My first Weber kettle was purchased when my wife and I were living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so between holiday travels to visit family and several occasions when the kettle was encased in ice, I wasn’t able to try my hand at turkey-roasting until we moved to Virginia. Which had it’s own challenges and weirdness, living as we did in an apartment building in a fairly urban area. I remember taking the stairs down five flights to light the kettle, and noting how strange it felt to be grilling next to the huge air-conditioning fan units that were so still in the winter air. I wondered if any of my neighbors even noticed the smoke rising between the buildings, or me taking many trips up and down to check on things and fret.
It was surreal too because it started snowing, each flake disappearing with a hiss as it settled on the kettle. Which seemed like some kind of miraculous vessel, hot enough inside to roast a whole turkey, but not quite hot enough on the outside to warm my hovering hands. I’d lift the lid every once in awhile to add more coals, and to convince myself that this was actually working.
When the thermometer said it was done, I carefully carried that bird up those stairs, feeling a little like I had returned from the moon as I crossed the threshold of our cozy apartment. I rested the bird, then carved it as best I could. I remember my wife savoring her first few bites with a bit of disbelief as she remarked that it was good. Really good, in fact. What had seemed like a stunt, or maybe a way to spare some space in the oven, or maybe an excuse to get some fresh air, was in fact the best way to roast a turkey after all. Still, as she expressed her surprise, I did my best to act like this was commonplace and exactly what I expected. My nonchalance working overtime, of course, to pretend that I didn’t feel like a wizard who had just discovered a new kind of magic.
–submitted by Mike Stavlund