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Thanksgiving 2019

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For thanksgiving this year, we are dividing the duties because a lot of people want to contribute and eager to cook 

 

I didn't want to be rude and volunteer for the interesting things - dessert and turkey - so waited for others and take whatever is left 

 

Dessert was taken first, followed by turkey, then the sides, the only thing left that I could do was alcohol 

 

So I'm doing alcohol this year - 3 bottles of sparkling wine and 3 bottles red  

 

Sparkling will be prosecco, cava etc. no champagne from the champagne region of France bc it's too expensive at $60 a bottle for Moet etc 

 

I thought sparkling a good choice bc it'll be celebratory and festive (like a party) 

 

The person cooking the turkey is planning to put the stuffing inside the bird - traditional style.

For the inside to cook through, the outside breast would need to reach a super high temp thereby drying it out completely.

So I am curious how it will come out (maybe successful?) 

 

But it's better to eat other people's food, something new, rather than my own cooking since I eat my own cooking all the time 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@eugenep, you exemplify a quality of being a good guest. Stay out of the way, be appreciative, and don't criticize others' efforts! I applaud you for it.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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So, plans to go to Minnesota have been scrapped. I gotta come up with dinner.

Hopefully, I can find a thawed out turkey. Gotta make stock tonight. 

Pies, sides, gravy, oh my.

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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Mom and Dad are hosting. I am making dressing with mushrooms (my stand by recipe, has lots of shallots and fresh herbs), gravy (I do the "make ahead" version), and infamous Knorr spinach dip. Stepson was tasked with buying something for dessert (Mom is making apple crisp + ice cream). She sometimes buys the veg side (Wegmans butternut squash w/cranberries), and will be making twice-baked potatoes (no cheese). Sis usually is responsible for salad or soup since she's not the most confident cook.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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For the first time ever in over 30 years, Thanksgiving will be small and at our house instead of out at the beach. Six people total, instead of the usual 12 to 15. Looking forward to a small turkey! And this year my husband, who does most of the turkey cooking, has the opportunity to satisfy his long time desire for juicy white meat. I'm a dark meat person, so it's never worked out perfectly for the both of us. This time he is going to rotate the turkey during roasting after a dry brine. Our previous turkeys have always been really big and that hasn't been practical. Should be interesting. As my mother in law died in the summer, this will be the first time since since forever that my husband' and siblings have had a holiday with no parent and no sand on the floors and no view of the ocean. And since the absentees are the ones who really eat turkey, I will be left with a lot of stuff for the stockpot.

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On 11/11/2019 at 11:31 PM, Kim Shook said:

 

 

I'm not really sure when this will get used.  We often have our "holiday dinner" in January.  We will invite parents and various strays who aren't too tired of turkey.  My MIL has made it pretty clear that Jessica and I won't be contributing to Thanksgiving.  She told Jessica that "her family" likes very traditional food.  I admit this makes me feel weirdly left out.  And honestly pissed on my daughter's behalf.  Her cousins grew up being schooled in pie-making by this grandmother, so they will have their "traditional" sleep over at grandma's Thanksgiving Eve to make pies.  I know full well I should get over it after all this time.  I'll try again this year.  🤐😉

 

 

I read in Tom Wolf's novel that Virginia is supposed to represent some kind of old aristocratic South.

 

I wanted to see it myself when I was younger and did an internship in Charlottesville, VA, one summer.  

 

The place was beautiful. 

 

A college professor told me when she was living there, the culture was kind of snobbish and you had to have money etc. or else people will see you as less. 

 

But I do wonder if maybe that exclusivity you mentioned had something to do with that old aristocratic Southern culture

 


Edited by eugenep (log)

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Well "the best laid plans". Postponing to mid Decmber. BUT now I have a major turkey craving for dark meat and stock for future soups. Will call 2 closest markets and see if they have necks, wings, and a leg or two. 

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1 hour ago, eugenep said:

For thanksgiving this year, we are dividing the duties because a lot of people want to contribute and eager to cook 

 

I didn't want to be rude and volunteer for the interesting things - dessert and turkey - so waited for others and take whatever is left 

 

Dessert was taken first, followed by turkey, then the sides, the only thing left that I could do was alcohol 

 

 

My mother does a Thanksgiving cocktail to start, if you want to do something more fun. :) 

 

My own is going to be at the in-laws house and step-mother-in-law and her family are Puerto Rican, so there will be pernil and paella. And probably a turkey. Maybe. I'm bringing bakery bought pie because I'm just in crazy mode this time of year. There's generally a second round at my BIL's house the next day that's more traditional, but given they have a galley kitchen I just stand at one end and chat or help as needed. And keep kids occupied. :)

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Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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I’m new around here and from the U.K. where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I love reading about the different family traditions and seeing pictures of what you all cook.

 

I have a question, if this is the right place to ask it.  It seems that mostly your turkeys are frozen and I wondered what the reason was for that.  I have seen the occasional mention of fresh turkeys but it doesn’t seem common.

