November 24th, 2009


The annual turkey post, or, How To Bake Big Bird.

Back by popular demand, here is my family's turkey recipe. I share because a) I care, and b) apparently, some people have experienced dryness in their breast meat when cooking their turkeys in another fashion, whereas my mother once set a turkey on fire and still had moist breast meat. Despite the, y'know, flames. Any recipe that can survive flames is good by me.

You will need:

* A turkey. Duh. If you don't understand why you need a turkey, please go away.
* Ginger ale.*
* Olive oil.
* Fresh garlic. I use pre-crushed, because I am lazy. You're welcome to play Alton Brown and crush your own. I won't stop you, but I may laugh at you while I sit back and do my nails.
* Honey or molasses.
* Brown sugar.
* Dry spices according to your specific taste. I use a mixture of sage, thyme, and rosemary. One of my cousins uses curry powder. It's all you.
* Salt and pepper.
* Something vegetable to shove into the turkey. More on this in a second.

* A roasting pan of some sort. The cheap aluminum ones at the grocery store work fine; just make sure they fit your turkey before buying them.
* Foil.
* A way to get the turkey out of the roasting pan, because that sucker will be hot and heavy.

You may want:

* A turkey thermometer. Sexy, sexy little things that they are.
* A turkey baster.
* A meat brush.

(*As far as ginger ale goes, I recommend Canada Dry. If your bird is between zero and sixteen pounds, you will need two liters. If your bird is between sixteen and twenty-five pounds, you will need four liters. If your bird is over twenty-five pounds, I am coming to your place for dinner. Add two liters if you are using one of those fancy-ass roasting pans where your turkey is on a rack and getting sort of steamed by the liquid evaporating beneath it, because those suckers use up your basting liquid like nobody's business. Don't use diet soda unless everyone at your Thanksgiving likes the taste of aspartame.)

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Current stats:

Words: 5,017.
Total words: 90,318.
Reason for stopping: in the middle of the big boom in chapter twenty-three. BOOM.
Music: this week's episodes of NCIS and Dexter.
Lilly and Alice: taking up a physically improbable amount of space on my feet. So I have this thing where every day, I put any specific writing goals for the day on my to do list. Because the to do list is my lord and master. Right now, every day, I'm putting "2,000 words, DA" on the list, and every day, I'm checking it off before plowing onward for another few thousand words. Why? Because I have hit the point where I literally can't stop. I eat, sleep, breathe, and dream this book. I inhabit this book even when I'm not working on it. I'm spending half my time (or more) in a fictional reality full of madness and monsters and manic dance numbers breaking out in the middle of nowhere. This is normal for me as I approach the end of a first draft. It really is. But it's been a while since I did this part, and it's making my fingers hurt.

90,000 words means that I'm 15,000 words, give or take, from the end of draft one. I realize I've been hitting that data point a lot, but um, holy crap, end of draft one. This is the book I started on a whim. The book I never lost enthusiasm for, but shelved repeatedly while I worked on things that had actual deadlines. The book that, let's be serious here, kicks off a new series. I needed three of those, right? They're like cats. You're not a crazy cat lady until you have more than four (even if Margaret says that by 2014, mathematics prove that 80% of all books will be written by me).

Also, at my current rate of speed, you won't be getting these updates for all that much longer. So there's that.

Soon, I hope to explain to the people who've only read Toby why, exactly, I felt the need to spend my time in a universe filled with cryptozoologists in skimpy outfits, asbestos blondes, ketchup milkshakes, ballroom dancing, high heeled shoes, and, of course, talking mice. And my answer to them will be, in no uncertain terms...CHEESE AND CAKE!