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Thanksgiving post-mortem


FistFullaRoux
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Related gas range blooper:

Brined a turkey overnight, got up and made the stuffing and popped the bird into the oven. Headed out with family and dog for long walk along beach in balmy sunshine. Got back and found that the turkey was already at 174. Rushed around assembling mashed potatoes, squash, turnip, braised Brussel sprouts w/pancetta, cranberry sauce and gravy. Fortunately, I had speedy help. Went to light the burner under cranberry sauce, and got confused: flame which was supposed to be on "high" looked low. All flames on "high" looked low. Checked propane tank outside: absolutely zero. Shook our heads in jovial disbelief. Broke out the microwave and the Coleman camp stove, and saved the apps, green bean dish and sweet potatoes for another day. Turkey was juicy moist, and everything was delicious. Picture of cooking on camp stove and accompanying story will last for the rest of our lives.

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I love Thanksgiving, even with its quirks and accidents. I went home, where my immediate family and I cooked for/hosted 18 people. The menu(s) and what we could have changed:

Starters:

Make less fruit salad. People are inevitably going to hit the sandwiches, cheese/crackers, spinach dip and bruschetta (NOT the Ritz kind :raz: ) harder. And fruit salad doesn't keep too well. Oh yes- and don't burn the bruschetta. I lost about 5 of them to overtoasting.

Traditional:

Brined 18-pound turkey

Changes: I don't think that any of the aromatics we added to the brine made much difference. We threw in orange slices, orange juice, lemon slices, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, cracked garlic cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves. Next year, I think we'll just stick with water, salt and sugar.

Caramelized onion and mushroom gravy

Changes: Nuttin. This was apparently the best gravy we ever made. Interestingly, I think that making it in advance and slowly reheating before dinner made the difference. I also spiked it at the end with a shot of plain ol' salad vinegar.

Collard greens

Changes: Make more :biggrin:

Mashed potatoes with a touch of sour cream and chives

Changes: Use a ricer. Add roasted garlic

Green bean casserole

Changes: We can't touch this one :raz:

Stuffing (or dressing, since we didn't have it in the bird)

Changes: More fresh thyme and sage. Something different that happened this year is we kept it warm in a 350 oven (in other words, we baked it) so that it got a nice crusty top. We liked it.

Cranberry sauce- Jellied Ocean Spray.

Changes: Again, can't touch it.

Homemade rolls:

Changes: They were good, but I think next year we might stick with Pepperidge Farm dinner rolls. They make for better leftover turkey sandwiches- homemade bread is at its best for such a short time.

We intended to make succotash, but totally forgot. Next time, we'd like to remember!

In addition to this, there was a whole second dinner. Murgh Pilau (chicken and rice baked together with saffron-spiked sauce), spicy baked flounder (brought by an aunt), and Rogan Josh (brought by another aunt).

Oh, and dessert. My sisters and I made espresso fudgy brownie bites, mini pecan pies, and pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. The brownies ended up WAY too sweet. which was my fault because I was using semisweet chocolate, not the unsweetened called for in the recipe (when I realized my mistake, I'd stirred in less than half the sugar, but it was still quite a bit).

Had we known that relatives were bringing berry crumble pie, a tray of assorted brownies/cookies and a chocolate mousse cake, we probably would have held off on making 3 desserts ourselves. :wink:

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First mistake: Your father and sisters show up from Canada the night before Thanksgiving for the first time since your mother died. She loved the American Thanksgiving trip. Big emotional load. So after dinner, braciolles, fried polenta, blueberry crisp, you split a bottle of cognac with Daddy and chat about Mummy and the decimation of the Grande Armee de la Republique on the retreat from Moscow. (Daddy's an historian.)

Pass out at three, wake up at 11:30. make the stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry orange relish on autopilot because I've done it so many times before. Raging thirst. Get the bird in the oven. Peel potatoes, mash 'em . Whip cream with the teaspoon of cognac left from last night's bottle. Shower, makeup, change into 70's YSL tuxedo suit I inherited from Mummy.

Trader Joe's nibbles. A martini set me up. And dinner was wonderful if less imaginative than other years .The turkey was slightly overcooked, but that's what gravy's for. Daddy and I did the dishes forever. And we were all thankful.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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There were only two of us, but I roasted a 13.5 lb free-range turkey (using Bobby Flay's Maple Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter recipe). This turkey was not brined, but was larded with bacon and basted with maple syrup. Given the bacon, I chose to accompany the bird with a wild rice pilaf with toasted pecans, mace-scented mashed acorn squash, dinosaur kale, and savory sauteed apples with cranberries. For dessert I made pumpkin custards sweetened with molasses and honey, and loaded with spices. We drizzled a homemade eggnog sweetened with maple over the custards. The beauty of the meal was that it filled us without stuffing us.

