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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Feeling a Bit of Withdrawl

Thanksgiving was wonderful! I picked my parents up at the airport on Wednesday, and then returned home to get everyone settled in. J was still at work but only had a couple hours before I went to pick him up.

My mom G and I prepared the mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and apple cranberry (and orange) relish. I had already made a pecan pie, along with the infamous pumpkin roll. While my mom peeled potatoes, I got the turkey brine ready. First I had to combine the ingredients in the largest stock pot I had, bring it all to a boil and then let it cool down. By that point it was time to get J, so I left and as a treat for my parents, we brought back What-A-Burger. My mom was loving it! She doesn't have What-A-Burger at home.

The next morning, Thanksgiving Day, I made orange cinnamon rolls (from a package, like Pillsbury). I wasn't going to stress myself out by making them from scratch. We all had coffee and then I poured out the brine, rinsed off of Mr. Turkey and got him stuffed with about four or five garlic cloves, and an onion chopped into fourths, then drizzled with vegetable oil. After that I took the remaining cranberries and cooked them to make whole berry cranberry sauce. Oh my, after doing that, I'll probably never again use canned cranberry sauce (unless it's out of season for the actual berries). It was so very easy, and it tasted wonderful! From there Mom helped me get the turkey into the oven and we were able to sit and watch some of the Thanksgiving parades.

Mashed potatoes on the back left, sauteed celery and onions
waiting to go into the dressing mixture, and THE turkey.

Green bean casserole, before putting the French fried onions on top.

By the time 12:00 pm rolled around Mom and I were busy in the kitchen. The green bean casserole was ready to go into the oven, dressing was about ready to mix together (I decided against stuffing it into the turkey), we had a salad made, along with the mashed and sweet potatoes that were heating up in the oven, and we didn't forget the rolls. The turkey came out and was done, so we let it rest a while while we worked on the gravy, and let everything else heat up and finish cooking.

J getting to work on carving the turkey.

Miss. Kira is anxiously keeping an eye on J, just in case he drops some turkey.

The table set and ready for the food.

We called my dad B, and J in, the table was set, the food was ready and we all sat down. Let me just say, if you haven't ever brined a turkey, you should try it next year! It was so moist and tender. Everyone was impressed. The recipe I used for the brine was great, although I may reduce the amount of salt next time. Another word of caution, don't use only the juices/drippings from your brined turkey as they will be very, very salty. Either reduce the salt in the brine, or cut the salt in the juices with some low sodium broth.

H (me), J and Mom.
Look at all that good food!

J, H (me) and Dad.

After lunch around 2:20 pm (I think that's about right.) we cleared the table and played some games. Eventually we had room for pecan pie. It tasted great, even though I was concerned about how it looked. Next time I'll probably do better since I have some experience now. The same goes for the pumpkin roll. It tasted just like the one my sweet mother-in-law makes even if I had some difficulties when rolling it up.

Looks good doesn't it?

Now it's Tuesday and I'm feeling a bit of withdrawal. My parents flew back home, J and I are back to work, and the days seem to be a little slow. I was excited for my mom and dad to get here, then while they were here we had a great time. Only now J and I, along with Kira are missing their company.

Sunday afternoon, I made Chicken Turkey Tortilla Soup, Chicken Turkey Enchilada Casserole (which I froze), and I will be making Chicken Turkey Spaghetti from the leftover turkey we had. Today for lunch I had a mini feast on my own. It still tasted just as good as it did on Thanksgiving Day.

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. Did you do anything special or fun? What foods do you serve? Any special traditions?

1 thoughtful comments:

glee said...

Thanks for the pictures, Hol! I wish I could have been there with you all! I'm glad it all came together so well. Your kitchen, even in the midst of the preparation, stayed so much neater and cleaner than mine! I brined my turkey, too, but it must have been a different recipe. I was supposed to throw out my brine before cooking. It was very moist, too. It is fun to try different recipes for the same meal, isn't it?

Love you!

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