The Turkey Roaster Story

Everybody has one… A slow cooker or turkey roaster story.

I may never forget listening to my mom and her best friend giggle about the disaster that happened one year at Easter. Mable and Lee had gone to her son’s for Easter weekend and joined in the process of putting the turkey in the oven to roast. As Gail searched the kitchen for her roaster, Mable prepared the turkey with a special rub, careful to get under each wing and into all the nooks and crannies of the thawed bird. After deciding to send her husband after a ‘discardable’ roasting pan to use for the day, she turned the oven to preheat and worked on the rest of the meal. Slowly the kitchen began to fill with a rank and disgusting odor. Since the aroma had the distinctive scent of heated spoiled something-or-other, Gail opened the oven to check.

In the oven was her roaster, complete with the left over remains and various nuances of Thanksgiving dinner’s turkey carcass, the last bird Gail had prepared in her kitchen. As the story goes… Replacing the roaster was cheaper than calling in an exterminator and toxic waste removal crew, so they took the roaster, carcass and contents to the dumpster and proceeded to celebrate Easter.

All while laughing at the demise of the Thanksgiving carcass and roaster, considering the thorough search of the house to eradicate the horrendous smell of dead “something” that arrived during the weeks prior to Christmas. So horrid was the aroma that much of the winter, they’d gone out to eat, because they couldn’t find the stench.

Thus began the discussion of the missing roaster in my kitchen earlier this morning. Of course, I knew it wasn’t in the oven, because my roaster is a counter model, operated with an electric cord. So, we searched the pantry. We searched under the sink. We searched every place that I might normally have put the roaster for most of the next 4 hours.

Then we stopped long enough for lunch and my youngest son came home.

While we were still laughing about the missing roaster, he enters the kitchen with a perplexing frown on his face. And we asked if he knew where the offending roaster might have been placed (since he occasionally cleans up after a big meal… You know, he MIGHT have put it away.

“Oh, it’s on the freezer.”

On the freezer? We quirk simultaneous eyebrows and ask.

“Yeah, I took it out to the garage to dump the turkey carcass in the trash bag and left the empty roaster on the freezer.”

We (my daughter and I) exchange that look that says, “I don’t want to clean that out.” And the evening goes on…

We found the turkey roaster. Soaked it in a bit of dish washing soap and hot water, came out smelling fresh and sparkling clean. No odor remained when we brought it inside, and no residual residues remained after cleaning it.

It is now wiped, dried and put away on the top shelf of the pantry where it has once again taken it’s non-cooking useful days as a keeper of the pretzels and school snacks, safely out of reach.

Totally happy that no turkey carcass was found meeting the eternal demise of the roaster… Yet once again, a turkey carcass story is in the making.


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