Friday, December 6, 2013

What's Making Me Happy: December 6

I didn't post a WMMH last week because of the book review, so I have two weeks of happy-making things to rummage through, yay!

First, Thanksgiving made me happy, of course. We hosted, and our extended family came over. The turkey came out beautifully because I did a brilliant thing. [Pauses to pat self on back.] It occurred to me that the trickiest thing about roasting a turkey is getting the inside to a safe temperature before the breast is overcooked. We had a 20-pound turkey on our hands, so this was an especially difficult problem. Spatchcocking works, plus is fun to say, but spatchcocking a big turkey is a bit of a process. I kept thinking, we need a way to cook it from the inside and the outside simultaneously. Therefore, we need something hot in that cavity. How about a rock? A rock holds lots of heat and is the perfect shape. I found a fist-sized river rock from our front yard, washed it, wrapped it in tin foil, and let it sit in the oven while the back of the turkey browned. When we flipped the bird an hour later, we popped the hot rock inside the cavity. Two and a half-hours later, miraculously, that huge turkey was cooked through. The breast was juicy and tender. It was perfect!

Also making me happy was another visit from a dear friend. This one was Lara, whom I've known since kindergarten. She came with her husband, daughter, stepson, and their exchange student from Norway, Torbjørn. (Which translates to "Thunder Bear," how cool is that? Although everyone calls him "Toby.") Here are two photos from a snowy hike we took — the same place I took Di only a few weeks earlier, if you can believe that. Toby thought it was kind of funny his first snow of the year happened in the desert southwest — his parents back in Norway hadn't even seen their first proper snow yet.

Finally, and related to these photos, I am happy about snow hiking. I love hiking year-round, of course, but snow hiking may be my very favorite kind. There is no peace like the peace of a snow-carpeted forest. I even found a half-frozen waterfall.


  1. Amazing photos! The snow in Vermont's been a bit wimpy so far but apparently we're getting some tonight.

    Congrats on your turkey triumph. My wife spatchcocked the sucker this year - worked well. We've done it with chicken before but never turkey. Yum!

    1. Was it very hard for her to cut the backbone out of a big bird, AS? I'd like to try both methods and see which one works best. I've only spatchcocked game hens and chickens before.

  2. I've never heard of spatchcooking, but now I really want to try it!

    I love those photos, too. There's something peaceful about hiking, but especially with the snow. Unfortunately it's not a safe thing for me to do anymore, but it's incredibly lovely to look at. Thanks for sharing your happiness! It makes me feel a little happy now too!

    1. I'm so glad! Would snowshoeing be a little safer for you? I've been tempted to try that so I could do longer hikes in deeper snow, but haven't got around to it yet. When we move up to The Hill it'll be a necessity, probably.


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