It's not nice to fool Mother Nature

Frozen condensate pipe for our gas hot air heater, requiring we suck out the condensate the pump is trying to push through the ice, or deal with restarting the system. Our area is not designed for these temps, though happily we missed out on the worst of what everyone had.

Was really expecting to have to deal with some downed trees. Lots of rain followed by high winds tends to be a recipe to knock down trees in this shallow root heavy clay area. Then again, we could use more firewood after these few days of cranking up the wood stove, but typically it’s a pine that falls.

thrilled to have such minor problems, and everyone here safely


Not to mention jobs to be at for many. We would have moved Christmas to a nicer time of year if Youngest, who is less than one year into his job, didn’t need the extra holiday time for his plans. We retirees are blessed.


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I would add that “we” here on TMF are, as a whole, more blessed that the average bear.
Not only are “we” retired, I suspect that as a whole, we are:

  • financially able to say “no” to many/most of the activities to which we object.
  • more educated,
  • more aware of our options,
  • older and self confident in our independence.

I try to remember and be GRATEFUL for these attributes/blessings. Weekly, if not daily.

Grateful to be :fire:


It’s an ill wind…, as they say.

After planning for our customary cosy Christmas, the numbers expected for Christmas Dinner rose from 5 to 13 with possibly some more “maybe” at the last minute as travel plans were disrupted for a slew of my daughter’s employees (vets and vet techs). Friday she casually mentioned there’d be room at her table for everyone and an unexpected number took her up on the offer.

Had to zig zag between home and daughter’s to round up extra chairs and kitchen appliances and with a couple of attendees pitching in sides and ethanol a VERY fun time was had by all. One of the funnest Christmases, in fact and, along with good cheer etc a whole slew of folk were introduced to Christmas crackers, Christmas pudding, mince pies, Bird’s custard etc (along with history trivia behind said traditions/habits). We still have leftovers for today

Thankful for getting off lightly with the storm…we weathered the -15 temps in comfort…and the ability to make last minute changes of plans (rather than having the changes foisted upon us). Temporarily thankful that my son in law likes open plan homes…

Happy Boxing Day


Same thing with a bus load of Korean visitors who got stranded in the Buffalo area. After the initial trauma, a splendid time was had by all:


My parents had an open door policy for Thanksgiving, and with 4 kids in college at the same time, our table was often very full with classmates that couldn’t get home and very diverse. Always a good time. Dad just simply put an order in at the grocery store for the largest turkey they could get, often around 25 lbs. I still buy the biggest bird I can get my hands on as well. The explosion of leftovers that can go to the freezer and pulled out later are wonderful.

Thanks for bringing back those memories.



I remember the year Mrs. Goofy’s father did that, and the bird was too big to fit in the oven. Don’t remember how that problem was solved, but I remember the kerfuffle about it - just like I remember the year my Dad put a whole table’s servings of artichoke leaves down the garbage disposal, completely clogging it just before the cleanup of the rest of the table. Try working around that for a Thanksgiving family dinner!


Oh no!!! There were 8 of us in the family. We had a big oven. My cooking skills at home were all centered around cooking for an army!

That would be worse. That man needed to spend more time in the kitchen to better understand how things worked.

Hope you had a happy holiday! Enjoy those memories!


So, although my daughter’s kitchen in her new home is big and well laid out with all the appurtenances of a “cook’s kitchen” her built in oven is just the regular size oven microwave combo. More than adequate under normal circumstances. She’s already planning around revamping that to either a proper double oven or adding an extra free-standing job in place of some cabinetryl

A lot of my UK friends and relatives are checking in to see how we’re fairing…and a girlfriend related a tale from last Christmas. Her daughter had moved up to just outside Inverness a couple of months before last Christmas. Her grandkids were 7 and 9 at the time and had put in requests for games and what-not for Christmas that all required electricity.

They woke up Christmas morning to 4 ft of snow…and no power, water etc. They had a woodburning stove for warmth and melting snow for water along with a barbecue for cooking a make shift meal but by lunchtime everyone was a bit frustrated. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence, apparently, and their neighbours appeared with oil lamps and extra candles etc. There were only 4 homes nearby…all without power…and so they pooled resources and had get togethers for entertainment. Storytelling, board games, music etc. Apparently a decent time was had by all and when the power came back 3 days later, the kids were actually disappointed.


