Friday, November 28, 2008

The feast was at our house

The trouble with not blogging for a while is it’s hard to get going again. It’s been a nice break and I’ve gotten a lot of knitting done. I’ll tell you all about that soon (maybe). But today I want to tell you about our Thanksgiving meal. I had 9 people over for the meal and several people remarked that I looked so calm when I said yes I was having Thanksgiving at our house this year. But remember that I retired from a job where I was responsible to feed hundreds of children (can you say picky?) every day. Granted I had staff but really 9 vs. 500. No contest. And the Compadre counts as staff right? And besides my daughter brought the green bean casserole and my sister brought cranberries (the scratch kind and the kind in the can – we have lovers of both kinds in the family), pies, pickles and olives, and pop (that’s soda for those of you not from Minnesota). So I was responsible for the turkey, dressing, bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and gravy, ice cream for the pie, sparkling juices and wine. Whew, we were full after dinner! This is all traditional food for our family – don’t dare tamper with our menu! But I did alter the bread – I made the dilly bread recipe from the Mason Dixon blog on November 24 and it was good!! We’ll do this one again (right family?). The Compadre and I liked it a lot.

This year the dressing turned out the way I like it. I polled some of my friends to see how they make it and used a suggestion from Kelly that was great. We stuffed the bird with as much as could go in without packing it and put the rest in a casserole dish. Then when the turkey came out to rest I put about ½ cup of chicken broth in the dressing in the dish and popped it in the oven. When the Compadre cut up the turkey he scooped out the dressing from the bird and added it to the casserole dish. The two dressings were mixed together and it all tasted like it came from the bird and was more than enough for us with leftovers to boot. Thanks Kelly for the great suggestion! Here is my recipe – it’s just your basic sage dressing.

Sage Stuffing

3 qt. bread cubes

1 cup melted butter

1 large onion, diced

2 tsp. powdered sage (more if you like)

1 tsp. pepper

2 stalks celery, diced

Cube the bread – we usually use the cheapest kind of store bought bread available. If you use dried bread cubes you’ll need to add about a cup of chicken broth to it. Add the onion, celery, and spices and mix. Drizzle the butter as you mix it up. Stuff the bird lightly with as much of the stuffing as fits. Put the rest in an oven proof dish, add ½ c. of chicken broth to it if it needs it and bake it for about 20 minutes right before serving time. Mix the stuffing from the bird with the stuffing from the oven and serve.

When I cook turkey I don’t do it right according to my Mom. Actually I don’t really roast the turkey because I cover the roaster. I don’t like dried out white meat. Actually I like the dark meat better than the white but I especially don’t the white meat when it’s dried out from being over roasted. My solution is to put the turkey in the roasting pan with the breast side down (no rack) add a little bit of water and then cover the roaster. The turkey is usually done before the recommended time and it just falls off the bone. Mom raved about how good the turkey was this year. I didn’t tell her how I made it – no need for her to know!

I had the Compadre mash the sweet potatoes and caught him trying to be too healthy by serving them up plain. Good thing I made him put them back in the pan and add some butter, cream and brown sugar to them. Wouldn’t want to have healthy food on Thanksgiving would we! My nephew, Peter, was recovering from having all four wisdom teeth out and so we deviated from the usual candied sweet potatoes. They were good – we might do this again!

I wish I had taken a picture of the feast before we dug in or even the aftermath but we were having too good a time to think of it. I’ll show you a picture of my table decorations though. These quilted leaves were made by my friend Jeanice. They provided entertainment for my guests because they are different on each side and so some people enjoyed flipping them over and making different combinations. Hi Dave!

I love having the feast at our house. It’s a lot of fun and I really don’t mind cooking for everyone. And the guys helped with the clean up so the house didn’t look too bad this morning! One more load of dishes in the dishwasher and shrink the table back to normal size and you’d never know we had a big party here yesterday. Now, on to the Christmas preparations!!

1 comment:

Miss T said...

Interesting idea with the turkey--I roast mine in a paper bag, and that always keeps it moist.