Hot Time

Episode #785

February 17, 2024

It was a hot time in the old town that night.

One year for Thanksgiving my wife Paula challenged me to make a holiday feast.

I am a great fan of Racheal Ray, the TV cooking personality. One of her shows featured a one hour Turkey dinner. Perfect.

We invited 12 of our friends and relatives. The invitation read:

“You are cordially invited to a Thanksgiving feast. There is, however, a requirement to attend. Everyone will be the cook. Arrive by 3pm. We will eat at 5.”

The menu featured boneless turkey breasts. Myself and two guests were tasked with cooking the turkey. It was pan baked. I placed two breasts in each of two large cast iron skillets and sprinkled with salt and pepper. In a sauce pan someone combined and heated grainy mustard, maple syrup, and rosemary (from my garden). Chicken stock was poured into the frying pans and the maple rosemary glaze was poured over the turkey.

Both skillets were placed in a 375° oven.

Meanwhile, the stuffing was to be Chipotle Cornbread. It was a traditional stuffing, except that instead of sage the recipe called for canned chipotle peppers. Three of our guests made the stuffing. One guest cubed the stale cornbread and chopped the onions, celery and garlic. It was also her job to chop the chipotle. The other two guests melted butter, prepared the baking dish and combined ingredients to be cooked. The stuffing was placed in the oven with the turkey.

While the turkey and stuffing were cooking two other guests boiled and mashed potatoes. They added melted butter, chives and garlic. Finally, a package of Boursin garlic and chive soft cheese was added. 

The whole mixture was stirred and warmed on the stovetop.

Half way through the turkey baking (30 minutes) I basted the turkey with the glaze in the skillets.
The stuffing came out of the oven a beautiful golden brown.
The turkey filled the house with a marvelous aroma.
I sliced the turkey and placed it on a serving platter garnished with fruit.

Paula made the salad. Others prepared fresh cranberry sauce.

The rest of the guests set the table. Some poured ice water and wine.

We were all seated for dinner just a hour and a half after we began cooking.
We served ourselves family style, piling turkey, maple rosemary gravy, fruit, stuffing, potatoes, cranberries and salad onto our plates.

Silence fell as everyone dug in.

From the far end of the table I heard a small moan. The exclamations rolled down the table toward me like a rogue ocean wave. People were waving at their mouths and reaching for their water. The words, “stuffing, hot, yikes, burning…” crested from the rumble and crashed onto my ears.

There was something wrong with the stuffing. I turned to the stuffing crew. They were even more distressed than the rest. The person who chopped the stuffing ingredients had a horrified look on her face.

“It’s the chipotle!” she said. “When reading the requirement for ‘one small canned chipotle pepper’, I must have seen ‘one small can of chipotle peppers’.”

Thankfully, when we recovered from the heat, we all forgave the stuffing crew and enjoyed the rest of the meal.


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

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“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

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One Response

  1. Mark February 19, 2024

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