Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving A-Plenty!

Well, we've had our Thanksgiving holiday, and lots of it. It started last weekend when Tim Allen, Polly, Andrea and her new beau, Bill, came over for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. It had been a couple of years since I cooked one, so I went NUTSO! I've got a bunch of pics to prove what a nut case I am too! I thought I'd do a little show and tell. Who knows? One of you may need to reference this page to cook your own turkey one day. (Possibly even one of my children)

Okay, the first thing I did is bake my own bread especially for the purpose of staling it and using it in the cornbread stuffing the following weekend. So this rising bread here was done 7 days prior to the dinner.

This may seem a little bit much for some of you, but I want you to know that it DOES make a difference in the way the stuffing comes out. The bread has to have a lot of body so that it doesn't get soggy. I HATE soggy stuffing.

I also made a carrot cake for one of the desserts. Here my ceramic kitchen buddies look on approvingling.

So after I got the desserts taken care of, and I didn't take pics of all of them, but I did a Bavarian salad the night before as well as two pumpkin pies, I got up at 6:30 Sunday morning and began working on the turkey. The first thing to do with a turkey is to take it out of the bag and wash it. After washing it in the sink with room temperature water, you need to give it a salt bath. Check out yon pictures.

So after you've rinsed out all the simply need to pour salt into the cavity of the bird, and vigorously rub the insides. You are using this as an abrasive and thoroughly cleaning the inside of the bird that is going to become the roasting cavity for the stuffing.

Speaking of stuffing, you need to have it all ready and sitting somewhere near the turkey so you can get it all stuffed in. I use a nice serving spoon and shovel it gently into the cavity. The main cavity isn't the only place I stuff either. I also stuff the back cavity so that I don't have a turkey with that weird indentation when I get finished.

Another thing thing you need to do is to take care of the neck and giblets (the heart and liver). Put them into a sauce pan with lots of water. This is later going to become the liquid for your giblet gravy, and to moisten the stuffing that goes into the oven to cook outside of the bird.

After the turkey is stuffed in the main cavity, and the back cavity, then it's time to do a little surgical sewing on it. I had to sew the back flap closed so that it wouldn't come open and look strange. So it's a needle and thread and get to sewin!

The best way to finish, is to get the turkey on the roaster rack, dry it off with a paper towel, then oil it with olive oil. I also ground some fresh black pepper on it before it went into the oven. I cooked it at 350 for the first 1/2 hour, then turned it down to 325. You cook turkey for basically 15 minutes per pound. This was a 20 pound turkey, so we were down for 5 hours.

Here's what the turkey looked like cooking.

So after the turkey had been cooking for a few hours, and just before the kids got there, I set up the appetizers. Really wish I wasn't one of THE worst photographers ever. I'm trying, but my improvement is slow and barely perceptible.

So here's Andrea and Bill, and the little baby dog Trixie. They got there just before noon.

Here's Kris and Tim Allen basting the turkey.

Andrea and Polly snacking on stuff before dinner. There were veggies, a cheese ball, and Hickory Farms crackers and dates, and cream cheese with olives in celery. Yum!

I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a commentary on the turkey or what! lol! Actually, I know it wasn't...she's just a little turd!

And here's me....ready to cut the bird!

And so a slicin' we will go...

And here's my son trying to get across the kitchen without getting his picture taken. Tough luck!

And here is Andrea and Polly. Andrea took my camera outside to get this one.

We had a wonderful time. I didn't get any more pics because I was busy serving dinner. The Goddess let the food come out good, and everyone was personable and all was calm and wonderful.

We continued our Thanksgiving celebration by heading over to Wenatchee to Nick and Maggie's place for the real event on the real day itself. I didn't get a single picture of Nick and Maggie's Thanksgiving...I have no idea why. I never even thought about getting my camera out - AND I HAD IT WITH ME! I hope we get to go again. I'll do better. Their house was beautiful, the food was great. And OMG! Is it 3:30 in the morning? Yes. Yes it is. I'm goin' to bed. But I did manage to finally get this T-Day blog done! I still need to do an entry with Andrea's birthday pics in it. There are only a few, but they are cute, and they were taken on her 19th birthday.

Whew! Goodnight all!

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