Friday 11 December 2015

Dustin, Done and Dusted.

Dustin emerges from the American
deep-bath fryer. 
To a man (and woman), Irish 'kids' now grown up and our age, remember from their TV watching youth a classic character from kids' TV, Dustin the Turkey. Dustin was a glove puppet but not like any soppy, mamby-pamby puppet they had ever seen before. He spoke with a strong Dublin city accent and was given to (what must have been) deliciously irreverent and disreputable behaviour, playing up and 'messing' (misbehaving and bantering) in the studio and being outrageously rude to studio guests (well, within the limits of a National TV broadcast). He is now part of Ireland's 'classic TV' culture and is lately enjoying a new lease of life in pantomimes and so on.

Dustin carved up nicely.
This all explains why Sparks, the brother-in-law, decided to name "his" turkey Dustin, the one he collected from us on Wednesday, that we killed, plucked and dressed in my previous post. The plan was to cook this bird for a gang of Dublin builder mates tonight, all of whom would be well familiar with the TV Dustin and his antics. Sparks was also going to print one of our pictures of the bird in life, to put in a wee frame with a black ribbon, as if this was his wake. Sparks is a bit of a foodie and fancy chef, so he has bought this year (ordered from America) one of the latest 'things', a cylindrical deep-bath, outdoor, turkey fryer which looks a bit like the tea urn and cooks a 17 lb bird in about 45 minutes. The bird would also be brined for 24 hours, though I doubt it would need it.

Dustin's Dad (and Mum) out in the sunshine
Well, that is all done and dusted now, the fryer has done its thing and the suntanned bird has been carved up and by now, eaten. Sparks has put a few pics of this up on Facebook in which it looks splendid and I am quite proud of it. Sparks reported that Dustin tasted "Absolutely amazing, sooooo juicy, he was a credit to you". Thanks for those kind words Sparks.

Turkey #2 will have no such fancy fryer finish. He is Dustin's younger brother, at 5 months old (Dustin was 6 mths) and killed out at fresh weight 8.1 kg, oven ready at 6.2 kg (14 lbs). Liz was off to Silverwood land this afternoon, down to 'babysit' the children over the weekend while Mr and Mrs S nip over to the UK to sort out some family business. Turkey #2 went with her smuggled in 2 plastic bags and a towel in Liz's suitcase - she didn't think the staff and users of the Irish national rail service would appreciate a carcass hung by its feet from the baggage racks. I am not sure whether this bird will be roasted by Mrs S or by Steak Lady but I do expect that both the whole family will eat together on the 25th, so everyone will get to taste it.

No turkey for us yet but we did enjoy this excellent salt beef,
only the last remnant here, bought as fresh brisket, brined by
us and then rolled, tied and boiled. Yum.
Meanwhile, we recover from our Desmond Deluge. The water level is dropping in all our lakes and rivers though the mass of water now working its way down the Shannon is causing all manner of flooding and damage now and for days yet - it is a long river! Up here on our hill top all the puddles are gone and we are enjoying some calm, sunnier days.

The laid stone walls visible here and, top right, the start of some
upper walls made from 9 inch cavity blocks. 
Out at the Sligo house, more milestones in the buildering at which I am helping. The bottoms of the new walls, with their beautiful and impressive stonework on the outside are complete and a professional bricklayer has been down today to 'top off' the walls to roof height in 9" cavity blocks. It is all beginning to look a bit like a house!

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