We love our Ninja Foodi countertop oven.

Recently paid much less, $200 shipped, from Costco. Toasts great, fits a IIRC 14lb turkey, can cook multiple racks at once. We almost never use our regular sized oven anymore, as this preheats in seconds, not minutes. Also have an independent counter top roaster that fits those 25lb birds, and doubles as a stock pot to make the turkey stock afterwards. This one isn’t the one I have, which I paid sub $50 for a few years ago, but it’s similar: : Electric Turkey Roaster Amazingly easy to use, producing some of the best turkeys ever, with the added bonus that I can use it to roast outdoors on the deck if I don’t want to add the heat load to the house. Obviously can be used for things other than turkeys.

As infrequently as a second stove is needed, these options may be an alternative way to go.



That was a lesson learned, I guess it was about 1968, new to us Young America, 1000 sf home, and no idea the limitations of those magical disposals! Solid bones were another disaster at another time, egg shells another, slowly we learn, eh? Home ownership had new challenges!

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On the verge of purchasing this. I think I must be the only person I know who doesn’t care for a home filled with the smell of roasting turkey so being able to cook the bird outside is a big plus. One question…does it brown the bird? I can’t see why not but the reviews mention the moistness of the cooked turkey and moist and brown are oftentimes illusive for me.

Somewhat, but not like a regular oven and probably the biggest weakness of the one I have, anyway. You can put that question out on Amazon and see if that specific unit does so. Mine was super cheap and at a discount store. You could possibly transfer to a roasting pan, (I tie a string handle to the bird so it can be lifted in and out easily…two circles of poultry string encircling each end of the bird, with a bridge/handle linking the two circles,) and then broil. The best all around turkey I have ever cooked was in a convection oven. Beautifully brown crispy skin, moist and juicy white meat, takes less time. I do love not having the messy oven with my stand alone roaster though.

Hands down the best tasting meat was in the roaster…best presentation was in the oven. Ease of cleanup…roaster by far.


who will buy on sale and cook several birds a year


I found the trick many years ago. A turkey bag results in the perfect turkey. Every time without fail. Just assemble the turkey as usual, I’m partial to liberal garlic+other spices and some sort of citrus (maybe 2 or 3 oranges cut up into pieces). Place it inside the bag, seal it as directed, and bake low and slow for hours (depending on size of turkey). I recall that I once did a ~22lb bird for 6 hours. Then once the turkey is nearly done, remove from bag, there will be plenty of juices, and roast at normal temp (350, 375, etc) for 20-45 minutes to brown the outside. Always juicy, always delectable, even the white meat.

Like this one, but any brand will do. It’s just a bag.


If you are comfortable with Sous Vide, a big bird - the biggest - is really just about finding a large enough bath of water to cook it in. Browning (or searing) is an after treatment, as usual.

Steaks, Prime Ribs, roasts, kettles of vegetables all cooked to within a degree of perfect with no attention and no need to keep warm or adjust meal timing due to fast/slow cook.

I’m sure I could do it, but a 35lb bird fits here, if you ever find one. 3 Counts Turkey Brining Bag by ECOOPTS | 26"×22" Extra Large Brine Bag | Thickened Brining Bag Holds Up to 35 Pounds | Double Zippers Seal Brine Bags | BPA Free (3 Brine bags) : Grocery & Gourmet Food

I cooked TWO 25lb birds at the same time this year. Smoked, then sous vide, finally roasted for 25 minutes to crisp the skin.

6 hours total cooking time.


Something I noticed, the local “news” did not report a single occurrence of someone burning down their garage, deep frying their bird. Is deep frying no longer a fad, or were people simply lucky this year?



Good ideas! What temperature was recommended and did you follow that advice? Also, is there a temperature allowance considered for the later oven roasting? I’m guessing everything turned out very well :smile:


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So, I’ve ordered the IP recommended roaster and taking note of other suggestions too. Won’t be here in time for New Year but I doubt we’ll be needing it because of the numbers then. It might just save a few kitchen cabinets at my daughter’s.

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Since we have our own septic system I never put anything down the disposal that is larger than 1/4". Everything goes into the trash.