The disaster came when I set my new oven to self-clean afterwards. It stopped mid cycle and remains locked. I am home today waiting for the repairman.

gallery_40263_2501_1183074.jpg

I made stock with the meaty carcass and made one soup already with the neck meat and wild rice added to sauteed onion, garlic, carrot, celery & thyme. I have plans for a butternut-parsnip soup (as soon as the oven is fixed) and a SW turkey soup. The pieces and parts art tucked away in the freezer awaiting the soups. - Lynnette

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My sister and I made Thanksgiving dinner in two different houses. She lives across the alley in a humongus 1850s house with 5 fireplaces in it on a bluff overlooking the town. It's very Charles Dickens so we ate there but I made the turkey at home and roasted it at her house.

I brought the appetizers too. I got the bird brained idea to make and arrange appetizers to look like a turkey. Two days before I spent my lunch hour making a cheese ball and carefully arranging sliced almonds on it overlapping to look like feathers on a turkey body. The head and neck was crafted of soft breadstick dough shaped and baked and stuck into the almond feathered cheese ball. This all went on one side of a large round platter around which was placed, in concentric three quarter circles, various appetizers to give the impression of brightly colored tail feathers fanning out from the bird.

Interesting concept. Reality......Lock Ness Monster meets peacock and loses.

The actual turkey was great (brined) as were all the sweet pototoes, mashed potatoes, and gravey my sister made. I made curried acorn squash stuffed with curry buttered apple, onion, crazin and dried apricot compote, cream of carrot soup, cranberries and a plum tart. There was way too much food.

The next day when 5 people and an infant showed up at my sisters house unexpectedly to watch our local highschool football team win the state championship (yay!) we had the Lock Ness Reprise. Nessie became cheddar, cream cheese almond spread.

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I'll play.

Lessons learned:

- acidic juice + cast iron skillet = purple-gray brussels sprouts.

- 10 pound bird takes WAAAAY longer to cook than 2 hours. Possible problem with my oven, as at nearly 3 hours the outside was way overdone (despite covering with foil) and the inside was still barely 160. I estimated 2 hours, so all the side dishes sat for nearly an hour til we finally had to pull out the bird and hack pieces off it immediately so at least we could serve the dinner (so no sitting/resting for the bird either, no time). I will also never cook it on top of veggies again, the bottom of the pan was completely dry and there was nothing to baste it with. I know, basting is not supposed to be essential, but to me it's not thanksgiving if you can't baste the bird at least once. My sweet potatoes also seemed to take a long time to bake and in my haste I mashed some before they were probably 100% mushy which resulted in lumpy mashed sweets. I just had my oven thermometer thingy replaced like a year ago, I can't believe that's it already but it sounds like it must be given the problem with the sweets and the bird, so I am going to get that checked out. This was the first year I tried high temp for the first hour and then lowered it for the remainder of the time, maybe that contributed? I dunno, but next year I'm going back to 325 the whole time.

Also, my idea of "deconstructed" deviled eggs was tasty and interesting but way too time-consuming and next year I'll just make them the regular way. The advantage wasn't significant enough or interesting looking enough to bother doing it this way again. Also, note to self: radishes pushed way back to the back of the fridge will freeze, then they are dry when they thaw out. And there is such a thing as too much celery and carrot, especially when dealing with limited room in the fridge.

All in all, the table was beautiful and most of the food was really great.

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Four days, three Thanksgivings, two turkeys, one unturkey. The first one was fun because it was our favorite foods, done exactly the way we wanted them done. Split-roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes (with absolutely NO orange juice added), roasted cauliflower, cranberry sauce, cornbread with bacon on the top, and cazuela pie. That was it. There were only three of us, and it was great.

