We celebrated on Saturday, November 30 since Thursday is business as usual here--besides, both my daughter and I didn't want to skip our ballet classes.
When I picked up our 15-lb (7.5 kilo) bird at the market, the lady handed it to me with a cheerful, "Happy Advent!"
Here I am busy with the pilgrims, the Indians and the harvest festival, while the Germans already have their noses into Christmas. Way in. Christmas trees have sprouted everywhere by the middle of November. Their harvest festival was at least three weeks ago.
The day the turkey had to go into the oven was also the day we had to visit another gymnasium for the child who will go there next year (it was great, except for the nuns) and get my daughter to ballet class, too. So we charged home at 11:00 and I speed-smeared the bird with butter (after rinsing it off, of course, and removing what passes for giblets around here--a neck. I cut off the parson's nose and those two items became the basis for what turned out to be a really good gravy)
So I set them aside, and after smearing the bird with enough cholesterol to choke a camel, covered it with strips of bacon, stuffed it with the celery-bread-onion-butter stuffing I use every year, and put it in the oven at--this year--only 150º C (about 300ºF) where it incubated the whole time we were visiting the gymnasium. When we got home around 1:00 I examined and basted, and by 3:30 kicked up the heat to 160º C (320ºF) where it continued to bake nicely and only around 5:00 did I really turn up the heat to 200º (392º). For, maybe twenty minutes.
The turkey was as juicy and tender as it could be, accompanied by yams, mashed parsnips with baby carrots mixed in, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, mashed pumpkin mixed with a bit of the leftover pumpkin pie filling and baked, and cranberry-orange sauce.
We ate until we were comatose, drank champagne, sherry, and wine, watched Mr. Bean's Holiday and had apple pie, pumpkin pie, and ice cream.
I pasted the December 2 New Yorker cover of a car with a massive turkey tied to the rooftop on our door.