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    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Thanksgiving 2009

    So this year, Thanksgiving plans were kinda up in the air for a while. Sara (my sister) was due to give birth any day (her official due date was Nov 17th, but that date had come and gone). My folks and I then made tentative plans to do a small family dinner (them, my youngest bro Kyle, and myself)...maybe even invite my Grandma Doris & Aunt Jody over (assuming they didn't end up accepting one of their other Thanksgiving invites). We didn't want to do anything super big in case the baby decided it was time to come, and we all would be disrupting our plans to go to the hospital.

    Then on Tuesday (Nov 24) got an email from my dad saying that mom had badly sprained her ankle (not broken, they went to the hospital to x-ray it and make sure). Thus, I ended up cooking dinner for my folks and Kyle. We kept it fairly simple since it was just the 4 of us. And it turned out great.

    My very first attempt at cooking turkey (by myself) turned out wonderful. Fortunately, earlier this year (a few months ago?) while flipping channels randomly, I stumbled across PBS's airing one of Julia Child's tv shows on how to roast poultry (including cleaning & trimming, trussing it, etc.). I thought it was interesting stuff at the time (you all know how I like to cook :), and though I had no plans to utilize the info in the immediate future, I filed her advice away for later.

    And it came in handy for Thanksgiving! :)

    The turkey was about 13 lbs (fresh), and I stuffed it with fresh sage, rosemary, & Parsley, a thinly sliced lemon, 2 large shallots (also sliced), a couple of cloves of garlic (smashed & then cut into large chunks), and a large pinch of salt. I also rubbed the outside of the turkey/skin with some butter. Cooked it for about 15 minutes at a high temp (500 degrees) and then lowered it to like 325 for the rest of the 2-1/2 hrs of cooking time. ( I did baste the bird a few times throughout the cooking process, but not *every* 20 minutes.)

    I also made mashed (red) potatoes. (Discovered that they didn't want the skins on after I had chopped most of the potatoes, so spent next number of minutes slicing/peeling off skins from potato chunks. Oh least I got them all. :) I also cooked some fresh green beans (so spent a while trimming & cutting green beans after I washed them). Oh, and I can't forget the stuffing/dressing! Used the Trader Joe's cornbread stuffing (just breadcrumbs & seasoning) which I cooked on the stove and then finished in the oven. (I added a bit of turkey flavoring to it too...and some of the chopped giblets).

    AND, of course, I made gravy. While I did use some Trader Joe's Turkey Gravy (comes in a small box/carton - no funky stuff/preservatives, etc added), I definitely made some gravy from scratch using the turkey drippings, some of the chopped giblets (and using the broth from the water/herbs that they cooked in), and some flour/butter. My homemade gravy was WONDERFUL, but obviously not much, so I added it to the Trader Joe's gravy, and it mixed very well. (Didn't loose the flavoring, cause mine was strong enough - I had cooked it down before adding it in to the other stuff). So we definitely had plenty of gravy, which is always nice.

    I think the best compliment was my youngest bro, who is a picky eater, giving the Thumbs Up approval on the food...especially the gravy. :) He took plenty of helpings of that (for his turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing). Not that my turkey *needed* gravy (it was flavorful and moist), but it is nice to have a bit of gravy with your turkey. :)

    So the four of us (Mom/Kathy, Dad/Greg, my bro Kyle and I) sat down to a simple but yummy dinner at about 2:30/3pm and enjoyed the food and each other's company. :)

    1 comment:

    Marcail Gaelyn said...

    There was something nagging at me that I may have forgotten to list an ingredient in the turkey stuffing (items stuffed inside, not "stuffing" :): I forgot include the sliced apple! (Oh, and the salt was coarse Kosher salt, not just "table salt".)