Thanksgiving the 2nd mostly involved trying to avoid getting too close to the sick relative who was hosting because she was too sick to come to our house. No, it didn't make sense to me, either. Next time somebody is ill, we teleconference or something because I am pretty sure I'm coming down with her plague. A couple of guests from Brazil brought an interesting dessert -- it was sort of like what you would get if a tres leches cake and a trifle were combined. A yellow cake base with pineapple and condensed milk, covered with meringue and shredded coconut. It wasn't bad. Very wet and gloopy, but surprisingly tasty. And it went well with pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving the 3rd was vegan. That included a great gluten "bird", a homemade unturkey. Wrapped in yuba skin and stuffed, it comes out looking kind of meat-ish. I've never been a great fan of seitan, so I would judge it just okay. The rest of the meal was pretty normal: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts, greens, roasted sweet potatoes with marshmallow, stuffed mushrooms, and my contribution: puff pastry cups filled with morels, carrots, and onions in a gravy made from the reduced morel soaking water and vegetable stock. With added thyme and parsley, they were pretty similar to mini chicken pot pies. And we had pumpkin pie and lots of booze. A pretty great meal. With only 8 attendees, it was a lot smaller this year than in years past, but it was a lot more relaxing that way.

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I'd like to know what deconstructed devilled eggs are!

This was my first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner and we hosted my fiance's family - total of 6. All in all, it went very well, and I send a special prayer of thanks to Alton Brown & his brining / cooking recipe - The turkey was awesome. His dad's a butcher, and while carving it, he couldn't get over how juicy the turkey was.

The other hit was the dish I made not knowing if they'd even care for it - sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. I'd never made it, don't remember eating it, but was very intrigued by the marshmallows. Excellent dish, everyone enjoyed it. Apple pie kicked ass, even though it bubbled over the top when the crust split.

Misses - sausage stuffing cooked outside of bird was too dry - I used the JoC recipe & used more broth than they called for, and still too dry. Minor misses - bland mashed potatoes, too smooth & airy, and timing - his mom had to make the gravy while we ran around mashing potatoes, making rolls, sauteeing green beans, etc., and the rest of family hung out in living room, some filling S & P shakers !

Still, if I didn't love to travel over that week, I'd be happy to do it again & again. But what a busy few days leading up to that day!

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Hits:

Turkey (pastured turkey from Troque Farms near kansas city, brined with a bastardization of alton brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey brine, and the one in Bouchon and air-dryed for about 18 hours)

Cauliflower Gratin from Bouchon

Rolls (supposedly the recipe from Lambert's Cafe, a midwest staple, which is my go-to for soft dinner rolls)

Gravy. OMG it was pretty, a beautiful color. I started the turkey at 500 and finished at 375, and every time I opened the oven to check temp, add foil to the breast, rotate, etc, I added a ladle or two of stock, which all contributed to fond

Cranberry chutney. basically just cranberry sauce with some sauteed shallots and garlic, and a bit of crushed red pepper. Subtle, but very tasty.

Misses:

The dressing was a little dry, although tasty

The sweet potato dish was bland and ugly, and the streussel topping went from uncooked to burned without ever stopping at browned.

Goat Cheese Mousse from TFL, as part of the relish tray / cheese tray to keep people from gnawing at the walls since I wanted thanksgiving dinner but everyone else is used to thanksgiving lunch. Too rich, not all that tasty, and it didn't really work like the recipe said.

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My brother and I deep fried the turkey a little too long. As in charcoal breasts. :shock: Of course, inside the turkey was incredibly moist and tender as it always is when we deep fry. We just ignored the...er...crust. :laugh:

We also deep fried two chickens and, lastly, a mess of albacore/yellow fin (gifts for my brother from one of his customers who had gone deep sea fishing) with two different kinds of breading which was Da Bomb! It made for some interesting appetizers.

My mom told us she hid all of her frozen onion rings and french fries after the last time we deep fried a turkey (some of the spice rub on the turkey ended up flavoring the oil nicely and we were looking for anything and everything that we could throw into the seasoned hot oil).

Usually, I'm the one who makes the home-made mashed potatoes. But because I was assisting at the deep fryer, the job fell to a family friend who worked under instructions from my mom. Which meant this year's mashed potatoes didn't have real butter or a the usual scosh of sour cream. She had them use margarine. Oh, the horror. :sad::angry:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I brought the appetizers too.  I got the bird brained idea to make and arrange appetizers to look like a turkey.  Two days before I spent my lunch hour making a cheese ball and carefully arranging sliced almonds on it overlapping to look like feathers on a turkey body.  The head and neck was crafted of soft breadstick dough shaped and baked and stuck into the almond feathered cheese ball.  This all went on one side of a large round platter around which was placed, in concentric three quarter circles, various appetizers to give the impression of brightly colored tail feathers fanning out from the bird. 

Interesting concept.  Reality......Lock Ness Monster meets peacock and loses. 

How could you NOT post pictures???

