Thanks, Martha!

Published 4:20 am Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The big bird thawed in the sink. Some people say this isn’t the safest practice, to thaw a turkey in the sink that is, but my Mamaw did it for years and years. I felt pretty confident with that part, but the cooking it was another matter altogether.

Mamaw had her own special turkey preparing technique that I unfortunately didn’t commit either to paper or memory, so after deliberating a bit I decided to ask Martha. She isn’t a personal friend, but I have admired her for years. I just knew I could trust her to give me some turkey cooking pointers, and she did not disappoint.

Martha is widely traveled and a fabulous cook. She seems to know a lot about a great many things, but I believe I admire her most for keeping her head up and persevering through troubled times. She has been divorced and even been to prison, but never let anything stop her. Many love her while others seem to hate her, but I personally think she is a very cool person.

You may have guessed by now that Martha’s last name is Stewart. It was relatively easy to find several of her turkey recipes on the Internet. I have a big pot of rosemary growing outside my home and wanted to use some so I chose her recipe for Rosemary Lemon Roasted Turkey.

Voila! After years of fearing that big bird when the holidays roll around I have finally rectified the dry, unpalatable offering of yesteryear! This bird was totally moist and delicious. I must confess that my sweet hubby, Mike, and I worked together on said bird, but teamwork is a good thing.

I created the basting liquid while Mike prepared the turkey. We followed Martha’s directions carefully, and soon our mouths watered at the delightful aroma permeating the house. Not only did the bird smell fantastic, but as an added bonus it roasted to a beautiful golden brown.

Our adorable grandsons, Aidan, and Gauge rolled out of bed early on Sunday morning. Mike put the turkey on ice, and the four of us headed out to our annual Ball family reunion at Percy Quin State Park. It has been held the fourth Sunday in July there since its inception in 1948.

There we enjoyed good food, good fellowship, and good folks. Even though we missed our local church services we had church with the family. My cousin, Hilton Ball, prepared an inspiring devotional dotted with family history; cousin Frances played several much-loved hymns. We sang “Rock of Ages,” which my grandmother, Ada Alford Ball loved, and the children sang “Jesus Loves Me.”

It was a sweet time, and I hope to take my grandchildren every year. The traditions of our family continue, and if I had to guess I would say that several of our loved ones gone on looked lovingly down on our efforts to honor God and their memories.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at