A year or so after my maternal grandmother died, my mother found a cassette that contained a recording of my grandmother reciting her Thanksgiving turkey recipe. We listened carefully and took notes, hoping to gain the knowledge to bake he juiciest, most savory bird.
“Let’s see, first, you remove the neck and giblets from ol’ Tom Turkey.
Then you want to rub him–inside and out–with kosher salt, which is the kind of salt Jesus’ people used back in the New Testament.
Next, place ol’ Tom in a stock pot and cover him up with cold water, then put him in the ice box overnight.
Before I go to bed, I always say a prayer for ol’ Tom, because when you’re cooking dinner for 20 people, you need all the help you can get.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and rinse off ol’ Tom, then brush him real good with 1/4 cup of melted butter.
Place ol’ Tom breast-side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff a chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped stalks of celery, a sprig of thyme, 1 bay leaf, and a bag of unpopped popcorn up his behind.
Scatter another chopped onion, two chopped carrots, and two chopped stalks of celery around bottom of roasting pan and cover with a cup of dry white wine.
Roast uncovered for about 3 1/2 hours or until the popcorn pops and blows ol’ Tom’s butthole off.”
My mother and I looked at each other and laughed. Even in death, Memaw had a sense of humor.