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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We also deep fried two chickens and, lastly, a mess of albacore/yellow fin (gifts for my brother from one of his customers who had gone deep sea fishing) with two different kinds of breading which was Da Bomb! It made for some interesting appetizers.

I was just thinking how sorry I was that we didn't try deep-frying a whole chicken while we had the turkey fryer up and running. How was it? How long did it take to fry? Or do you mean you made "fried chicken"--pieces dredged or battered and fried?

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I think I'll keep the idea for the mini turducken around. We bought it this year, already seasoned and packaged, but if I'm dealing with just the breasts, this is something I can make myself, and adjust the seasoning. Some of the proportions seemed a little off in some slices (ie; 70% duck, 5% chicken, and 25% turkey), so I'll try to even that out a little more, and use the duck fat which did not come in the one we bought.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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We also deep fried two chickens and, lastly, a mess of albacore/yellow fin (gifts for my brother from one of his customers who had gone deep sea fishing) with two different kinds of breading which was Da Bomb! It made for some interesting appetizers.

I was just thinking how sorry I was that we didn't try deep-frying a whole chicken while we had the turkey fryer up and running. How was it? How long did it take to fry? Or do you mean you made "fried chicken"--pieces dredged or battered and fried?

The fryers had been given a good spice rub the night before. Any remaining moisture on or in the chickens was patted dry and then they were fried whole. It takes about 3 minutes per pound (just like the turkey). My brother bought a two-fryer pack at Costco which weighed in at just over 8 pounds. Each chicken was done in under 12 minutes and cut up into pieces post-fry.

My brothers and I had debated about frying them whole or in pieces. If we hadn't cooked the fish (with their respective batters/coatings) we'd have cut the fryers into pieces and battered/floured them before frying just for efficiency's sake.

edited to add: Long heat-proof gloves are a must-have when deep frying in this manner. My brother had what amounted to welder's gloves which covered his arm up to the elbow (he also uses the gloves when he smokes meat in his large smoker). He was able to quickly remove the hot metal-lifter contraption out of one chicken and move it into the next in order to minimize the down time between fryings. Though, with the chickens, they were small enough we could have risked frying them without the contraption and using tongs and/or the large metal scoop/strainer that came with the pot to fish out the cooked chicken.

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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What a delightful thread!

Our family is in an era of evolving Thanksgiving traditions. My husband and I now have only my relatives to visit, since both of his parents are gone and his siblings are far-flung. My mother and my sister's mother-in-law are no longer able to host a major meal, so we all ended up at my sister's, 150 miles from where I live. That imposes some limits as to my own contributions.

Total head count: 12 adults, one 7-year-old, one 2 1/2 year-old, one 18-month-old, and one 7-month-old. And 5 dogs. Two great-grandparents (age 83 and 85)were far more interested in lying on the floor and playing with the baby, than eating dinner. They wore themselves out trying to find new stupid noises to get the baby to laugh at them, and when she did, you'd think they'd won the lottery. The 2 1/2-year-old doted on her infant cousin. The 18-month-old clowned around with his uncle's hat. The 7-year-old tried to avoid old ladies who wanted to comment on his truly marvelous freckles. And the baby fell in love with our dog, and bawled inconsolably when he wouldn't stand still and let her pet him. The family Chihuahua, who gets passed from house to house enough that we can't remember who she actually belongs to, reigned over the other dogs and kept them in line.

I brought a pumpkin roll and a chocolate/apple/spice bundt cake. The bundt cake came out well. For reasons I don't clearly understand, I cooled the cake for the pumpkin roll on a towel placed on a cooling rack, instead of parchment, which I've always done before. That's probably why the cake cracked deeply when it was rolled. But I smashed it all together with plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight, and it was acceptable. The family loves pumpkin roll, and would have eaten it however it landed on the plate. My mom sulked because people didn't dive into her pecan tart, made with a new recipe, so we all decided to oblige her by having a second dessert. She also brought a pumpkin pie, which she's really good at making, and then inexplicably blessed it with Cool Whip. The turkey was excellent, so were the potatoes and the dressing, and there was plenty of gravy.

Everybody ate too much, and the day wasn't long enough before we had to pile into our respective cars. Our dog was worn OUT and slept all the way home. The children and I completed the weekend with a nasty stomach virus.

We'll do it all again at Christmas. Sans virus, I hope.

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What a delightful thread!

Our family is in an era of evolving Thanksgiving traditions.  My husband and I now have only my relatives to visit, since both of his parents are gone and his siblings are far-flung.  My mother and my sister's mother-in-law are no longer able to host a major meal, so we all ended up at my sister's, 150 miles from where I live.  That imposes some limits as to my own contributions.

