Believe it or not this story is true – Well, almost.
This is my favourite personal Christmas story which brings back memories of when I was a pretentious thirty-something. Then I believed, rather foolishly, that roasting the biggest turkey you could get, at Christmas, was a status symbol of note. Thank the lord those days are now long gone.
I talked to my cousin and family butcher Norman who said “I can get you a big freelance (he always called free range, freelance) turkey but you must order it in June so we can fatten the bugger up for Christmas.” And so I did; checking with Norman to make sure he got it weighed every day! When the turkey’s time came to meet its maker, be plucked, which must have taken some time, and delivered, it weighed in at around thirty pounds and looked more like a small ostrich than a turkey.
What Norman forgot to tell me was that if I wanted to roast it whole, which of course I did, I would need to buy a new oven and hire the services of a taxidermist! We had to make a plan quick, so on Christmas morning Norman drove to my house with a chainsaw and a few other tools he borrowed from the local abattoir and proceeded to transform the stupendous looking bird into a pile of meat and bones. He came up with a very ingenious idea, which I rejected. “Why don’t you let me take it back to the shop where I can de-bone it, mince the meat and probably make about 10,000 rissoles?”
It took about two days to cook and between Christmas and Easter we had roast turkey, cold turkey, turkey soup, turkey casserole, turkey curry, turkey pie, turkey sandwiches, turkey schnitzel, turkey burgers, turkey rissoles (not 10,000 though) and turkey sausages. I was well and truly stuffed in more ways than one.
The following year I came back to planet earth and casseroled a brace of sparrows!