Really, I had no idea. It was Christmas Day and I had put a fourteen pound turkey in the oven at 8:00am, thinking it would be fully cooked by noon, since that’s what the Butterball website said. When it was still registering eighty degrees at 1:00pm, we started to get worried. John shoved the thermometer in the bird’s thigh and closed the oven door. We were all relaxing in the livingroom when a noxious smell filled the house. The thermometer was melting in the oven. I have no idea why; the lady in the Butterball video left her thermometer in the oven and it was just fine. John pulled it out, rinsed it off, and laid it on the countertop. When I asked him if I could throw it away, he gave me a dirty look. I shrugged rebelliously and in the trash it went.
Let me a backtrack a little: I am the only thing that stands between my husband having a normal life and being a full fledged, off the hook hoarder. We have a drawer with fifty pounds of electrical cords in it. There are dead batteries, decades old business cards, and ATM receipts in his nightstand drawer. Simply put, he doesn’t like to throw shit away. Literal shit. I’m a Navy wife, and holding on to things that aren’t useful is unthinkable. Packing up garbage and moving it every two to three years isn’t done. It’s one of the few things we disagree on, which is good, I suppose.
Back to the turkey. I tried not to worry. I’d just killed myself putting together a wonderful holiday for my family. The shopping, the holiday outings, all the things; who cared if the turkey took a little extra time to cook? I turned the kitchen exhaust fans on and opened windows to get the melted plastic smell out of the house and tried to not worry.
John disappeared, then ran back into the kitchen, breathless and wearing his sunglasses. He’d tried to locate a meat thermometer at Walgreen’s but had no luck. Then he disappeared again, and a few minutes later came back in the kitchen holding a multimeter to which was attached a metal prong, which he inserted into the turkey:
A redneck (or geeky, depending on how you want to label it) meat thermometer, and it worked. The turkey was indeed cooked through. We let it rest for a few minutes, then he carved it. Instead of still being pink on the inside or exploding in a cloud of poultry dust like the turkey that Cousin Catherine cooked in the movie Christmas Vacation, it was absolutely perfect. A good dinner was had by all, and after the dishes were done, I took a well deserved nap.
After I woke up and rolled downstairs to help myself to leftovers, John confessed that he’d fished the broken meat thermometer out of the garbage, washed it, and attached the metal probe to the multimeter wires. I guess he’ll hold on to it by hiding it from me out in our garage. He tried to keep the burned thermometer display thingy but I took care of that when he wasn’t looking.