Total head count: 12 adults, one 7-year-old, one 2 1/2 year-old, one 18-month-old, and one 7-month-old.  And 5 dogs. Two great-grandparents (age 83 and 85)were far more interested in lying on the floor and playing with the baby, than eating dinner.  They wore themselves out trying to find new stupid noises to get the baby to laugh at them, and when she did, you'd think they'd won the lottery.  The 2 1/2-year-old doted on her infant cousin.  The 18-month-old clowned around with his uncle's hat.  The 7-year-old tried to avoid old ladies who wanted to comment on his truly marvelous freckles.  And the baby fell in love with our dog, and bawled inconsolably when he wouldn't stand still and let her pet him.  The family Chihuahua, who gets passed from house to house enough that we can't remember who she actually belongs to, reigned over the other dogs and kept them in line.

I brought a pumpkin roll and a chocolate/apple/spice bundt cake.  The bundt cake came out well.  For reasons I don't clearly understand, I cooled the cake for the pumpkin roll on a towel placed on a cooling rack, instead of parchment, which I've always done before.  That's probably why the cake cracked deeply when it was rolled.  But I smashed it all together with plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight, and it was acceptable.  The family loves pumpkin roll, and would have eaten it however it landed on the plate.  My mom sulked because people didn't dive into her pecan tart, made with a new recipe, so we all decided to oblige her by having a second dessert.  She also brought a pumpkin pie, which she's really good at making, and then inexplicably blessed it with Cool Whip.  The turkey was excellent, so were the potatoes and the dressing, and there was plenty of gravy.

Everybody ate too much, and the day wasn't long enough before we had to pile into our respective cars.  Our dog was worn OUT and slept all the way home.  The children and I completed the weekend with a nasty stomach virus.

We'll do it all again at Christmas.  Sans virus, I hope.

Great post. The Grandparent's on the floor with the babies- awesome. Hope you all feel better now!

Melissa

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Hits : The Cider,Chili and Garlic brine from the nov 2007 issue of Saveur ( 'Perfect Bird ' article)

Arugula Caesar salad with shaved fennel and Heirloom Tomato

The Calvados Gravy From the same article..

Andouille Dressing

Cranberry peppercorn Chutney

Lillet glazed beets

Baby Artichokes with white wine, shallot burre blanc

Sweet potato pie with chocolate praline crust and Bourbon whipped cream

Near Miss : cooking the bird at 450˚ as per Saveur article...luckily was skeptical and kept a close eye on the temp of the bird .. aparently using the Convection mode isnt a good idea for this technique, as it hit 160 after about 90 minutes. Near disaster , but I turned off the oven, opened the door for 5 minutes and still got another 10˚ of carryover ... still it was AWESOME !!

Total No Show : the Sodium Alginate Pomegranate 'Caviar " , and Chipolte Butternut squash soup Orbs --- I just wasnt feeeling Molecular. Maybe for Christmas..

Happy Accident : a Lillet Proseco cocktail although the pomegranate seeds were a little much.

Thank Gawd I Didnt Even Try : a molecular ' Turducken ' using Transglutamase to 'glue' together a layer of Turkey Duck and Chicken all cut out into rounds like some Unholy Layer Cake of Poultry . And the Cranberry Foam would probablly have just made it truly resemble a horrific mid Air collision. It sounded like a good idea untill I sobered up.

Next Year I Want To Do : make Turkey Confit ( heres your Damn Drumstick !!!!! ) And do the technique that I read about here on Egullet of poaching the bird in Court Bullion then giving it a quick trip to the oven to crisp the skin...

Edited by KLwood (log)

" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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After several years of fantastic dinners with no mistakes, this year was sort of a flop.

I've been brining for years now, and this year is the first time that the bird has ever been over-brined. For the past couple of years, I've been using the W-S brine, which is salt, sugar, lemon & orange peel and herbs. It imparts flavor to the entire bird, and last year using a 15 lb bird IMO it was perfect and I loved it. This year I used a smaller turkey (smaller crowd, only 3 of us) an 8 pounder, and the brine flavor was pretty strong.

I also missed the timing of the cooking. 15 minutes per pound (unstuffed) = 2 hours. Breast done at this time but not the dark meat. Breast carved off and rest of turkey stuck back in oven while everything else is put on hold on the stove top. Mashed taters with chives & garlic, giblet gravy with shittake mushrooms & sherry, green beans with crispy pancetta & sage. Dessert was a kentucky butter cake. My gravy was off this year (it's usually fabulous) and I'm not quite sure what went wrong there.

