Ron and I had been married almost 1 1/2 years.
We were living in a little Duplex on Stevens Road in Lake Worth, FL
Our baby, Curt, was 5 months old
I was 21
I was a newly called Relief Society President
(President of the Women's Organization at Church)
There was a family in our Congregation who was very needy. No money, Little Food, Lots of Children, Health Challenges, etc.
From Gifts, Decorations, Clothing, Food, etc. plans were in the works to make sure this Christmas would be memorable as well as meet their basic needs.
As Christmas Week approached, it became known that this family had anothe challenge.... their oven did not work and even if it did, the mother was unable to do much cooking/baking.
Quickly, I realized that it would not be possible to deliver an uncooked turkey to them and expect it to be baked in their kitchen.
NO PROBLEM...I had the solution. I (who had NEVER cooked a Turkey on my own) would cook the turkey at my house and ask a few others people to cook the other meal items. We would deliver an already cooked meal that could be re-heated in the MICROWAVE someone had just given them.
So.....I went to work....Cooking The Turkey THE WAY I WATCHED MY PARENTS COOK A TURKEY YEAR AFTER YEAR....IN A BROWN GROCERY BAG (This was pre-Reynolds Oven Bags Days) The Brown Bag Method always produced a moist delicious turkey with no need to baste, etc.
I must add another HUGE FACTOR here: Ron's mother (My mother-in-law) was visiting and NOT SOLD ON THE BROWN BAG TURKEY BAKING METHOD at all. It took a serious sales pitch before I could proceed with this cooking method.
Somehow, I convinced her it always works for my parents and would be the best way to cook the turkey.
The Turkey was prepared, placed in THE BROWN BAG, and placed in the oven to bake.
Curt was down for a nap and I asked my mother in law to keep an eye on him as he slept and another eye on the Turkey...NO NEED TO CHECK OR BASTE, etc just keep your eye out while I MAKE A QUICK TRIP TO THE GROCERY STORE.
An Hour later, I came home to this scene:
Grandpa David (my mother in law's husband) and my mother in law were in the front yard ROLLING THE TURKEY AROUND ON THE GRASS AND BEATING IT WITH DAVID'S BEDROOM SLIPPERS.
Somehow, someone had brushed up against the Oven Temperature Dials (on the front of the oven)and turned the Temperature to BROIL!!!!!!
Yes...you guessed it....The BROWN BAG AND THE TURKEY HAD CAUGHT ON FIRE.
Black smoke was pouring out of the oven, and permeated our apartment.
Needless to say...My mother in law was NEVER sold on The Brown Bag Turkey Baking Method (even though I continued to use this method for many years to follow)
That Needy Family...They had a wonderful Christmas. We bought a new turkey, baked it (not in a Brown Bag) and delivered a lovely meal to them along with piles of gifts and extra groceries to get them through a very rough time.
As for the turkey that was rolled around on my front lawn....we cleaned it up, continued to bake it and had delicious "SMOKED TURKEY". We laughed for many years about inventing our own method to smoke turkey.
And Curt....he slept through it all.
Have you ever used a Brown Grocery Bag to Cook a Turkey?
Have you ever heard of this method?