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US Thanksgiving 2021


heidih
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As things open up a bit I wonder if gatherings are planned and with supply chain issues what we are sourcing. 2  weeks out. I'd cook a turkey (smallish) just for 3. I envied a friend today who said she usually gets 2. "How big is your freezer?" Answer "The one in my husband's lab is empty". She assured me the docs only use the fridge part(!!!) 

 

I'm going to Kroger Saturday so I will grab a bag of fresh cranberries and check turkey prices. Hopefully some decent winter squash.  I'm good with just legs/thighs but will see.  My favorite stock for soup is from turkey carcass.

 

My dad makes an odd ":stuffing" heavy on liver and sausage meat - baked in loaf pan, Really good in sandwiches. He is 99 so maybe his last - I'll prompt him.

 

I prefer pumpkin bread to pie and I have some flavorful Granny Smith apples to play with. You?

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I am hosting 9 people, all vax’d (some boosted). I have turkey wings in the freezer to use for “make ahead” gravy. Two cans of jellied cranberry sauce, because I’ve given up making fresh that nobody but me eats. Loaf of bread in the freezer to be used for mushroom stuffing. Sides will be contributions from Mom (twice baked potatoes) and Sis (some veg), might make a 2nd veg like braised carrots (because I like veg), dessert by stepson’s fiance (guessing a pie or cobbler) plus I will have ice cream and cookies. I am leaning towards skipping the appetizer course, since ther will be snacks before the meal. I usually wait a bit longer, but I am nervous about turkey availability so I plan to purchase two frozen bone-in breasts this weekend.

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

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Thanksgiving used to be at my house, but now it is at my parents' due to my Dad's declining mobility.  Last year we could not eat together because of covid concerns but this year we are all vaxxed/boosted.  The family menu does not change much.  We normally roast two turkeys, but are only doing one this year because of space limitations in my Mom's kitchen.  My Mom ordered a smaller one from a local farm a couple of weeks ago.   It will be enough.   The rest of the menu is gravy, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, whipped Macomber turnips with crispy shallots, homemade chunky cranberry sauce, maple spiced butternut squash, and roasted broccolini.  For some reason my brother always insists on those terrible brown and serve rolls from the grocery store.  Nobody else eats rolls so we don't care.  My Mom makes pumpkin cheesecake and apple pie for dessert.  I'm bringing the turnips and butternut squash but my Mom wants to cook everything else.  That's fine with me.  All of the vegetables and the cranberries are coming from my CSA. They offer a "gobble box" each year at this time that contains all of the typical Thanksgiving vegetables in fairly large quantities.  They store well, and I have the space to store them.  I'll drop the potatoes and cranberries off to my Mom the day before Thanksgiving (we only live 10 minutes from each other).

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This year will be a relatively quiet Thanksgiving. Instead of 25 to 30 people, it is just six (plus me).

 

I'll be doing the usual, Turkey, Mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing. I have to make a sweet potato casserole and Brussels Sprouts by popular demand.  Pies and rolls will be from the local bakery.

 

For wine, I've got a Cru Beaujolais, an Alsatian Gerwurtz, and backups of Zinfandel and white burgundy.

Edited by dans (log)
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2 hours ago, liamsaunt said:

 whipped Macomber turnips with crispy shallots

That sounds interesting/good. Are the shallots incorporated or on  top to stay crisp? You fry or store ones?

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Last week I made chicken stock. This weekend I'll make the turkey stock using the chicken stock as the base. That's probably it for this weekend. Then I'll shop and make some stuff this week before I host friends on the 20th. Smoking turkey breasts, confit the legs, sweet potato au gratin, Turkey Jus Gra in place gravy. Vanilla creme brulee for dessert made with vanilla sugar. Other stuff. Will be good.

 

I got the call up from my Aunt to make the gravy for the large family Thanksgiving which is kind of a big deal (in only my mind, lol). Excited about that. The ChefSteps Turkey Gravy is by far the best gravy I've ever had or made. It's easily the best part of the entire meal, and the meal is great.

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1 hour ago, Robenco15 said:

I got the call up from my Aunt to make the gravy for the large family Thanksgiving which is kind of a big deal (in only my mind, lol). Excited about that. The ChefSteps Turkey Gravy is by far the best gravy I've ever had or made. It's easily the best part of the entire meal, and the meal is great.

If you got the call they must enjoy your version. Expectations and traditions as noted above play such a role on holidays. A friend was freaking out years ago when she was an unexpected new mom at 43. Sent her teen son to me for a while and was petrified of making the gravy. I made it. I'd had hers before. Went the turkey wing/neck route and her husband picked it up on the morning. He did bring Broguiere's eggnog which my husband adored. I was nervous because I am not a gravy (mashed potato) person (ducking from shrapnel now). All worked out. At a friend Thanksgiving a couple years ago the hostess and her sister were trembling as I was not doing like their mother did. I backed away. 

