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 well...at 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. :)