Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Our First Christmas in Germany and Making My First Turkey (Includes the Recipe)

Since I lost my picture of the tree in Germany in the USB drive crash, you can see Gir with the undecorated version in FL the year before.

Since we had just gotten our household goods a few days before Christmas, I was not sure how much of a holiday we would have or what we would do. We bought a little turkey, just under 4 pounds, a couple of days before Christmas. I searched for recipes online and settled on Mom’s Roast Turkey Recipe from Simply Recipes. I sent my husband out for the required ingredients. The recipe is for a bigger turkey, but I planned to just adjust the amounts.

The day of Christmas, we did a lot of unpacking and cleaning up the apartment. We managed to clear enough room that I was at least able to get out my Charlie Brown tree and decorate it. We were so busy doing that stuff that I lost track of time and didn’t end up getting the turkey out of the fridge until around five.

After searching a few places to see how long to cook a small turkey, I found I should cook it somewhere between 350*F and 400*F and anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes per pound. I settled on doing the first half hour at 400*F and the rest at 350*F. I told my husband that between the time to prep and cook it, we probably wouldn’t eat until about eight. He said that was fine and decided to invite a couple of friends over.

I have never cooked a turkey before, so pulling the giblets out of the turkey was a new and gross experience for me. Plus the turkey was quite cold on my hands since I hadn’t let it sit out at all. But I managed to get it done. I rinsed the turkey out under warm water which made it easier to work with.  My husband had me save the giblets for the dogs. Pfui (a German word I learned from Katrin which means icky). But they loved it.

Picture of the stuffed turkey from Elise’s recipe Mom’s Roast Turkey Recipe on Simply Recipes

In this recipe, you don’t cook stuffing inside the turkey. Instead, you put in salt and lemon juice and then put in some celery, carrots, and onions. For the size of bird, I only ended up using one carrot, one stalk of celery, and about a quarter of an onion. The recipe also suggests fresh parsley, but I didn’t have any, so I sprinkled some dried parsley in there.

Because the vegetables didn’t want to stay in, I followed the suggestion to cap the opening with tin foil. I found it a little difficult to get the feet to stay together while I tied the kitchen string around them, but I got it done. I also needed to tie the skin around the neck opening and another piece to hold the wings close to the bird.

I could have used melted butter or olive oil on the outside. I opted for olive oil. Then I covered it in salt and pepper. The directions call for cooking the turkey breast side down and putting several sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme on the outside. I didn’t want to overdo it, so I just put a couple sprigs of each next to each wing. As the bird cooked, the spices were the first thing we could smell, and it was a nice aroma to fill the kitchen.

Picture of the finished turkey from Elise’s recipe Mom’s Roast Turkey Recipe on Simply Recipes

As I was pulling the bird out, my husband told me our friends were already a couple minutes away. Since I had been cooking, I wanted to change, so I had my husband handle the rolls  and peas while I got ready. We cooked the stuffing together, which we made from a package and added some celery, onions, and mushrooms. Then, I realized we had forgotten to make the gravy. Fortunately the one friend who requested it said it was okay if we didn’t already have it made, so we skipped it.

The turkey turned out so nice and juicy and everyone seemed to like it even without the gravy. I would definitely use this recipe again. After we ate, we put on Team America World Police and drank shots of Jaeger. Not exactly a traditional Christmas, but it was as good time. Overall, I think it turned out really well for our first Christmas in Germany and my first time making a turkey.

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10 Thoughts on “Our First Christmas in Germany and Making My First Turkey (Includes the Recipe)

  1. How do you like Jägermeister? I am surprised that it is pretty famous in America!

  2. And I am glad you like the word “pfui”. :))

  3. Congrats on your first turkey! Seems like a successful Christmas, maybe the next one will be a bit more planned (with household goods and all). 🙂

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