Saturday, November 19, 2011

All About the Baster!

NOVEMBER 18, 2011 All About the Baster!

It’s time to talk turkey. Not recipes. Go to for those. Let’s talk about the benefits of the baster! I have two rather unique turkey baster stories I’ve saved just for today.

The first happened years ago in our MI cottage where 12 of us trekked over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. The turkey was my assignment. I first loosened the skin from the breast meat and slipped in bright green basil leaves for that subtle pattern when the bird was done. I made my broth and chopped, stirred and mixed my stuffing. Lastly I seasoned and buttered the outside of the bird and into the oven it went. I knew people would salivate when they came in from their woods and beach hikes. Every 45 min I basted the bird to keep it moist. Cardinal rule, right? Baste the bird.

When the appointed time arrived, guests were ooh’ing and aah’ing over the Lake MI view, anticipating the great feast. Each place was set with acorn squash bowls filled with soup. Breads and beverages beckoned. The candles were lit. The gravy was perfect. All that was left to do was take the bird out of the oven and plate it. I winked at my brother in law to follow me into the kitchen and help lift the bird from the oven onto the counter. With mitts in hand he DID! He lifted that gorgeous turkey out of the oven and before you could say “Oh Feathers!” that well basted bird slid across the entire kitchen floor.

Fred and I were the only witnesses. The Thanksgiving holiday isn’t usually aligned with keeping your lips sealed. Should we come clean? No way. Fred picked up the bird, I wiped off the bottom, placed it on the platter and surrounded it with its cooked friends from the field///a few vegetables cover a multitude of sins. And out into the lake view room it was carried with a flourish like none other in the history of that cottage, as far as we know.

Everyone raved about the turkey and wanted my secret for its tenderness. “Well basted is the secret,” was my line. And I’m stickin’ with it! So is Fred.

Fast forward to the summer of 2011, same cottage, no bird, but another baster opportunity. Fred, the turkey handler from yesteryear, notices my car’s low coolant light is on. I check my car manual and search for a specific coolant brand which turned out to be 20 miles away. Freddie offered to pick up the coolant. This was going well.

Fred returns victoriously and I pop the hood. He points to an opening, holding its lid, saying, “Put it there.” I did mention the symbol on the lid in his hand looked like a steering wheel! He said nope that was the one. So in I poured a cup and then stopped, wondering, “What if this isn’t the right spot?” I put everything down to examine my manual more carefully. Yep…. We’d poured coolant into the power steering opening.

NOW? “No problem, said my accomplice. Won’t hurt a thing!” And thus began “Under the Hood 101.” I learned a lot. Like, don’t start your engine, have the car towed, let professionals correct the mistake. But when you’re in the north woods, out of all the voices, you trust your car guy at home who says on the phone, “Listen, if it were me, I’d just get that coolant fluid out any way I could and fill it back with power steering fluid and bring it in when you get home.”

The turkey baster….Where’s the turkey baster when I need it? Nowhere to be found and you don’t go cottage to cottage to borrow one. You improvise with paper towels with your rubber gloves on until it seems empty. But I’m hesitant because one guy told me I better have it towed or the line could become contaminated and destroy my engine.

Just then….up drives a friend. Sizing up the situation, he said 6 kids and 7 vehicles had prepared him for this moment. Taking off two hoses, he asked for a baster. Sorry, missing! Then he put his mouth on an old plastic gas can funnel and blew into it hard harder and hardest to drain MORE coolant out. That did the trick.

Turns out the coolant container is mysteriously and unclearly marked. Normally the coolant container is where the power steering fluid container is on my car. So I will give Fred that much. It also turns out Fred leases his cars and has never looked under the hood!

Fred and I will laugh over this through the years. I've been sliding turkeys on the kitchen floor ever since! Just kidding. Now a spiritual application. The baster made for a delicious turkey. Having NO baster led to a huge hassle. Apply this to a well-basted life. Jesus calls this abiding in Him. He says, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples" (John 15:6-8, NASB). The key to a full and fulfilling life as a Christian is to abide in the Lord. As we baste our lives with the Word and soak in prayer, we benefit from "abiding" in Jesus, as His words and His Spirit abide in us. And that’s a baster that’s never missing. Happy Thanksgiving!

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