Accidents and Turkey

My apologies for being a bit MIA lately.

You never know when a second can change your life entirely.

It was a few months ago, when I was helping out in clinic. A patient had to be emergently transferred to the intensive care unit, and I offered to help, as I knew the fastest way there.

We raced through the hospital, weaving around corners, up and down multiple elevators, across many halls, before we arrived and safely dropped the patient off and told the story to the physicians about to take over for the care.

And then, while heading back, it happened.

While loading the bed onto the elevator, my left hand got smashed between it and the elevator wall.

It was instantly gigantic and purple. The next day, I found my fifth digit was broken, and a week later (once a bit of the swelling had gone down), I found out the joint was broken too, in addition to the tendons being ripped off and the finger being numb from the nerve damage.

For the three weeks, my boyfriend commented that my hand resembled that of Aunt Marge from Harry Potter (once he accidentally blows her up). After that, it looked like Dumbledore’s after he touched a horcrux. Sweet of him, I know (but in return, I didn’t have to clean the house….but I couldn’t cook, either!!!).

Now, for those of you that don’t know, almost all of anesthesia involves the use of one’s left hand. Which is why I thought long and hard. I had to have a lot of conversations and figure out what was best for me.

As of now, I’m officially a resident in internal medicine, instead of anesthesia. I’m fairly happy with the choice- I really debated between the two specialties, and this gives my hand a better chance at healing. At the end of the day, we all go into medicine to help people, and I still get to do that.

And this whole experience has made me really thankful for fingers.

Accident-Free Maple Bacon Brined Turkey

IMG_0934.JPG

It’s okay to break these bones.

Ingredients for the Brine
– 1 gallon water
– 3 whole carrots, broken in pieces
– 2 onions, quartered, skins on
– 3 stalks celery, broken in pieces
– 1 head garlic, sliced in half
– 1 apple, quartered
– 1 pear, quartered
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
– 2 tsp whole allspice
– 1 tbsp parsley (I freeze mine in ice cubes at the end of the summer)
– 4 leaves whole sage
– 1 tbsp oregano
– 1 tbsp thyme
– 1 sprig rosemary
– 1/2 c brown sugar
– 3/4 c kosher salt

Ingredients for the Bird
– 1 turkey
– Softened butter
– 1 lb bacon
– Real maple syrup
– Salt
– Pepper
– Poultry seasoning
– favorite recipe stuffing of your choice

Ingredients for the Gravy
– Pan drippings
– 2-3 c chicken broth
– 1/4 c all- purpose flour
– 1/2 c white wine

How-to
1) For the brine, add all of the ingredients to a stock pot except the brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, then add sugar and salt. Let cool.
2) Line a bucket with a garbage bag. Pour in stock pot mixture. Add in additional 1 gallon ice water and ice to bring mixture to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Add in turkey (weigh down with a pot lid so it doesn’t float, if necessary) and brine up to 18 hours.
3) The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4) Remove bird from water and pat dry.
5) Make stuffing.
6) Rub bird with softened butter, then sprinkle liberally inside and out with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Apply stuffing. Place turkey in roasting pan.
7) Tent breast of bird with foil and let cook for 1 hour.
8) After 1 hour, begin basting with maple syrup every 30 minutes.
9) After 2 hours, weave bacon into lattice. Place on turkey breast. Return to oven and continue basting every 30 minutes with maple syrup.
10) Turkey is ready when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (don’t hit bone!) reads 170 degrees.
11) Remove turkey from pan and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
12) Place pan on stove burners on medium high heat (I normally spread mine over two). Sprinkle in flour and scrape up browned bits on pan. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, then begin whisking in white wine, then chicken broth until it reaches your desired consistency.

Eat and enjoy!

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28 thoughts on “Accidents and Turkey

  1. Yikes. Sorry to hear about your accident. Making a specialty change is a huge decision. In time, going back to anaesthetics after some time in internal medicine isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Likewise an anaesthetic background in internal medicine is also a good thing.
    I recall a colleague who was in surgical training, lost both thumbs and then entered anatomical pathology training after having both great toes transplanted.

  2. Dear Domestic Diva.
    I’m so sorry to hear about your accident.
    Your right about how lives and directions can change in a second.
    Everybody knows this, but few are moved to action for more than a minute.
    You would think more of us would be encouraged to make each day full of excellence in our relationships, our passions, and our presentations because of this reality.
    Love what you do, do it in a way that shows this in all things.

    The turkey looks amazing!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and take care.

    Rodrigo

  3. Great to have you back in the ol’ blogosphere. Strange how it wasn’t the rushing but the normal routine stuff that did you in. I hope the healing continues to go well.

  4. Sorry to hear about your accident – but glad you are on the mend. I more thank anyone know how somehthing can happen in a blink of an eye and your life changes.

  5. Oh my goodness, I am glad you are okay! Pushing those hospital beds are always an adventure… Now that I’m finally a resident – I cannot imagine how hard it was for you to make the switch between specialties! Best of luck as you pursue medicine. 🙂

  6. Glad you are ok! I’m definitely keeping this recipe to try out in the future (might have to try it in smaller batches with a chicken first). Internal med can take a lot of heart and mental stamina (have you read the old classic “House of God”???)…if your writing is any indication, you’ll have a blast!

  7. eek! Such a trooper you are! I put a knife through my hand while trying to get the pit out of an avocado (poor knife skills), and a year and a half later, still no feeling in my finger. I guess you get used to it. And we’re definitely more thankful for those fingers! Hope you’re healing well.

    xxChristie
    http://www.KiKiMac.me

  8. O M G !!! You really, really, really did ‘a job’ on your hand. I can’t imagine the pain you’ve been in and the discomfort of not being able to use that hand… On another note – this recipe looks sooo fabulous – thanks for sharing in… Pinning It immediately!

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