Yes, I realize I am a few days late. But I was so busy making Thanksgiving food, and then even busier eating Thanksgiving food, that it took me a day or two to get my act together to share about this Thanksgiving. And what a lovely holiday it was!? A delightful combination of wine, dessert and friends. I think this photo sums up Thanksgiving perfectly:
This year, I spent Thanksgiving in Baltimore with my bestie, Amelia. Amelia and I went to middle school and high school together, so when we hang out it’s like we revert to being 16 years old and it’s SUPER fun. Amelia and I were in charge of cooking for the four of us.
Nosching plate of cheese, prosciutto and dried figs.
Slow roasted Turkey
Moose sausage stuffing (OMG soooo good!) (cornbread stuffing with sauted onions/celery, garlic, fresh herbs, dried cranberries soaked in chicken broth, pecans, and moose sausage flown in all the way from Alaska. This stuff was crazy good.)
Roasted brussel sprouts and carrots
Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish (fresh cranberries, whole orange, ground ginger and sugar blended in food processor, then add chopped pecans and pomegranate seeds. Let sit over night if possible).
Canned Cranberry (of course)
Dessert: Classic pumpkin pie, triple chocolate pumpkin pie, apple-cran pie with streusel topping and super gingery gingerbread. Yes, I realize there are as many desserts as people for dinner, but that was planned. How else would you do it? A post on desserts will happen in the future (hopefully).
Amelia and I spent the day in the kitchen on Thursday (after staying up late on Wednesday making multiple pies). Here is a photo journal of what we did that day:
1. Remove turkey from basting bag. Turkey had been sitting in brine with pepper corns, tons of salt, fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme), onions and bay leaves. Rub turkey down with butter/salt/pepper mixture, stick 1 quartered onion into cavity, insert fresh herbs into turkey breast (make incision into breast and insert herbs), also insert herbs under the skin, directly onto the meat. Put into 220F degree oven breast-side down. Baste every hour or so. When bird is about 140F or 145F, flip right-side up. Remove once breast temperature reaches 155F – you may want to cook for last hour at 300F to get the skin a little darker, because the skin doesn’t crisp up at 220F. Let sit for 20 minutes before carving.
2. Take dog for a run. Dog chases and barks at squirrels.
3. Maturely talk about our Thanksgiving dish preferences.
4. Indulge a little while cooking.
5. Indulge a little more. Four types of cheese (a triple cream, cambozola, something soaked in wine whose name escapes me right now, and a mushroom brie) served with prosciutto and dried figs.
6. Maturely discuss whether we like our mashed potatoes lumpy or smooth.
6. Baste the turkey a few times.
7. Check the turkey for doneness. Bird should be 155F. You can also make the gravy once the bird is out (which is what is happening in the background of the picture below). Most people check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Amelia chose to use the old-fashioned way, the face thermometer.
7. Torment the dog.
8. Admire your handiwork. You can see the slit in the breast where I stuffed the bird with rosemary, thyme and sage.
9. Carve the turkey.
10. Admire your spread.
11. Do whatever dorky/endearing traditions that your family requires. We all had to have first bites that included a little bit of everything, and we went around the table and said what we were thankful for. I am thankful for cranberry sauce! And you know… friends, family… etc…
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!