 

I took a deep breath and brought up turkey with stepmom and cut her off at the pass on a whole bird. Nobody here wants the breast. I know how to cook it to moist result I just don't enjoy. (flashbacks to "eat the white - it is less fattening"...   So hunting for necks and wings to roast. The 99 and 90 years old prefer bone nibbling. I'll do the mashed and gravy for them, brussels sprouts if they look decent, and homemade cranberry. Not an orange or tangerine ripe on trees yet so will go basic. I'll roast squash for myself. Pumpkin pie spiced tea cake for after with coffee/tea. If I find some chicken livers I'll do a rough chopped liver & onions to spread on some delightfully tart and crisp green apple slices for befores or afters. I hate eating at noon so I'll suck it up and pretend, then pick my food way through rest of day. 

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We seem to be all set. I made my stocks last month. Do not need a veg stock this year. For years I made a wild mushroom and mixed grain/cornbread stuffing/dressing for the vegetarians/gluten-freebies. Though easy enough to make if need be. 

We needed no stress this year in case we take a road trip to visit my parents. We have been visiting in rotation. My sister from Miami and her husband are visiting now. My brother and family from Idaho were there last month. We were there a few months ago. Mother needs a turkey. I really do not care but the few years we went 'off script', even among friends, I always missed the turkey in retrospect. Mom and pop turn 93 and 92 this week. She has always had turkey and nothing will change that. ---my parents can no longer handle a houseful family reunion type gathering. 

 

Turkey in the freezer from ButcherBox. Lots of winter squash, root veggies, pomegranates and cranberries from Misfits. Garden herbs still fresh without a frost. If need be I will harvest and make the stuffing/dressing herb mirepoix early and freeze as a do-ahead. 

 

I saved a few Food and Wine Thanksgiving holiday magazines from the early 90's when I took over the menu. Family tradition now. And one or two new side dishes every year for yuck-yucks. Those few mags are filthy with post-its and even a grocery list tucked in. 

 

I'm obsessed with the NPR recipe going on for years that most find gross. Sour cream, horseradish, cranberry. Niana Totenbergs MIL's recipe I think. Mama Stanberg's cranberry relish. I make a triple batch and use it for months on sandwiches from the freezer in half pints. I buy sour cream once a year just for that. Misfits has cheese and butter now, VermontCreamery---and sour cream!, cottage cheese, etc.

Stupid planting of horseradish in my garden among my blueberry plants as horseradish tends to take over. It seems fine as they may like each other so far after ten years. 

 

Next day Thanksgiving egg/potato stuffing/dressing hash for breakfast. Sliders for brunch on biscuits. Turkey/bean/greens soup for a crowd. Once a year is like no other. I like the classics. (not the 50's-60's introduction of marshmallow/jello crap that was introduced by advertising via magazines).

 

 

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4 hours ago, heidih said:

That sounds interesting/good. Are the shallots incorporated or on  top to stay crisp? You fry or store ones?

 

They are left on top.  I fry them myself in a mix of oil and butter.  I found this old photo of the dish on my laptop--apparently from Thanksgiving 2014.  There won't be any pictures this year since dinner is not at my house and food photos make my Dad grumpy 😀

 

1907527445_turnipscopy.thumb.jpeg.f78456ae965b05f8f98b2b42c5084225.jpeg

Edited by liamsaunt
typo (log)
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I will join my cousins.  Save one, they are all vegetable phobes so that's what I usually bring.  There will be an enormous turkey, 25 lbs minimum, stuffed the night before with bread stuffing, then put in the oven with a timer to start sometime in the wee hours.  The guy has a PhD in neuroscience but they must not have required any microbiology coursework.  Sheesh! Everyone else is happy to eat it and I'm unaware of any issues but usually aim for a wing or a slice off a drumstick and skip the stuffing. At least 20 lbs of mashed potatoes and gallons of gravy will be consumed.  He does an excellent job with the gravy. 

They also set out all the food, save the gravy, then call everyone to the tables where we stand for an endless recitation of gratitudes.  Of course, I have many things to be grateful for but standing around while children are prodded to speak and some adults wax rhapsodically whilst the food cools isn't one of them.  

I'm sure it will be delightful!

Edited by blue_dolphin
typo (log)
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23 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I will join my cousins.  Save one, they are all vegetable phobes so that's what I usually bring.  There will be an enormous turkey, 25 lbs minimum, stuffed the night before with bread stuffing, then put in the oven with a timer to start sometime in the wee hours.  The guy has a PhD in neuroscience but they must not have required any microbiology coursework.  Sheesh! Everyone else is happy to eat it and I'm unaware of any issues but usually aim for a wing or a slice off a drumstick and skip the stuffing. At least 20 lbs of mashed potatoes and gallons of gravy will be consumed.  He does an excellent job with the gravy. 

They also set out all the food, save the gravy, then call everyone to the tables where we stand for an endless recitation of gratitudes.  Of course, I have many things to be grateful for but standing around while children are prodded to speak and some adults wax rhapsodically whilst the food cools isn't one of them.  

I'm sure it will be delightful!

