Thanksgiving was delightful. Granted we still have a few dirty dishes lying about but it was wonderful. Thanks to Teri, Brian, Sue, Kent, Amy, Mark, Heather, Steve, and my three beautiful boys for truly making me thankful. And thank you to all that came for, uh, only making fun of me a little bit.
Did I swear off new turkey roasting techniques? DIDN'T I? Sigh. Well, then Serious Eats lured me in with their article on roasting turkey. You use a pizza stone and preheat to 500 degrees, then set the turkey in a roasting pan on a sheet pan so the hot air can circulate. For a turkey over 20 lbs they recommended then turning the heat down to 275 when you put the turkey in the oven (300 degrees for smaller turkeys). So of course I got all excited about this and even ordered a cheaper version of the baking steel they recommended from Amazon so it would get here just in time. Pizza stones always break on us so I figured this was a smart investment (I am the queen of rationalization).
They estimated 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours for a stuffed turkey over 20 lbs.....so I figured maybe five hours for ours since turkey always seem to get done early for me. Our new (well a year old almost) stove has a fancy temperature probe that we of course never use. We got it out because damned if I was going to overcook my fresh-Amish-raised-21.3lb-roasted-in-a-rack-on-a-sheet-pan-over-an-expensive-just-bought-baking-steel-beautiful turkey. Of course when we put it in the oven we forgot to use it. I blithely told Ernie we'd use it when we checked on the turkey partway through. I was figuring it to get done close to 3:30. Around 2:00 I said, "oh, we should check that turkey, see how the dripping are coming along." We looked at the turkey and thought hmmmm....it's rather pale and no drippings to note but I'll add a bit of stock and we'll insert the probe. We tried to insert the probe and kept turning the oven off. I kicked Owen off the computer and furiously googled for instructions. We tried it again and it just blinked 200 at us and turned off. I sighed exasperatedly and then a terrible thought occurred to me...perhaps my huge-expensive-fresh-Amish-raised-21.3lb-roasted-in-a-rack-on-a-sheet-pan-over-an-expensive-just-bought-baking-steel-beautiful-turkey was ALREADY OVERDONE.
200 degrees. And it was only 2:00. We were planning to eat at 4:30 ish.
And it was pale.
With hardly any drippings.
I screeched and yelled in horror and Ernie and Owen tried somewhat unsuccessfully not to grin. We pulled it out and I almost wept. Owen suggested I have a glass of wine and Ernie said, "Well. They all like you so it will be fine."
I went to prepare my Brussels sprouts. We'd made them recently, roasting the separated leaves with just a bit of oil at a high heat and they were delicious. When Ernie had gotten these sprouts I'd told him they looked perfect. I started cutting the cores out and pulling the leaves off....found or two that had bugs in them and tossed them aside...no problem. I kept going though.....and they were full of little dead bugs. A bug here and there doesn't bother me....but these were a LOT of bugs. Sigh. I got enough...but I had to dump a lot.
I went to get the edamame ready. Last time I made it I just warmed it, added mustard and balsamic vinegar with some herbs and olive oil and it was fantastic. These edamame didn't look great....there were a lot of yellowish ones. I persevered, tasted, and though...eh....added some more of this and that....still though eh....had Ernie taste it....he though eh....I dumped it in the trash. I dug through my refrigerator and found some snow peas to replace them...but still....eh.
Lastly, I had decided to try to make some non-dairy mashed potatoes for a friend who generally avoids dairy. I boiled some yukon golds....planned to mash them with the skins on, add olive oil and flavor it with some basil oil I had in the refrigerator. I'd done this recently and we'd loved them. I got the potatoes ready, reached into the refrigerator for my basil oil and opened it up to find.....mold.
I had made gorgeous rick turkey stock for the gravy, but with no drippings to speak off....eh.
Even my mashed potatoes and stuffing wasn't as good as usual.
Next year Sue is cooking for us.
Happy Thanksgiving all.
Despite it all....I am wholeheartedly thankful.
I took no pictures...so from others...
we finally got Amy and Mark to our house!! Woo-hooo!
Teri and Brian
Heather and Steve showed up to share dessert and drinks and Heather even brought her sublime potato rolls!
The point at which I gave up on cooking, drank wine out of a Bulls Eye with Fleur de Lys goblet and ordered other people around
Didn't get the table set quite as nicely as planned but it was still nice to have the Spode, sterling and flint out...