On Thursday, most of the teachers (at least the ones not from Togiak) got together to have a little Thanksgiving. There were about 20 of us in total. We all volunteered to bring items to our Turkey-day potluck. Kaitlyn volunteered to bring rolls and I volunteered to bring a turkey. Kaitlyn made some awesome layered rolls, which were gone very quickly. I was excited for the challenge to cook the turkey. Last year was the first time I’d ever attempted cooking a turkey and I did it with the help of both of my parents. It turned out really good. This year I had to do it by myself. I had read over a bunch of recipes and watched a bunch of foodnetwork.comvideos to prep myself. I felt relatively confident in my game plan. I decided that I wanted to brine my turkey first. This is a salt water bath the turkey takes overnight before it goes in the oven. The brine replaces the water already in the meat with salted, flavored water. As a positive side note, the salt in the brine helps increase retention of the replaced water in the meat, which helps keep the meat from becoming too dry while cooking, and the flavor helps the meat taste good. As I saw it, it was a good choice.
I brined the turkey at my apartment, then took it to the school to cook it. (If you’ll indulge me for a few min, I like to say how I cooked the turkey.) I first coated the turkey in some oil and then put it in a 500° F oven for 30 min. The high temperature helps develop a deep color on the skin. After 30 min, I dropped the temperature to 350° F and put a probe thermometer in the breast meat. I had calculated that if I covered the breast meat with aluminum foil and waited until the meat reached 161° F the breast meat would be done when the dark meat reached about 180° F. It seamed to work well. The white meat was flavorful, juicy, and cooked just right. The dark meat cooked just right as well. The turkey turned out great. I always appreciate comments about how good my cooking is, but the best comments are always when people are “wowed” and just can’t get enough of the food and continue to go back for more. This was one of those times.
Kaitlyn and Basketball: Each year during the thanksgiving weekend, here in Togiak, there is a community basketball tournament. (Nothing gets this town going like basketball.) Kaitlyn decided to play with a team of other teachers and aides. She hadn’t played basket ball since she was 12. As you could imagine, she was the less experienced out there. None the less, I think she was in the best shape. Her team went 0-2. There first game went into overtime; they lost by 4. Her second game was a blow out where the other team scored more than 20 points than Kaitlyn’s team.
When we came back I was informed that my senior wanted to quit and start with basketball. This left me in a predicament. I have been taking 5 guys to all my matches. 4 high school and 1 middle school. The only match we have left is Regionals in Bethel, which will happen next week. Middle school doesn’t wrestle post-season, so he’s out. One of my high school guys is a high functioning down syndrome guy. Post-season isn’t a place for him, so he’s out. Collar bone break guy is out for the next 4-6 weeks, so he’s out. My senior just quit, so he’s out. Which leaves one guy left, a freshman first year wrestler. This was tough. I only have one guy left on my team. It’s going to cost $2,300 to charter a plane to go to Bethel. The school doesn’t want to pay that much money for one wrestler, especially if he isn’t going to be a big contender. Long story short, wrestling is over. It’s been quite the trip, although, I am very excited to have my planning time back for school. I was hired to teach, and that’s what I really want to do.