So funny! I too used to fume when all the food came to the table and my MIL insisted that everyone take a turn to say their gratitudes.  I slaved over a lot of that food and resented the hell out of getting colder by the minute....

 

Now it's different. The old people (well, older) are, sadly, gone. The rest of us mostly just dig in once the wine is poured. Last year there was no family Thanksgiving. This year it will be just be a few paranoid vaxxed up boomers; no millennial cousins, no greatest generation. It should be...dare I say...relaxing! I'm grateful for that.

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

They also set out all the food, save the gravy, then call everyone to the tables where we stand for an endless recitation of gratitudes.  Of course, I have many things to be grateful for but standing around while children are prodded to speak and some adults wax rhapsodically whilst the food cools isn't one of them.  

I'm sure it will be delightful!

Sounds frigging painful

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We are headed to my Mom's in Kansas City.  She's 91 and has claimed since the 1970s that this will be her last Thanksgiving.  She probably has 10 more in her. 

 

My daughter, son in law and 2 year old granddaughter are driving down from St Paul.  She is expecting her second daughter in January and will be holing up inside for Christmas.  I'm looking forward to seeing my two yesterday old granddaughter, it's been a few months and she's just a blast to be around. 

 

My brother and I will Smoke the turkey.  There will be sausage dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls etc. Mom's favorite is French silk pie. My daughter loved pumpkin. 

 

Here's the kid.

 

 

Snapchat-706129481.jpg

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

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She's adorable. What a smile! My 2nd granddaughter had a similarly glorious cloud of hair at that age (chestnut, in her case).

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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10 hours ago, chileheadmike said:

 

 

Here's the kid.

 

 

Snapchat-706129481.jpg

 

She looks like a good match for @Duvel's little guy. 

 

We'll have four adults and three kids as well as Child A and me. I have a 14-pound turkey from my farmers in the freezer. Debating on whether to roast it or smoke it; I may well split him in half and do both.  Cornbread dressing, both gluten-free for me and Child B that I'll make, and regular for everyone else, that I'll get from a local restaurant and bake here at home. Sweet potato casserole topped with a brown sugar-pecan crumble. Cranberry salad. Mac and cheese, as the sons-in-law and two of the grandchildren would incite armed resurrection were I not to have it. Brussels sprouts (the eldest grandchild LOVES brussels sprouts) and likely a green bean casserole. Yeast rolls. Essentially the same menu I've made for years and years, with some slight variations in the side dishes. Dessert, I'm leaning toward a coconut cake, and I have a gifted pecan pie in the freezer I'll pull out.

 

It'll be an evening meal, as SIL-2 will have worked Wednesday night. Child B and her brood will likely come over early afternoon, so I'll need to have munchies for ballgame watching, too.

 

I'll also make curry dip to spread on the next day's turkey sandwiches. Mayo, chili sauce, worcestershire sauce, curry powder. 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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BTW - I do realize i jumped the gun a bit on starting this. Had my dates mixed up!

 

Spoke with butcher at Kroger this morning. Wanted turkey parts. He said they order them but if supplier can't fill whole order they don't send bits of it. His ordered fresh turkeys are still MIA. Frozen are here. 

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Jiffy cornbread mix still 50cents/box. I never buy the French's fried onions, preferring the containers of fried shallots or garlic from Asian and Indian markets - but no current access so on sale French's will do.

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23 hours ago, heidih said:

BTW - I do realize i jumped the gun a bit on starting this. Had my dates mixed up! …

Given the current availability issues many of us face I don’t think you were at all early. Thanks for your gentle nudge to get started gathering supplies, even though it’s just the two of us.

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47 minutes ago, DesertTinker said:

Given the current availability issues many of us face I don’t think you were at all early. Thanks for your gentle nudge to get started gathering supplies, even though it’s just the two of us.

 I agree… I would love to do a small Trader Joe’s turkey for us, but just in case, I have a small Butterball turkey in the freezer, as well as cranberries. Everything else should be pretty easy to find closer to the day itself, potatoes, beans and the like.  I did nab a can of pumpkin, so a pie is a definite possibility. The stress of presenting a perfect Norman Rockwell meal just isn’t there when cooking for two, is it?

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"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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And so it begins, the turkey stock is done for gravy. Will skim fat tomorrow and put it in the freezer.

 

20211114_125956.jpg

 

Edited by Smithy
Rotated photo as poster's request (log)
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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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7qts of Turkey stock made with chicken stock combined with last year’s Turducken stock. Enough for gravy and to save some to add into next year’s turkey stock. It’s an infinity stock I guess?C460AA84-E4BC-4A46-8CC7-6AF5B7F4FEFD.thumb.jpeg.56c28ad86c0300961d1a6b56547d3982.jpeg

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It will be just the two of us, so I'll be roasting a chicken on a bed of potatoes, carrots, onions, and parsnips. We'll be having deviled eggs, chicken gizzard dressing, candied yams and some neglected, as yet to be determined, vegetable.

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