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Flaming Turkey

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My mother was never a chef, or even a cook, really, for that matter. My childhood sustenance consisted of microwaveable dinners and breakfasts that came frozen in a box (think Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, and Great Starts Breakfasts). Steak-Ums were fried up in a pan, and when the occasional pot roast was prepared, it was difficult to chew. But what my mother could do well was make the Thanksgiving turkey a sight to be seen. Anyone can cook a turkey, but not everyone can turn it into a stage show. Thanksgiving is rolling around, so why not bring a little fire into holiday celebration? My mom did, and it always made Thanksgiving (or Christmas) that much more exciting as a kid.

The instructions below come from her, exhibiting the difficulty involved in creating such a culinary masterpiece.


One turkey cooked

Two cans of halved pears

One bottle of Rum flavor extract

One box of sugar cubes

Orange, yellow, red, and green food coloring (which work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas)


Just before serving the turkey:

1. Take pears out of can and dry each half separately with paper towel.

2. With water in a bowl, add enough food coloring to cover each sliced pear.

3. Dip as many pears in the food coloring to surround your turkey.

4. Right before serving, lace sugar cubes (as many as pears) in a separate bowl and pour over with Rum extract.

5. Put the turkey on a silver serving platter (so the flames reflect off the mirror effect of the silver).

6. Place pears around turkey.

7. Place a sugar cube in the middle of each dyed pear slice.

8. Light the sugar cubes and let the adults eat the Rum-soaked pears once the fire burns out.

Make sure to dim the lights in dining room and listen to the applause from your adoring family and friends.


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