I stand 5ft2inches in my stockinged feet. Knee-high to a grasshopper, my granddad said. Bumps her arse when she steps off the sidewalk, my dad said. The bird must have been about half my height. And he was weighty with it. Almost 4kgs; more than my daughter’s birth-weight.

My husband suggested, this past weekend, I do a trial run of Christmas lunch; two of our expected guests are chefs and I have never cooked a turkey before. I emailed, telephoned, Facebooked, consulted all my books … I was well-informed and ready.

My stuffing was a thing of great beauty: the innards of a lovely brown loaf, cranberries, onions, herbs and brandy … things were looking good. But holding four kilograms of chilly, naked Mister T with one hand proved a trial; he wouldn’t stay still; as I stuffed he slid around until there was nothing for it but to hug him to my chest while I filled his cavity.

Quite dirty by now, I took handfuls of pineapple jam and chopped ginger and gave his skin a good rubbing, then studded him with plums. Into the oven he went, with my perfectly calculated weight-per-minute roasting time calculations.

With great excitement we carved up and served. With great regret we discussed Plan B for Christmas lunch.  The turkey was fine; moist and tasty. But it was just fine. And I want something more than fine for Christmas.

I know what wine we’ll have with dessert though …

Aletta from TASTE magazine says: “If the reds were girls, the Cape Jazz would have to be the slutty one… it goes with everything!”


38 Comments Add yours

  1. MissChris says:

    I can’t imagine you cooking anything that is just fine! Your palette has probably become uber fussy!! Looked good and loved the way you had to hug the big bird!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Much ado about nothing, I thought …

  2. nrhatch says:

    Never mind the poor bird. Pour us a glass of that “accomodating” Cape Jazz Shiraz . . .


    Aah . . .

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s a very fine wine, at 9.5alc/vol it’s light enough to have at breakfast 😉

  3. Bummer, what a disappointment. If my husband was given the vote it would have to be a braai! Not that that helps you much. At least you have a wine that “goes with everything”.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hehehe, gotta love a slutty wine 😉

  4. slpmartin says:

    Wondering about how you prepared the turkey…did you brim it first…rub under the skin with spices and/or butter prior to baking…just wondering about those things since I did not see them mentioned in your post…oh…well off to bed in a few. 🙂

    1. buttercup600 says:

      Maybe another post you can give us all the finer detail girlfriend…looks good to me 🙂 Stof poepertjie oxoxoxo Mwah

      1. theonlycin says:

        It was a ‘sef-basting’ turkey with a ‘built-in’ meat thermometer,I just did the stuffing and the plum outer-prep.

        lmao @ stof poepertjie … bwahahaha!

  5. gospelwriter says:

    Too bad about the turkey – just fine would have been fine with me, but then I’m no chef… I would have thought, though, with that stuffing you’d have come out with an over-the-top turkey. Shame on him for not cooperating. Maybe he’s not the ‘huggy’ kind? 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      I guess he wasn’t a touch-feely guy ;p

  6. Well done for having the patience to do a not so dry run! My experience of mr T’s is quite extensive. I have cooked one each Christmas for about 25 years – and have tried all sorts of recipes – i have even encase the whole bird in a salt dough one year!!!! I need a concrete mixer to make the dough!!! But of all of the recipes Mr T’s seem to respond to slow – over night cooking with all of the traditional seasonings – chestnut pork sage and cranberry stuffing with bunches of herbs of the sage – thyme and rosemary variety – wrap the whole bird in bacon and then in tin foil – which keeps all the juices in – bung it into a hot hot oven for about an hour – then go to bed and turn it down to abour 80 degrees and leave it! Traditional seems to taste best – bread sauce by the bucket loads with roast tatties and veggies ………….. sigh! i love christmas lunch! xxxxxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll remember this if I ever attempt it again, thanks 😀

  7. I wish we were having turkey. But the powers of the kitchen down there want gammon and lamb. Not christmas food asfar as I;m concerned.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Gammon yes, but not lamb at Christmas?

  8. halfp1nt says:

    *sob* you’re a good three inches or so taller than me! Love the description of the Cape Jazz 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      WOW, you really are a shorty 😉

  9. Corina says:

    I’ve got a feeling that Cape Jazz is a girl after my own heart! Will have to give her a try 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Try all their wines; they have delightful names like Langarm and Vastrap 🙂

  10. souldipper says:

    Next Mr. T? Please call all of us on Skype so we can watch!! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Ha, you’d fall about laughing 😉

  11. Supa says:

    I’m not a turkey fan at all, thank goodness I don’t have to bother with anything this year as we are doing a Darby & Joan 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      A quiet sandwich at my desk is looking increasingly attractive as an option for Christmas Day…

  12. Tandy says:

    sorry it was not SUBLIME 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      A lesson learned 😉

  13. And one of the turkeys in Johannesburg is now doing a happy dance – saved! I’m sure you did a great job, I can’t imagine anything else from you.
    Sunshine xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Sunshine, I’d rather have had the turkey scrabbling around happily in my garden. xxx

  14. nursemyra says:

    Oh how I love a good shiraz!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Me too, have had gallons recently 😉

  15. granny1947 says:

    It looks delicious!!!
    Don’t think we are doing turkey this year.
    You will notice I have NO idea what we are having.
    I am so organised!

    1. theonlycin says:

      LOL, maybe you’ll get an invite from someone?

  16. Never thought I’d join you one day for all-star turkey wrestling, Cindy. I have a feeling it must have added immeasurably to the flavour….

    As for turkey, I think English tastes may be a bit tame: we always go for Delia, who is classic and safe. What does Nigella do with her turkeys? I’m off to her site to see if she indulges in turkey-wrestling too.

    1. theonlycin says:

      *goes to page through Nigella’s book*

  17. Rita says:

    The idea of plums is magnificent. What a pity the plum season is over here… I gotta wait till next year.

  18. Pseu says:

    Kate got there first, but I had already found the link for you!


    In my humble opinion the thing that makes a turkey great is the following list:

    good sausage meat stuffing, possibly with chestnuts, bacon and sausage rolls to serve on the side, a good flavoured bread sauce and excellent gravy made from the giblets. Oh, and cranberry sauce. And sprouts. And parmesan parsnips.

  19. Pseu says:

    Looks like a comment I’ve made has disappeared… perhaps for moderation!

    I also posted about your chicken and chorizo recipe BTW

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