All in all a good weekend spent walking by the ocean and beach-combing and lazing around reading books and playing games. There's always next year to try & get it right again!

Born Free, Now Expensive

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we are still in the pre stage and I already feel like I've made a HUGE mistake.

(living in Italy nobody knows the difference and even if they do BFD - I just tell them that in my family we ALWAYS celebrate Thanksgiving 10 or so days later)

This is the first year I ordered a turkey. (previous years I have just bought a couple chickens)

I asked my local butcher for a turkey.

I picked it up today.

I have 35 pounds of turkey.

How the hell am I going to get that baby cooked?????

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I brought the appetizers too.  I got the bird brained idea to make and arrange appetizers to look like a turkey.  Two days before I spent my lunch hour making a cheese ball and carefully arranging sliced almonds on it overlapping to look like feathers on a turkey body.  The head and neck was crafted of soft breadstick dough shaped and baked and stuck into the almond feathered cheese ball.  This all went on one side of a large round platter around which was placed, in concentric three quarter circles, various appetizers to give the impression of brightly colored tail feathers fanning out from the bird. 

Interesting concept.  Reality......Lock Ness Monster meets peacock and loses. 

How could you NOT post pictures???

Actually, I wanted to have a picture of my Appetizer Turkey Platter Extraordinaire and asked my boyfriend to bring his camera for that very purpose. It would have been a multi purpose shot, being perfect for the Gallery of Regretable Foods, Thanksgiving Post Mortem and Stupid Things I'll Never Do Again. But he came late, and by the time he got there Nessie Turkey was largely Gobbled Up. (ok...shameful pun admitted)

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we are still in the pre stage and I already feel like I've made a HUGE mistake.

(living in Italy nobody knows the difference and even if they do BFD - I just tell them that in my family we ALWAYS celebrate Thanksgiving 10 or so days later)

This is the first year I ordered a turkey. (previous years I have just bought a couple chickens)

I asked my local butcher for a turkey.

I picked it up today.

I have 35 pounds of turkey.

How the hell am I going to get that baby cooked?????

Are you saying it's too large to fit in your oven?

There have been previous discussions (that I can't specifically recall at the moment) where it was suggested that the dark meat and the white meat be roasted for different lengths of time since one takes longer than the other. This would mean cutting the turkey up before cooking. Perhaps one or more of the previous posters who advocate this method of turkey roasting will chime in.

Our Thanksgiving turkey has never been carved at the dining table. It's always pre-carved in the kitchen for ease of distribution. So cooking it cut up could work for you.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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we are still in the pre stage and I already feel like I've made a HUGE mistake.

(living in Italy nobody knows the difference and even if they do BFD - I just tell them that in my family we ALWAYS celebrate Thanksgiving 10 or so days later)

This is the first year I ordered a turkey. (previous years I have just bought a couple chickens)

I asked my local butcher for a turkey.

I picked it up today.

I have 35 pounds of turkey.

How the hell am I going to get that baby cooked?????

Are you saying it's too large to fit in your oven?

There have been previous discussions (that I can't specifically recall at the moment) where it was suggested that the dark meat and the white meat be roasted for different lengths of time since one takes longer than the other. This would mean cutting the turkey up before cooking. Perhaps one or more of the previous posters who advocate this method of turkey roasting will chime in.

Our Thanksgiving turkey has never been carved at the dining table. It's always pre-carved in the kitchen for ease of distribution. So cooking it cut up could work for you.

Cutting it up was simply not an option ( the Italians have seen tons of films with the famed Thanksgiving dinner scene so my idea is to give them the "real" thing - even if most of the Thanksgiving celebrating population doesn't actually present a whole turkey at the dinner table)

I fired up my brick oven up at 6pm - stuck (squished??) the bird in at 1am , went to bed and took it out this morning at 8am.

It looks good and it looks like it is cooked so at least it has the "bella figura" going for it. Hopefully it really is cooked and nobody gets food poisoning (although if they do I will just blame it on their systems that don't know how to deal with "real" american food !! :biggrin: )

This turkey may have to move over to the tread "The best dish on the Thanksgiving table"

Now, the sweet potatos, on the other hand, may get to stay right here in this thread. The italians are gonna hate 'em! And if they do I'll tell them that it could be worse- I could have made pumpkin pie for dessert.

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