear. So much so that I have over 60 pairs of it and at least 20 pairs that are still to be worn. However one trip toNew YorkorMiamiand all of a sudden there is an overwhelming need to buy new ones. I’m running out of space ot put them and i don’t think that underwear is something you can give to charity.

Oh I have two suitcases full of clothing since 2009 to give to charity that I can’t seem to find the time to remove from my apartment.

Miscellaneous items (Boxes, Pictures, Cd Cases etc)

No matter how I try to get rid of stuff, I seem to collect more as soon as I throw something out.  I now have plastic containers that contain compartmentalized stuff that seem to get filled up in no time. I keep bags, paper and other stuff because somewhere in the back of my mind I convince myself that I will use it in the future, but it never happens.

I have gift paper but I am horrible at wrapping presents. Why do I have it?

I have tools but I barely have those skills to make it work. When did I collect all this stuff?

I store Cd cases yet I have moved the CDs into binders. Why do I still have the cases?

Extensions cords, Nokia phone chargers for models that no longer exist, Stereo connectors, batteries, pens, pencils rulers, staplers ( no staples) and tones of old newspapers. Some of these things are neatly stored away while others are on display as I have no idea what to do with them but I fear that the moment I discard them that I will have use for it.

There are boxes from everything I bought since in 2005. I haven’t put them in the trash for fear that my neighbours see the boxes and assume maco my business (well that’s what I tell myself). I don’t think they care if I have a Fat Slim TV from 2006 nor a Magic Bullet but somehow I can’t bring myself to throw away these boxes.

What am I do to in the midst of all this chaos?

Some may describe my situation as some variation of nesting or “marking my territory” but I prefer to see it as laziness. Laziness to the extent that I am refusing to deal with household issues and duties that used to consume my Saturday mornings as a child.

Either my parents warped by senses totally through my upbringing or I just need licks. I prefer to believe the former. Whatever was deemed to be slave work for me as a child, somehow I rebel against doing it as an adult.

To go into why I do these things would mean entering my mind and I am told it is not a nice place to be with all the million and one thoughts floating around vying for supremacy as my main thought.

Oh well….I see my confession to you as therapy for me and so let the healing begin…..

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Books, Emotions, Humor, RANT, Uncategorized

 

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Sunrise Sunset


The older of my two sisters,Zamora, called me around midnight to ask me for a ride home from a lime she attended.  NOTE: I live in Diego Martin. She lives in Arouca. The party was in IndianBay, Chaguaramas. Obviosuly I running a taxi service!!

Seeing that it is my sister, I had no problems climbing out of my bed and picking her up. The first question on my mind wasIndianBay?? Why the hell is she atIndianBay? Who the hell does she know that will be so classless to hold a birthday party there? Of course the answers that came to me cannot be written here for fear of being called some measure of a racist. Nuff Said!!!

I drive down and survey the scene on parking:

– My sister talking with two rather large individuals aka the TWO TENORS 

– There are two guys sitting together chatting under a whisper (suspicious)

– A fat guy in the distance is fanning himself with a piece of card board

– Food is all over the place

Deduction: Hmm guess there really was a party here.

My sister spots me but she continues to chat with the two tenors while i just find the environment in which my car is parked is not ideal. She then comes over like 5 minutes later with one of the guys that I saw chatting whose actions I found looked a bit suspicious. She introduces him as Richard and he extends his hand for shaking. I am a bit apprehensive to touch his hand but in every circumstance, the driver is an intimidating character until you ascertain how friendly they are. She then asks me if I can drop a friend home in Barataria ( i assumed it was this Richard guy) to which i nodded.  Lo and behold the “Fanning Fat Guy” appears and apparently he is the one receiving the ride. I cringe slightly at the weight in the back of my car but realise that I am just being a mean ole fart for thinking such things. It is only when he sits in the back and i get a whiff of “sweat a la Fat Guy” that i realise why he was fanning so furiously before. (All Car Windows are immediately rolled down, Aircondition is turned off).

