Time bandits and promises

time_bandits.jpgFor a while now my parents and I stopped doing the big old gift exchange during the holidays. My father has always said, “Christmas is for kids.” It also doesn’t hurt that they bought me a washer and dryer this year. At that rate my father usually says, “You have Christmas all year anyway.”
So instead we usually do the large dinner and I decorate my own apartment — filling it to the brim with Christmas lights and garland. This year I took my Christmas tree over to their house. And I bought them both two presents. My mother seemed pleased but looked at me disapprovingly — begging to know how much I spent. To that I just said,
“You guys have done so much for me. Just let me do this for you.”
I made dad open his early. I was too eager. So on Christmas Eve I saw his eyes light up to the DVD of Time Bandits I bought him. We watched that movie so much, I grew up saying, “The little one?” If you have seen the movie you know what I’m talking about. There are these six little people and well, nevermind. Just know we quote this movie on a semi-regular.
My parents have the movie on one of those huge laser disk things. Not the sleek ones you see today. But the ones that looked like enormous 8-tracks. You had to inject the disks into this contraption and pull down a little lever. My parents still have a bunch of classics in those crazy things (The Muppet Movie, Star Wars, Richard Pryer’s Raw) but the old player doesn’t work anymore, of course. I spent years in my late teens, early 20s looking for Time Bandits on video cassette and could never find it. And then there it was, among all the other DVDs at Borders. Duh.
On to mom. One of the things I got her was a new cookbook. I bought her Nigella Lawson because I was sure she already had all the others — The Barefoot Contessa, Paula Deen, Tyler Florence …But I was wrong. She didn’t have any of them! Just Rachael Ray who I HATE! Anyway, I offered to exchange it but she wouldn’t have it. She was happy to see a different Food Network star in her hands. Which if you know my mother, you would know that she will just read the book but not use it. She likes to sit and read cookbooks. Her arthritis and feet are so bad now and combined with her extra weight, it is hard for her to stand at long periods of time. In fact this was one year that Christmas dinner was a complete chore and she elected my father and me to help. We didn’t start eating until nearly 3 p.m.! But every year she insists on cooking. And every year she complains more and more.

So I said that I was going to cook next year — at my apartment. I hate cooking in someone else’s kitchen. I told her she has a whole year to train in order to be able to go up my stairs. In return I promised a wonderful meal in a lovely Christmas setting. Dad of course will bring his famous cabbage and greens. As for the turkey, that’s going to be cooked at a local restaurant that does that kind of thing. No need in me taking on EVERYTHING quite yet. A turkey? By myself? Hell no.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. I used to love Time Bandits when I was a kid. I hope it’s not one of those movies that I would watch now and wonder what I ever saw in it (like Xanadu.) Thanks for the visual reminder!

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  2. hehe, such a great flick. I haven’t seen it in ages, but it is a classic! 🙂 You have a lucky dad!

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  3. Turkeys are not really hard. You just need a turkey bag. You stick the turkey and some flour in the bag and put it in the oven in a pan and let it cook and voila turkey.

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  4. [ps : this is coming from someone who really does not cook so if i say it is easy it is easy]

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  5. Ok. That is the second time this week someone told me about the turkey bags!!! I guess I will brave it then. Hopefully my oven is big enough. I do live in a matchbox! Arch and Allison, trust me–it’s still just as good as the first time!! I love this movie. It’s one of those that make you remember the good times…

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  6. No offense to your friends advice on turkey.
    I have made more turkey in one day than the average housewife will in 10 lifetimes. That is no exaggeration.
    First make yourself a bouquet garni. This is simply carrots , celery, and onions . For a turkey you want to have enough 1 inch chunks of the three to cover the bottom of your pan.
    No need to peel any of them. Just wash well and chop and line the bottom of your pan, celery leaves , onion peels, its all O.K. The celery leaves have the most flavor. Fill pan with water , enough to cover veggies.
    Clean your bird well, make sure you remove all parts inside, check front and rear cavities.
    Separate gizzards and heart and brown them lightly in pan on medium heat, dice , let cool, place in fridge.
    Salt and pepper your bird vigorously and thoroughly inside and out.
    Place small wire rack on top of veggies in pan, and then the bird on top off the rack.
    Do not preheat oven. Place bird in oven and then turn on oven to 350. Roast bird at 15 minutes for each pound. If the bird gets too brown make a tin foil tent to place over breast until done. Its done when you stab the deepest point (between thigh and breast) with a skewer and no red juice comes out.
    When turkey is done place it on a rack too cool a little . In the meantime pour juices in pan through a sieve separating from veggies. Let the juices cool and use them instead of water when making packaged gravy mix. Chop gizzards and heart finely and add to gravy.
    No offense to anyone but cooking a bird in a bag is just a steamed turkey. And robs you of the traditional flavors involved in original roasting as caramelization is a key ingredient in flavors.
    This recipe has never rendered a dry bird ever.
    If you would like stuff the bird just make sure the stuffing cools before you place it in bird. A cool bird and hot stuffing will breed bacteria
    Enjoy, you have my e-mail if you ever want help in the kitchen.
    And maybe next year together we can give your mom a real treat.

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  7. Add five minutes per pound cooking time if you stuff the bird.

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  8. I am confused. Why would hot stuffing breed more bacteria than cold stuffing?

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  9. If the bird is cold and the stuffing is hot. Placing hot stuffing inside a cold bird gives a perfect temperature at the point of contact for breeding bacteria. Almost all poultry has some trace of salmonella. This why no one in their right mind eats raw poultry. From the time it takes the heat in the oven to reach the center of the bird you can breed enough bacteria to make someone sick. Leaving the bird at room temp any longer than necessary is not a good idea.
    The same goes for pork, it all has traces of trichinosis and should always go from chill to cook and be cooked till white at least.
    I feel like fucking Betty Crocker or some fucking food hotline.

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  10. LOL — thanks, Betty.

    Reply

  11. I’m going to have to bookmark this somehow…it’s gonna come in handy! Thanks Micky.

    Reply

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