Thursday, November 28, 2013
SmugMug Daily Link
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.
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.
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.
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.