The turkey is now in the oven. I use an oven bag, which is really cool because it keeps it moist and it takes less time to cook. For a 21lb turkey it only takes a little over 3 hours, instead of the normal 5 hours or so.
So - the turkey is covered in butter, savory salt and pepper, and "stuffed" with some onion, celery, garlic and more savory salt and pepper. Not really a stuffing, but the veggies kind of steam in the body cavity and flavor the turkey, some.
So - the turkey has about 3.75 hours to cook, even though the directions say 3 - 3.5 for a 20lb - 24lb turkey. So for a 21.5 turkey that should be plenty. And it has a meat themometer in it, just so I can double check. One year it wasn't quite done enough, deep in the breast, close to the bone. Probably because it wasn't quite thawed all the way, so I don't take any chances any more. Tina really likes her poultry well done...
Also I made sure the turkey didn't have a kitchen strainer stuck to its butt. :-O - This is probably my most humiliating cooking story, but since everyone in the family probably knows it, and since it is a yearly "Do you remember when" story, I guess I might as well tell it here.
So one year Tina kept losing the kitchen sink strainers. You know, the metal thing that goes into the drain of the sink to keep big chunks of stuff from doing down the drain. Well we kept losing ours, and Tina would buy a new one, and it was getting close to Christmas and ours disappered again. I was thinking of getting her one for Christmas for a joke, when I found one in the trash. Looked like she had been throwing them away while in a mad cleaning frenzy, and hadn't realized. So I took the one I found, wrapped it, and gave it to her! Anyway, around that time, when we were going through the phase of the mysteriously disappearing strainer, we had Thanksgiving at Becky's. I put the Turkey in the sink, rinsed it, got it all prepped, and picked it up and stuck it in the bag. About an hour before dinner was ready, Becky was cleaning up and looking for the strainer. It was no where to be found. We were all like, "What! Another disappering sink strainer!" Weird. We looked all over, looked in the trash, etc. "Are you sure you have one? It didn't get misplaced?" - "Yes, it was here last night." Anyway, we couldn't find it.
So a few hours later, we pull the turkey out of the oven, pull the bag off of it, and as we are getting ready to plate it - and sure enough, there is the kitchen sink strainer, stuck to its butt! I had set the turkey in the sink, and the strainer had some how got stuck to it and I never noticed. The turkey was fine - but I never lived it down.
So now... I remove the strainer from the sink, fix the turkey, and then just double check to make sure no strainers are missing before I put it in the oven...