A Clearwater family thinks outside the icebox when it comes to defrosting their Thanksgiving turkey.
Mark O'Donnell's backyard swimming pool isn't just for swimming. His family started a tradition in it – fit for Florida.
"One Thanksgiving we realized we forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer, and our uncle was here from up north. And we just said, ‘hey let’s throw it in the pool,’" O'Donnell recalled.
2020 marks the 18th year of the family tradition. O'Donnell shared the moment on social media.
"So, yes, folks, we thaw our turkey in the pool that’s how you do it when you live in Florida, right?” he said on Facebook Live.
Every year a different relative gets the honors of tossing the turkey into the pool.
"Honors to chuck it in the pool are kind of the ridiculousness of it," O'Donnell said.
The honors in 2020 went to Uncle Chuck.
"Threw it in the pool and let it fly," said Chuck Bullock.
In 2019, it was Aunt Mary Frances.
"And that ladies and gentlemen is how you thaw a turkey,” you can hear in one of the videos.
Thawing time for the 16-pound turkey for 2020 was four-and-a-half hours.
People have a lot of questions posted on social media.
"They do, they do," said O'Donnell. "The turkeys are sealed, right? And we always check for any leaks. So far in 18 years, we’ve only had one that we’ve had to double bag, so there’s no blood in the pool or chlorine in the turkey".
Some turkey talk on social media, others reach out with gratitude, thanking the family for a much-needed laugh.
"If we made somebody smile, good for us. Hopefully they’ll smile Thanksgiving, too,” said O'Donnell.
The family's feast makes them smile. The sides are ready, the turkey is done with its dip in the pool.
"Right now it’s in the cooler making sure it’s staying safe, and then we brine it for about eight hours. And then we cover it in butter and seasonings like our grandma taught us,” said O'Donnell.
"This year it’s a citrus, so we’re doing like oranges, tangerines.”
This is definitely Thanksgiving in the sunshine state.
The family says after 18 years, they've never had a bad bird. And this year, these relatives are grateful a family tradition survived a tough year.