Thanksgiving, delayed

I have been a chicken with my head cut off lately. Between work (paid and unpaid stuff, mostly unpaid) and holidays and this last weekend birthday stuff, I have not been reading blogs much, let alone updating my own!

Things are calmer this week. Cleaning up to do, prepping for winter, but no huge hurry to get everything done today. Or even tomorrow.

With this breather, I am able to show off what few pictures I managed to get for the Thanksgiving dinner I prepared last weekend for my cousin and his family, as well as my in-laws. I was pretty pleased with how well it went, as well as how relaxed I managed to be for it. I made alot of food, but managed to time things so that the only time I felt rushed or anything was in the setting it all out, still warm, while making the gravy.

So starting at the top, turkey, spaghetti squash, seasoned green beans, broccoli salad (provided by my cousin's wife, yummy!), sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy. Missing from the picture is the cranberry sauce I made to go with the turkey.

I "treated" myself to a roasting pan this year. Not the lovely Paderno or Lagostina, or even All-Clad I would have loved, but instead a simple President's Choice one from the grocery store that should serve me well for quite awhile. It is nice and heavy, solid, with a removable rack, and held my 6kg turkey with ample room.

After weeks of reading recipes for brined turkeys, herb stuffed turkeys, flavor injected turkeys, I chose to skip them all and go with simple. After washing and trying the big fresh bird, I dried it off, seasoned the cavity before stuffing some onions in it, smeared butter under the skin and then seasoned well with salt and pepper. I covered the breast and roasted my bird, occasionally adding a bit of water to the bottom of the pan.

The previous night I had made up my stuffing, using a loaf of fresh "stuffing" bread from Farm Boy (white bread seasoned with sage.) I cut the bread up into big chunks while sauteing half an onion and 2 stalks of celery in some butter and oil. Before adding the bread chunks, I bloomed some poultry seasoning with the onions and celery, then tossed in the bread. After ensuring each piece of bread had been coated with the oil and seasonings, I added a few splashes of chicken stock, just enough to moisten the stuffing together. The stuffing rested in a covered baking dish overnight, until it was time to go into the oven about 45 minutes before dinner was served.

The spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes I had prepared earlier in the day, cooked until almost done then finished off in the oven while the turkey rested. Both were done simply - the squash cut in half, deseeded and oven roasted face down, then tossed with a bit of butter before serving. The sweet potatoes were cubed and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roasted until soft on the inside with a slight "crunch" on the outside. I ate cold ones later on as a snack.

My potatoes were made using lots of warm cream and butter. I was tempted to add some cheese to these, mostly because I love cheesy potatoes, but decided that I didn't want too many conflicting flavors. Afterall, the turkey is supposed to be the star of the meal, and cheese added to the potatoes would only have taken away from its shine.

Everyone was very complimentary of dinner, and clean up was done very quickly with lots of help. I had plenty of left overs but thankfully have a second fridge able to hold them all! (If we ever move, one of my fridges is going with me - a second fridge is a luxury I will not willingly give up!)

Dessert was a generational affair this year. The adults had a wonderful, sophisticated dessert that I will post about later, but the kids didn't mind. They had their own thing to do.

I think I earned the title of Coolest Mom/Cousin that day. Afterall, how many kids got to make and decorate their own caramel apples on Thanksgiving? I know of four.

I had a recipe for making my own caramel with cream and sugar and such, but the fun of unwrapping a bag load of vanilla caramels was much more tempting (and less time consuming.) So while the children set up their places, choosing what candies they wanted on their apples from the selection I had put out for them, I melted the caramels with some cream and covered each apple with a thick layer of caramel. Then they went crazy decorating!

As a final touch, I melted some milk chocolate and drizzled the chocolate to the thickness and coverage the child wanted.

Yes it was alot of sugar but the kids loved it, and then worked some of that "energy" off by entertaining us to a wild dance show to the very loud singing of Crazy Frog.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with family and friends and lots of good food!

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Funny how life has a way of impeding one's blogging, eh?

Your tksgiving dinner looks fabulous! I'm about to do similar post tonight!