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I believe, if it works out, it will be a turkey-free Thanksgiving this year.  A relative relocated here and brought a locomotive-sized smoker with them.  Smoked prime rib is what I think is going to happen, the details are sketchy so far.

 

I was assigned dessert.  I am doing Chefsteps Pumpkin Pie in Jars which I tested a month or so back and it was excellent.  I am also doing the Chefsteps corn pie, pumpkin style (Recipe is behind a paywall, sorry) for something a little different, yet familiar.

 

And for the first time in my cooking life, the real deal Campbell cream of mushroom, French's fried onion, green bean casserole.   It's been asked for and I am obliging.    The streak is over.

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We're having a turkey-free feast also, also just the two of us, as we have for many years. This year it's short ribs, smashed potatoes, creamed corn (his request of a classic), green beans with bacon (my classic), Caramelized Carrot Salad with bearnaise from a class I took earlier this year, Persimmon Panna Cotta, adapted from that same class, and fresh dinner rolls.

 

It's a preposterous amount of food for 2 people, promising a great many leftovers. Whether I actually get it all done remains to be seen. I'm starting today. The beauty of the carrot dish and the panna cotta is that they can be done in advance.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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27 minutes ago, Toast said:

II have a question, if this is the right place to ask it.  It seems that mostly your turkeys are frozen and I wondered what the reason was for that.  I have seen the occasional mention of fresh turkeys but it doesn’t seem common.

 

Whole turkey is a seasonal item. This is a big country and the considerations of shipping and other economics are a big factor. . The fresh are generally heritage smaller operation farm raised and are special orders so the butcher or general market does not end up with too few or too many. Plus the generic big frozen ones are "loss leader" at holidays.. Often buy "x" amount of groceries and they practically give it away. Example from a major chain this week  https://www.ralphs.com/weeklyad


Edited by heidih (log)
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57 minutes ago, heidih said:

 

Whole turkey is a seasonal item. This is a big country and the considerations of shipping and other economics are a big factor. . The fresh are generally heritage smaller operation farm raised and are special orders so the butcher or general market does not end up with too few or too many. Plus the generic big frozen ones are "loss leader" at holidays.. Often buy "x" amount of groceries and they practically give it away. Example from a major chain this week  https://www.ralphs.com/weeklyad

 

 

Thats interesting, thank you.

 

Is it common for people who have access to fresh turkeys to purchase them or are they generally not available/people are not bothered about fresh over frozen?

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2 hours ago, Toast said:

I’m new around here and from the U.K. where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I love reading about the different family traditions and seeing pictures of what you all cook.

 

I have a question, if this is the right place to ask it.  It seems that mostly your turkeys are frozen and I wondered what the reason was for that.  I have seen the occasional mention of fresh turkeys but it doesn’t seem common.

 

I buy my turkey from a local farmer. This year, in fact, I have two turkey halves, as their processor cut too many of them apart, so I'll roast one and smoke the other. Should work nicely. I have gotten fresh turkeys from them before, but the issue is that, since it has to go to the processor the week of Thanksgiving, you get a turkey that's however big it got before it got slaughtered; thus one year, for six people I had a 24-pound turkey! USDA regulations for farm products require turkeys to be processed by an approved slaughterhouse, and those are not always in big supply for smaller farmers; my folks drive about 80 miles from their farm to their processor, so a 160 mile round trip to take them, and another 160-mile round trip to pick them up. Big poultry processors which process hundreds of thousands of birds a day will switch over to almost exclusively turkey in advance of Thanksgiving and Christmas to accommodate the demand; it's just not possible to process enough fresh to meet the demand.

 

So my turkey halves are currently thawing. I may smoke one half tomorrow, and I think I'll smoke all the dark meat, maybe save one drumstick. The other half will go in the oven Thursday morning. This afternoon, I'm going to make @Kim Shooks fig, apple and mascarpone tart, except it'll be in a springform pan, as I do not possess a tart pan, and a pan of gluten-free brownies for Child B and me and anyone else craving chocolate. Tomorrow, I'll pick up my dressing (from a local restaurant whose dressing is dependably good; mine is either good or not fit to eat, and one can't have bad dressing) and get my sweet potato casserole and corn casserole ready to bake, and make and par-bake my rolls, in addition to smoking the turkey half. So that leaves me Thursday to roast the other half-turkey, cook the green beans and brussels sprouts, make the mac and cheese, and bake the dressings and casseroles.

 

Oh, and also must make curry dip as a spread for day-after turkey sandwiches!

 

I probably won't do appetizers, as no one seems to want to fill up on them. In fact, most years the desserts aren't touched, either. We are definitely a turkey and sides...and sides...and sides crowd.

