Venusian Acid-Cooked Turkeys, or Why I Still Read Blog Comments…

In a world where many blogs and websites are shutting down comment threads, I think we all need the occasional reminder of why we permit comments. Sure, you often learn something new from other people’s inputs, and sometimes get corrected when you step beyond the limits of your actual knowledge-base too far. But sometimes you read a comment that’s so brilliant, you just have to look up the commenter’s email, and beg them for permission to repost their work of art. This was one of those times.

In case you want the backstory, it all started with a discussion about cooking turkeys in the Venusian atmosphere on Rand’s blog, when George Turner penned this brilliant rant about how Real Men™ cook their turkeys (I would strongly suggest putting away any beverages before reading further…):

You guys have obviously never had a properly prepared inert-gas high-pressure acid-cooked turkey, probably because you let your mother-in-law be in charge of cooking the bird. It took men 200 years to convince wives that dunking the turkey in propane-fueled boiling oil was not only fine, it was wonderful, because all women folks know is their Betty-Crocker Easy-Bake ovens.

Well let me tell you, acid is good for meat, and breaks down connective tissue, fats, and tenderizes it. Run the pH the other way and it turns into soap and you might as well bite into a urinal cake.

Venus is not for the timid, or people too afraid to shove a fat bird out the airlock and let the harsh laws of thermodynamics do the work. Venus is for men. Men who like to eat meat – cooked in fire and acid and seasoned with the Devil’s own mix of volatiles boiled up from the pits of hell.

If the thought of Thanksgiving Dinner on Venus gives you the heebie jeebies, you don’t even need to think about plunging into the roiling atmosphere with nothing but a cheap plastic heat shield and a thin balloon to save you from the crematorium that yawns down below. So man up, dangle the bird into the depths of the Stygian hell, feast as someone who walks between worlds and lives on an airship that rides the hell born winds 30 miles above a surface so hot it glows visibly red.

Ride that Venus airship, live on it. Drink the harshest ale till you he see double, then hold your breath and walk outside in the acid rain to pee over the side, knowing that lesser men bow their heads in shame, sitting in Portland stirring the mashed potatoes as their wife frets over the anonymous Butterball in the Oster Roaster, waving her arms and telling you to check the yams. One man is living, however brief and harsh that life may be, and one has never truly lived, never tasted a naturally acid-cooked Venusian bird, never ridden the microbursts and whirlwinds of an alien planet, never done anything to merit remembrance, like putting down roots on a new world and cooking a bird so tasty that people are still trying to recreate the meal centuries later.

You have to put away your fears of one bad meal, a miscooked bird, and embrace the future, mankind’s future, and realize that there’s more than one way to pluck a chicken.

That was just plain beautiful. Thank you, George.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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13 Responses to Venusian Acid-Cooked Turkeys, or Why I Still Read Blog Comments…

  1. Nickolai says:

    Very nice, and somewhat surprisingly, quite inspiring!

  2. born01930 says:

    I think we now have a commercially viable reason to go to Venus! Just start an airship turkey farm…dip the birds over the side to bake, flash freeze and send back to Earth. Think of the market potential. Pollution wont be a problem either, just dump the feathers and offal over the side…not much will reach the surface. Whats not to like?

  3. George Turner says:

    Thanks! Glad I could entertain. 🙂

    By the time I got to the part about peeing over the side I was hearing the voice of the Bud Light “Real Men of Genius” guy.

    I think it does illustrate that my approach to write ups is better than the NASA approach to PR, which eventually made going to the moon seem professional and kind of boring, whereas I made the lazy man’s way of cooking a turkey sound epic. ^_^

    Speaking of space cookery, if we ever do get back to the moon, I really want to watch somebody with a non-stick pan flip an egg or some pancakes in 1/6th G.

    Oh, and Rickl posted one of my previous Thanksgiving rants over at NASA spaceflight. That one was the result of a discussion of whether SpaceX would really launch on Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ve got kind of a theme going.

  4. Karl Hallowell says:

    Speaking of space cookery, if we ever do get back to the moon, I really want to watch somebody with a non-stick pan flip an egg or some pancakes in 1/6th G.

    We could call it the Lunar Griddle Challenge.

  5. George Turner says:

    Somewhat related is this story about a new type of non-stick crockery made by coating the vessels with wax under CO2 at high temperatures and pressures, which creates a water phobic surface modeled after the lotus leaf. Venus has plenty of CO2 at high temperatures and pressures, so this type of technology would be idea for making non-stick gravy boats. 🙂

  6. ken anthony says:

    George is a true poet. For a man over 50, well… when ya gotta go…

  7. Peter says:

    Living on a floating colony on Venus might be like living on a ocean going ship. Just like a ship you would want some kind of life preserver or life raft if the ship were to fail. This could be an individual suit with a scuba tank and compressed helium tank to fill a balloon. This suit would come in handy as a safety precaution if you were to go outside the station to do external repairs.

    A life raft would be a more comfortable vessel with rations and water for maybe six to twelve people. Deployment of both the life preserver suits and life rafts would be tested with dummies to ensure they function properly and can be recovered easily. Any idea what the mass of these items might be?

  8. Portland Foodie says:

    He must have been referring to Portland Maine in that rant.
    Us Portlandians are entirely nutso for anything involving new food and doing weird stuff (or both at once!).

    Watch this space for the opening of my new Venusian Artisanal Acid-fried Chicken stand “Leary Bird”, ask about our house special “the Electric KoolAid”.


  9. Zo0tie says:

    “Where did you get the stuffing for that turkey?”

    “Oh, I didn’t have to stuff it. It wasn’t empty!”

  10. dsf says:

    go poison yourself LIKE A MAN! Keeping yourself alive is for sissies. I wonder why men’s life expectancy is about then years lower than women’s…

  11. Jonathan Goff Jonathan Goff says:

    Out of curiosity, does not having a sense of humor help or hurt one’s life expectancy?


  12. Robert Clark says:

    Hilarious! Thanks for that cite of the George Turner rant.
    To Venus my boys!

    Bob Clark

  13. Paul451 says:

    “Out of curiosity, does not having a sense of humor help or hurt one’s life expectancy?”

    Probably depends who you’re laughing at.

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