Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Thanksgiving Dinner

I'm backtracking here, since I just started this blog. Since this was the very first Thanksgiving dinner I have ever made, I wanted to document it for posterity. :)

The bird
I bought a 15 pound turkey for the five of us, so that we could feast on leftovers for days to come. I should have taken it out of the freezer on Sunday. Alas, I took it out on Monday evening, and by Thursday morning it was still very frozen. I woke up at 5 am to defrost it in a big bucket of water. I used Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe and brined the turkey before roasting it. I fortuitously discovered the giblet bag a few minutes before I put the turkey in the oven (like I was supposed to read the directions and know that there were two bags of icky parts inside the turkey and not just one?). The turkey took about an hour longer to cook than I thought it would, but the final product was fantastic. It was amazingly moist and got rave reviews from everyone at the table. It's sort of anticlimactic to make a great turkey the first time around - it can only be downhill from here!

The rest
Wild Rice, Apple, and Dried Cranberry Stuffing
This was good, but became excellent the next day. The cranberries softened, and the flavors melded together more.
Green Beans with Crushed Almonds
Okay. I tasted the garlic more than the almonds. I guess it's hard to make green beans very exciting.
Roasted Carrots
These are awesome and really easy. Who knew roasting carrots would make them so delicious?
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Always a treat. I use the recipe from the new Joy of Cooking. I add a little bit of fresh lemon juice. I used to not like sweet potatoes until I rediscovered them this year. My only previous experience with them were with candied yams, which were too sweet and sticky. When I want vegetables, give me vegetables. Not this candied stuff.
Cranberry Sauce
I will never use cranberry sauce out of a can again.
Quick Gravy
Also from the Joy of Cooking. I thought it was going to make way too much gravy but it turned out about right.
Pumpkin Pie with Spiced Whipped Cream
Yummy. The whipped cream was good, but not a whole lot better than plain ol' whipped cream.
Crunch Top Apple Pie
Too gooey and didn't keep its shape.

I didn't think I would, but I enjoyed being in the kitchen all day. My sister was helping me, and I had all the time in the world to prepare things. It was so relaxing. Cooking as therapy - who knew?

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