 

I perused the dry rose offerings from the local liquor store, and went with La Crema, as I like their pinot noir and this professes to be a pinot rose, which I've never heard of. We also have hard cider and a red blend, and soft drinks and sparkling water. 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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2 hours ago, Toast said:

I’m new around here and from the U.K. where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I love reading about the different family traditions and seeing pictures of what you all cook.

 

I have a question, if this is the right place to ask it.  It seems that mostly your turkeys are frozen and I wondered what the reason was for that.  I have seen the occasional mention of fresh turkeys but it doesn’t seem common.

 

Its a distribution issue to a large degree,I think. Low demand all year and then high demand at Thanksgiving and Christmas. That, combined with the limited shelf life of fowl makes freezing a rational plan.

 

Cooked properly, they taste as good as fresh turkey of similar quality (ie not a 'wagyu' turkey)

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1 hour ago, Toast said:

 

Thats interesting, thank you.

 

Is it common for people who have access to fresh turkeys to purchase them or are they generally not available/people are not bothered about fresh over frozen?

 

Plenty of fresh turkeys get bought, but its hard for me to say that the quality difference is that much. It, after all, is still turkey.

 

The big quality difference is in how nicely they are cooked.  Big damn bird and not easy to get the breast and legs both properly done. 

 

My solution is to carve off the breasts and sous vide them to 145F. A wholly different meat cooked thusly.

 

(And it must be cooked to 145 F not 62.7 C. It is an American bird.)

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Melissa Clark has a great line about the common mass produced ones are Dolly Partons (giant breasts) and the heritage are more Jane Fonda (proportional)

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Gawd, the angst starting already. Sis, who can't put a menu together and has limited cooking bandwidth, is stuck on the idea of making a stuffed mushroom casserole. Which I really can't see considering I have already made stuffing with...mushrooms. So more mushrooms and bread. I just emailed her to suggest just roasting some cubed root veg. Nobody really cares about the veg and at least those are good as leftovers, even for soup.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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55 minutes ago, BeeZee said:

Gawd, the angst starting already. Sis, who can't put a menu together and has limited cooking bandwidth, is stuck on the idea of making a stuffed mushroom casserole. Which I really can't see considering I have already made stuffing with...mushrooms. So more mushrooms and bread. I just emailed her to suggest just roasting some cubed root veg. Nobody really cares about the veg and at least those are good as leftovers, even for soup.

 

Patience - breathe. Some people are just food menu clueless as you note. I try to look at it (after gently tryng misdirection) that at least they are cooking and trying. Unfortunate;y not an item that would freeze well. With my big gatherings I just let them bring non food items and desserts. Control freaked the rest - I can be forceful without unpleasantness - at least I think so.. "Oh gosh I already have all the stuff prepped". "oh that sounds good- maybe next time" "maybe at Christmas?"   Oy

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2 hours ago, BeeZee said:

Gawd, the angst starting already. Sis, who can't put a menu together and has limited cooking bandwidth, is stuck on the idea of making a stuffed mushroom casserole. Which I really can't see considering I have already made stuffing with...mushrooms. So more mushrooms and bread. I just emailed her to suggest just roasting some cubed root veg. Nobody really cares about the veg and at least those are good as leftovers, even for soup.

 

Its Thanksgiving. Its supposed to be a disaster

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7 hours ago, lemniscate said:

 

And for the first time in my cooking life, the real deal Campbell cream of mushroom, French's fried onion, green bean casserole.   It's been asked for and I am obliging.    The streak is over.

 

I think the important part of this is to use fresh green beans. The original is canned, and I just can't. Steam some fresh ones and it's pretty tasty. :)


Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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1 hour ago, Allura said:

 

I think the important part of this is to use fresh green beans. The original is canned, and I just can't. Steam some fresh ones and it's pretty tasty. :)

 

But then it won't taste the same. Frozen at a minimum if going classic. If sinking to Campbells Cr of Mush ya know go all the way or go home. 

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Well, several days ago "my people" have completely changed plans and menu on me ...

We're now having -

Meatloaf (!!???) -

Mashed potatoes (okay - that's Thanksgiving'y ~

Brown Gravy for Mashed

Green beans with baby potatoes *very definitely belongs on the table* ~

Mac N Cheese (okay - nothing weird there - that's shown up a million times) - 

Banana Pudding ~ eh - I'll give it a pass, I guess ... 

and Apple / Raisin Hand pies (!?) (I made them the other day - I guess they wanted more???) 

Definitely not a "typical" Thanksgiving menu - but - who cares, I guess ... we are thankful every day ... at least I didn't already buy an enormous turkey or ham and the prime rib can go in the freezer ... although, I will miss the stock :/ ... maybe I'll buy a turkey anyway ... or two ... 

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I have an EpiPen ... my friend gave it to me when he was dying ... it seemed very important to him that I have it ... 

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2 hours ago, heidih said:

 

But then it won't taste the same. Frozen at a minimum if going classic. If sinking to Campbells Cr of Mush ya know go all the way or go home. 

I think mush is the key word here. I do like GBC though.


That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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