Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007 - Middle And Ends

...So, here's the rest of my Thanksgiving meal wrap-up...The turkey was fine. But I went against my ironclad rule of No Turkey Over 20 Pounds, because my young man picked it up for me at Whole Foods. I told him as close to 20 pounds as possible and when he found a 20.98 pound turkey, I didn't argue. I was just glad that he didn't come home with a ham or chicken fingers.

I don't care what anyone says that extra bit of weight DOES make a difference.
It makes the turkey heavier and hotter and more difficult to maneuver. It also took a bit longer to cook than I wanted, so before it was done, I scooped out all the drippings and veggies from the bottom of the pan (not that easy) and strained them to start on the gravy. The good thing about THAT was that, when it was done, H could turn over the turkey in the roasting pan and let it sit THERE, covered, instead of having to moving it onto a board.

I wasn't loving my gravy at first, but after massive whisking and tons of boiling and the addition of more stock (and, yes, a secret dose of Gravy Master), it came out great.

Oh...and the stuffing was really good. I don't exactly know why, but it just had a lot of flavor and moistness. But there was a little problem...

I pride myself on having more food items stuffed into my closets and fridge and freezer than the average gourmet store. I had, of course, checked out my stuffing ingredients in advance and I had found a nice new bag of California apricots, which are the only kind I use for stuffing, because of their bright color and tart flavor.

The night before Thanksgiving as I'm chopping all my stuffing ingredients, I open the bag of apricots and discover that they're from last year and all dried and shrunken and nasty. I LOVE dried apricots in stuffing, so what was I to do? Luckily, in my packed larder, I found a container of dried cranberries, which did very well as a substitute. But a word to the wise...when you're checking to see if you have the necessary components for a dish, make sure they're still viable.

I am so sorry I don't have picture of my Bourbon Sweet Potatoes in the serving dish. My daughter made them and they were GREAT! She added twice the amount of booze as normal, which really improved them and at my behest, she combed the top...just beautifully. I do have a picture of my comb from Dehillerin.* You can use it for cake icings, glazes and any puréed-anything dish. Even a tool made for the simplest task can make a huge difference when it's well-made.

Back to the meal...I've told you about my cranberry recipe. It came out sooo well. Can I admit that this was the first year I didn't use Ocean Spray Fresh Cranberries? (Sorry, Em, I know how much you love those guys.) I used frozen huge organic ones from Canada that I found at Wegmans.

My mashed potatoes came out fine, but my usual formula - one large Idaho potato per person - was way too much for 15 people. Plus, I probably threw in an extra one as well.

Pies...there were four: 2 Pecan, 1 Pumpkin Chiffon and 1 Silver Palate Sour Cream Apple Pie. In my last post, I alluded to something coming out a bit dry. I thought the apple pie wasn't my greatest ever, but the funny thing was it was much better after a day or two and drowning it in whipped cream and/or ice cream didn't hurt either.

That was about it. (There WERE hors d'oeuvres, but I'm too stuffed to talk about them now.) Plenty of food and fun and I actually got the glasses washed that night and I only waited 3 days to do the pots hiding in the laundry room sink.

*Very funny English translation.


Emiline said...

I like that you linked to my blog and picture of the cranberry guys! I thought it was funny.
I feel like I have to be loyal to them, and disapprove that you didn't buy their product. Shame shame.

The pies look very very good. I think I like the pecan the best.

You must be tired from all of that cooking. I would be so stressed out.

Anonymous said...

Great to see you on Friday, visit was too short.. Will have to let you have the great Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe that we had for Thanksgiving. Love to all Vanda

Cynthia said...

I think this was a meal that would have been worth a special air trip for me :)

Jennifer said...

Next year I am coming to YOUR house! LOL! Just kidding. BTW, I used your tip and flipped the bird upside down after I took it out of the oven. Worked wonders at first but I did have issues with the bird drying later on (which was probably my own doing as I think I might have overcooked it a little)...I think I'll use a bag next year, unless my husband buys a deep fryer first! LOL!