Thursday, November 28, 2013


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We had a feast for Thanksgiving just like I like it.  Although it was just the 4 of us, I had enough food for 10 or more leaving us very enjoyable leftovers lasting through the weekend.

We bought our turkey this year, and last, from Rainbow Meadow Farms.  I ordered a 15lb turkey, but we ended up with a 19lb. turkey.  They said that we had so much rain and cool temps this summer that the birds were all running big.  I'll never turn down a larger bird!

Here's a picture from me picking up the turkey.

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The day before, Donnie helped me get the turkey soaking in a brine solution.  We used the recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  It was quite a comedy of errors trying to come up with the right 'bucket' to hold the turkey and brine, but we finally settled on a 5 gallon bucket which worked well.  I can't say that we noticed a big difference between a brined bird and not, but maybe the gravy tasted even better than usual.  This was my first experience trying a brine, and I'll probably try it again.  There is a white wine recipe I'd like to try.  Maybe I'll use it on my next chicken.

The night before, Johnny helped me with a lot of prep work.  We made cauliflower mash, green bean casserole with sausage, pumpkin pie, a sweet potato brown sugar topped casserole, and a cheesecake.

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Joey was a big help Thanksgiving morning with the rest of the prep work.  He loves to do the stuffing and has gotten really good at it.  I tried an organic mix from Whole Foods this year instead of Pepperidge Farm. I didn't notice much of a difference; both were yummy.  We also made cranberry sauce and a broccoli rice casserole.  Joey loves to stand at the stove and brown and saute things for me.

Donnie helped out with lifting and carving which I really appreciated.

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The bird cooked for about 3 1/2 hours.  I let it sit int he bag for 30 minutes while I warmed up all the casseroles in the oven and made the gravy.  We sat down around 3:15PM and very quickly, much more quickly than it took to prepare it, we were done.

There's just no day like Thanksgiving, and as much work as it is, I can't wait to do it again next year as long as I have all my helpers in the kitchen with me.

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