Turkey Day! I mean..Happy Thanksgiving!
So, I know this is a lil'... I mean long overdue.. yeah yea.. I was busy okay!? But I'm finally going to post about my extremely successful and fun turkey filled evening. ..this is going to be quite a lengthy narrative...just wanted to let you know.
One of my best friends from intermediate school..(lets call her K,) decided to spend thanksgiving with me this year! K and her boyfriend C took a bus 4 hours away from beantown and little did I know..lugged a suitcase full of potatoes, green beans, yams..and you know.. turkey stuff. I assured them days before the 25th that I'd be buying most of the bulk of what we'd be cooking..the turkey, potatoes, bread.. etc etc.. but I really appreciated them for bringing it anyway. Thanks K and C!
On the day itself, we had to pick up a few more ingredients.. We brainstormed in our awesome sleeping drab early in the morning of what to make.. K, gleefully knew and blurted out green bean casserole, C decided on making his take on his grandma's candied yams, and pumpkin pie! I on the other hand had too many ideas going on and so I couldn't really decide.. So off we went to Whole Foods still unsure of what else I'd be making..so I just grabbed literally everything I came across.. sweet potatoes, cranberries, butter, marshmellows, cream, carrots, leeks, celery,...etc oh, and pecans too..
An hour or so later we were back in my apartment eager to begin. I got a text from my friend P saying that she'd be dropping in with our other friend N..... (P and N love food, and love eating more! but too bad they had dinner plans..however they came for supper afterwards!)
..moving on... C started making his pumpkin pie batter and he insisted of following the cans recipe for the pie crust... I had no comment.. I thought.. hell no! we are making Evvverything from scratch! Luckily during culinary school I acquired an easy peasy recipe for a crust.. it's so versatile and you can pretty much use it for anything..(except for pizza crust that is.) All it is, flour, water, and butter. C was a little hesitant but I assured him.. "just wait till you try it! you'll never ever want to forget this one." Anyway, after that slight tiff, I made a sweet sausage, cornbread and challah dressing. I decided not to stuff the turkey since it'd take longer to cook. After that was done I made cranberry sauce (with fresh cranberries) with a cinnamon stick, cloves, a knob of ginger, a squirt of orange juice, the zest, and pear cider. Bring it to a boil, then to a simmer..trust me, it's lightyears better than a can.
Since time was a factor, I had to start on me turkey! Turkeys are such a lean bird.. it barely has any fat since its allowed to run free on pastures.. or within a contained barn I guess..but nonetheless its still running around. So I had to make sure that the turkey is kept moist when cooking in the oven.. the best way to do that is with...butter of course! I carefully separated the skin from the flesh and stuffed way too much butter in. I seasoned the cavity and stuffed crushed garlic cloves, and a whole bunch of herbs. I then seasoned the whole bird, placed it on the roaster with carrots, celery, and splash of chicken stock. C told me that his grandma places a paper bag over the turkey in the oven (it keeps it from burning and cooking too fast which means succulent turkey.) I went with it and didn't mind trying it out...
So anyways..while the turkey was in the oven I proceeded on my other offerings..(oh and K finally got off her fanny and made her green bean casserole) It took her about 15 minutes to prepare it and since she wasn't as busy..I told her to clean up a little..(she managed to throw the pecans that I wanted to make pecan pie with...oh K.. haiyah) anyway....that's when I decided on making sweet potato pie (marshmellows included, with sweet vanilla bean whipped cream), and on a whim decided to cook brussel sprouts and red cabbage..which I had sitting in my fridge..oh and not forgetting garlicky mash potatoes too!
It was already 8 when C's sister and roommate arrived, thankfully the turkey was out and C and I proceeded to make the gravy. Remember when I mentioned the carrots and celery being in with the turkey? Well, it makes a lot of difference with the gravy, making it more flavorful and rich.. just thought I'd add that little tip.. We laid out the food in a somewhat buffet manner, and gathered around my very small rectangular coffee table in front of the TV. C's sisters' roommate was extremely excited after discovering I had cable..and on demand and insisted that we watch Boardwalk Empire..and so we did. ..digging happily into my turkey and cabbage..I glanced on the screen and saw the detective sticking his hand into a mans slashed open belly..guts and all... (what a memorable night.)
To be honest... everything was perfect...but I'm kinda kicking myself in the butt for failing to take more pictures of everything else that we made! But whatever I have documented I shall put up anyway.
fresh herbs and garlic see?
yep..that's a lot of butter..
*trussing the bird is the key to cooking the bird
evenly and keeps it in a nice shape too
dressing consisted of, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage,
sweet sausage, carrots, leeks, celery, challah, cornbread, nutmeg,
chicken stock...oh and butter!
at this point the cranberry sauce had been simmering
for 25 mintues.. it was ..amazing
for the sweet potato pie..I had K peel them first..then
I boiled them till they were tender. I glazed them with butter
maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a tiny pinch of clove.. it was
thanksgiving in a bowl..