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Terri Hunter

I hate to admit that I have never cooked a turkey in my entire life. Until I was 54 years old, my precious and long-suffering mother cooked every Thanksgiving turkey I enjoyed eating except for one.

Turkey fryers were all the rage. My husband, Walter C. Hunter, had acquired one and was anxious to give it a try. So, I told my mama not to fret. We would be in charge of the turkey. Neither she nor my dad were enthusiastic about the idea of a fried turkey, but I managed to convince them it would be delicious and would spare her the effort.

I had put that frozen bird into the refrigerator to thaw according to directions. We took it and the fryer along with the gallons of required oil to my parents’ house and set up the operation a reasonable distance from the house, just in case. I opened the packaging, patted around on the turkey, and put it on the poultry holder.

Walter further tortured that poor bird by injecting it unmercifully with some kind of seasoning, as my unconvinced parents looked on.

My dad accompanied Walter as he carried the bird to the fryer and lowered it into the heated oil. They stood there and watched it as Mama and I worked in the kitchen preparing the sides.

Finally, the bird was ready. It was a sight to behold as Walter proudly carried it into the house. He placed it on the counter for all to admire, and it did look delicious.

Unfortunately, while we admired the turkey, the entrails, which were now also deep fried within their bag, dropped out of that turkey right onto the counter. Both parents were watching, of course, and saw the whole debacle before it could be hidden, resulting in them losing even the tiny bit of faith they had once had in our turkey-cooking ability. I believe Daddy even said, “Dad-lem,” which sorta summed up the whole ordeal.

I take full credit and responsibility for the lack of turkey knowledge. Despite it all, the turkey was delicious.

Having told this sad tale previously, I was amazed at how many others had no idea the giblets were stuffed into the turkey until they were discovered in an experience similar to ours.

Since the packaging does not carry a warning, you can get it from me. There is a bag of stuff inside that turkey you really, really need to remove before cooking.

Happy Thanksgiving!