This Richard guy then escorts my sister to her seat and stands there for a while chatting while i am thinking that i need to sleep. (Didn’t they have time before to chat? If he wasn’t talking with the other guy then this conversation would not have been necessary.) Hmmmp!!!!

Well we drop off FFG in Barataria and as soon as we hit the highway I begin the interrogation:

———————–Start of Conversation————–

ME: Was that a UWI Lime? (My little sis is going to be a 2nd Year UWI student come September)

Zamora: No, it wasn’t. It was a…..well……

Me: Don’t tell me you met these people online or something?

Zamora: No. Nah not at all. The guy who you shook hands with is kinda my boyfriend.

ME (Internally): Lord Jesus my little sister have a man! She is not ready!!

ME (open voice): What do you mean kinda? Either he is or he isn’t.

Zamora: Well, he is.

ME (Internally): Strength Lord. Give me Strength

ME: OK

Zamora:Yeah today was his birthday and his mom threw this party for him atIndianBay. It was really cool

ME (Internally): OK

ME: So you know I have to find out more information. What does he do?

Zamora: Sigh…. He works…

ME: Where??

Zamora: (Deep Breath then exhale) He works at Hi-Lo West Mall

ME (Internally): Lord She dating someone who packs groceries!!!.

ME: Don’t tell me he packs groceries?

Zamora: Yeah he does that but he also does other stuff like sometimes he is a cashier etc.

ME (Internally): Headache Headache Headache

ME: OK that’s cool (PAUSE). (Place AD HERE) So how long have you two been dating?

Zamora: About two weeks

ME: Where do you know him from? Who introduced you to him? Does he know Jesus as His Lord and Personal Saviour?

Zamora: (Deep Breath and Exhale) Sigh…..I knew him from when i attended St. James Secondary and a friend from UWI reintroduced us a while back and we have been chatting since. Yes he knows Jesus.

ME: Of course, everyone knows Jesus but are they close?

Zamora: No Not Really

Zamora: He meets me after work and drops me home to Arouca despite the fact that he lives in Cocorite.

ME (Internally): I can’t have my sister dating a Hi-Lo packer!! This must end. She can do better. She is a UWI student dating someone who couldn’t find a decent job. WHY Lord WHY??

Zamora: Things are tight at his home and he can’t afford to do  the things he liked to do, like a course in Computer Graphics and animation. He works really hard.

ME: Well if he makes you happy then by all means be happy. The minute he starts stressing you out. Call Me

At this point she was going to say something and then she leans over and tries to hug me. I quickly remind her of the “No Touching Stefan” rule.

Me: I say have fun. You are young but I know you have a good head on your shoulders.

Zamora: Yeah let me have my fun

ME (Internally): She better not be talking about sex. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

ME: Cool

————————End Of Conversation—————-

 

This little conversation made me realise two things:

1. I am too snobbish for my own good

2. I should take lessons from my sister and taking chances on people.

Too many times I dismiss women for one reason or another as being totally unsuitable. If I am not discriminating based upon educational Levels, I am doing it based upon weight or the woman’s propensity to beat my ass up should I fall out of line. Granted some of the women I have dated have been a bit mentally unstable, that however doesn’t  dispute the fact that I have never given any of them a chance to grow with me or for me to see another side of them. I seem to run away faster than Asafa Powell at a 100m race.  I need to stop doing that. 

Other than that, i seem to want to keep my sister at the age where I remember having to take her to Ballet lessons every Wednesday. My wake-up call was tonight when i realised for the first time that she is grown up. She is 20 and such a beautiful woman but no one else is supposed to notice that. (Or do they?)

Anyways, I dropped her off, got the necessary information on the boyfriend and will google him later to find out if he has left traces of himself on the internet. No longer do i assume that a Bagpacker will not know how to surf the web. We are living in some truly progressive times and there are internet cafes all over the place. Other than googling him, will see if i can pick up anything otherwise. Actually I should just leave well enough alone and get a life.

I will just google him. That won’t hurt anyone. (Good Compromise Stefan!!)

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he get to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

 

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

——————————————————————————————————–
 
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Posted by on July 20, 2006 in Family, Relationships

 

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