A small (actually, a very large) problem cropped up days before Thanksgiving. For unexplained reasons, my Whole Foods only had turkeys in the 14 pound range or ones over 22 pounds. I’ve had a long standing rule of never cooking a turkey over 20 pounds. They’re just too hard to handle, they take too long to cook and they’re really tough to turn upside down after cooking.
But I had a big crowd and lots of houseguests, so I really didn’t have a choice. I got a 22.68 pound turkey.
For whatever reason, it was one of the best turkeys I ever made.
|Here's Tom, before he got turned upside down.|
It browned beautifully. And it took less than 5 hours to cook. (Somehow, my turkeys always take less time to cook than whatever I’ve calculated.)
We started with my new favorite dip combination – hummus and tzatziki with lots of goodies on top:
Where's my soup? I forgot to take a picture. It was goooood.
I tripled my stuffing recipe and had only about a quarter cup left when I deemed it no longer ready for primetime (or eating) on Sunday night.
Three out of four of the pies were quite good. (Am I allowed to say that?)
|Pumpkin Chiffon Pie|
|Sour Cream Apple Pie|
But the last one, the cherry pie, had real problems. When I was considering which cherry pie to make, my smart friend, Tom, pointed out that the reason cherry pies usually have a lattice crust is so that some of the juice can evaporate.
I was trying to avoid another latticed pie, because my apple pie had one, but I relented when I saw a pretty good (I thought) recipe in the Bon Appetit Desserts Cookbook, which I’ve been thrilled with every time I’ve used.
The resulting cherry pie LOOKED okay, but it was way too soupy. Think of something at the opposite end of the texture spectrum from Comstock Cherry Pie Filling, which (between you and me - and you better not tell anyone) I love. But I would never serve it (in public), and I especially wouldn't at Thanksgiving.
I think what I would do next time is to get the cherries already thickened BEFORE they are put into the pie crust. I DID like that the recipe called for a thicker lattice than I usually do. I think ¾ inch makes a more definitive statement than some little namby-pamby ½ inch lattice.
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I had some inventive young men around (with very strong appetites) who made turkey sliders after Thanksgiving. These were NOT hot turkey sandwiches. They were cold sandwiches with hot gravy installed on them. This was done in a most unlikely way in the form of the slightly repulsively named Moist Maker, which found fame from Friends.
The Moist Maker is a sponge-like piece of gravy-soaked white bread which is stacked between the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberries. (I don’t like any other starch on my turkey sandwich but the bread. To me, mashed potatoes are meant to be eaten hot and stuffing is slightly gratuitous on a sandwich.) But here are various versions of day-after sandwiches, which illustrate exactly how much can fit on a little roll.