Turkey Basters: A Cautionary Tale

How it should have been. Image Credit: Ethan Lofton

By J. A. Awadalla

Okay, this one is pretty funny in hindsight. One time, I had the brilliant idea to get a turkey off-season because it was cheap and would last for a few days. We bring it home, defrost it, and my dad sets to work cooking it.

And then disaster strikes. Also, keep in mind that we got the turkey off-season.

The turkey wasn’t completely thawed out on the inside, despite the fact we were able to get the little bag out from the inside and our measly 9 x 12 glass pan is quickly filling with liquid. To prevent total oven carnage, my mom and I volunteered to run to Walmart and get a turkey baster so we can get the liquid out safely. With our desperate mission set, my mom and I raced out the door.

Our first destination on our epic quest was Walmart, a mere 5 minutes away. With my mom waiting in the car for me, I headed inside and directly to the kitchen equipment section. Not a single turkey baster was to be had. Anywhere. In a panic, I flagged down the nearest employee, explaining my plight and instantly getting a deeply sympathetic smile. Even so, they told me they likely wouldn’t have anything in until the next time Thanksgiving rolled around–close to a year after the fact.

I ran out of the store with my mom giving me a puzzled look and I explained that they didn’t have them at all, which baffled her. I suggested we try Target next since it was close–as in, literally across the street from Walmart–and we were running out of time. Target didn’t have them either! I found an employee and explained the situation; he returned the same pained smile the Walmart employee had.

“I would try the Dollar Store,” he told me. “They have all kinds of odd things in there, maybe they’ll have it.”

Good enough for me! Our next stop was Dollar Tree, right next door. I checked their kitchen section and didn’t find anything for a third time and I almost walked out of the store in defeat. Fortunately, I had the sense to give it one last try and got an employee to help me find the turkey baster.

And as though it were an ancient relic from a golden era, there it was. That sweet, sweet turkey baster. I paid, got out, and my mom and I rushed home. Only to find that we didn’t need it after all.

My dad, madman that he was, managed to get the turkey out of the oven, liquid and all, before it spilled over too much. I couldn’t help but scold him for doing something so dangerous by himself–I’m a worrywart, what can I say–but we wound up not needing the thing after all. With a defeated sigh, I dumped the baster unceremoniously into a drawer. It has not seen the light of day since.

Moral of the story: if you make a turkey, have a turkey baster on hand. 😂

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