Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Sorry about the photo quality. Instead of digging out my regular camera, I used my Blackberry and there is quite a difference in the quality of photography between the two.

I woke up this morning to find the first snow of the season. It ain’t much and it ain’t even that cold, the thermometer hovering just around freezing, but it sure is nice to see the naked tree limbs, bare of any leaves, frosted in white. The dog seemed to love it too. When I took him out, he didn’t want to come back in so I put him on his dog run. Instead of Black Friday, I’ll celebrate White Friday. I’m saying away from the stores today, but will go out this afternoon and cut down a Christmas tree. It’s that time of the year and I have a party coming up, so things need to be decorated. Every year I tell my daughter we’ll put up the tree on Christmas Eve, but I’m only pulling her chain.

Yesterday was fun. Earlier in the week, I’d gotten a freshly killed 22 pound turkey from a local farm that raises birds without drugs or chemicals and does their own slaughtering. Tom was waiting in the refrigerator when I got up at 5:45 AM. I cleaned him, stuffed and prepared him and slid him into the oven and was back to bed for a “nap” by 6:15. That was thanks to the preparations I’d done the day before.

I’d made the sausage and cornbread dressing on Wednesday night, so it was all ready to go. In addition to the sausage that’s made by a local butcher, my stuffing consisted of cornbread and hushpuppies left over from last Friday night’s feed, a few pieces of crumbled toast, chopped onions, peppers and celery along with some seasonings. I rubbed the turkey with oil olive and peppered it well (in a non-Cheney fashion), put it in a large foil pan. As the pan was flimsy, I placed it on a heavy flat pan. Next I loosely filled the cavities with stuffing and put about ½ inch of water in the pan. I then created a foil tent over the bird, that I sealed up well and slipped the bird into the oven at 325 degrees. After seven hours, the bird internal temperature was at 180 degrees and it was done. I took the foil off and drained some of the juice to add to the stuffing that was in a baking dish, then cooked the bird another twenty minutes or so to brown it. I also took a cup or so of the juices from the pan and mixed in the stuffing I had in the pan and cooked it for 45 minutes. After taking the bird out of the oven, I dug out the stuffing from the bird and used it to mix with that which I’d cooked in the pan.

I wrapped the bird back up in foil and walked him over next door, where a group was gathering for the meal. It was all good: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, cranberries, corn and the onion rings on top of the green bean mess (I don’t eat green beans). There was cake and pie for dessert and bottles of wine to moisten our lips. The turkey was very juicy and the stuffing was to die for. For the rest of the day and on into the evening, I was more stuffed than Tom had been in the oven! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. I need to get some slides copied and I’ll be ready to post my next section of my hike along the Appalachian Trail--Vermont.


  1. All sounds good, Sage. My meal, as you know was not the norm, but the company was festive and fun! :)

  2. Sounds like a great day. Love the idea of a fresh bird and jealous of your white morning. Hope you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. That looks and sounds really mouthwatering. I hope you had a nice day!

  4. Sounded pretty tasty. We ended up brining our bird that had been shot less than a half mile from the family farm house. Since he had feasted on our corn, we felt it only right to feast on him. He was delicious and I am on my second turkey sandwich for the day as I write this.

  5. Between your description and the top photo (the only one I could see), sounds like Tom was the perfect dish!

    PS - You've inspired year I think I'll name my bird Joaquin. :)

  6. Is it common to call Turkey "Tom"?! I have never heard of that! So here I am giggling and thinking it's quite funny!

  7. NO green beans?? What's wrong with you? I love them....LOL Sounds as if you had a feast like ours; hope it was happy!

  8. At one point here we could only get Turkey at Christmas time. Then it went at Easter. Now its all year. Carrots were the same leastwise, there was a time of year. In my humble opinion, they became too good at growing both. I also remember a time when one did not need to smother the bird in Cranberries to get some flavour in your mouth. But you have the correct idea for outside the social kind and community. The one thing you do not need is to face the remains looking up at you and laughing for a week after the Day.
    I'm thinking Duck for Christmas dinner or even a organic Chook.

  9. Your meal sounds tasty but my cold pizza was easier to make.

  10. Michael, you're right, the company makes the meal.

    Kontan, it was a wonderful day... Sorry about Auburn yesterday, but they sure gave 'Bama a fight!

    Leni, the bird was moist and tasty

    Ed, so your family is also in the turkey business, at least indirectly? Over the years I've cooked several wild turkeys, mostly smoking them. I've also sampled the liquid variety.

    Red, Joaquin sounds like she should be served with salsa :)

    Mother Hen, You got me wondering where the name Tom Turkey came from... of course, one can also cook a hen :)

    Kenju, I should write about my disdain for green beans sometime--growing up the thing I feared most about nuclear war is being cramped in the basement with only jars of green beans to eat.

    Vince, Duck would be great, too, but only if there are fewer people eating. Salmon sounds wonderful.

    Walking Guy, cold pizza and beer and Lion's football (better have of beer)

  11. A pretty good picture. It must be awkward to eat a turkey you've named!

    NetChick sent me here.

  12. I forgot about the liquid variety and it took me a few seconds to figure out what it was after reading your response. I too had a run-in with it once on the lower extremeties of the Grand Canyon.

  13. Sounds good. I prepare my turkey generally the same except I elevate the bird in the roaster and use chicken broth as the liquid. Makes awesome gravy.

    BTW, I can't believe you don't do green beans.


  14. You've made me hungry again, which I thought was impossible after Thursday.

    I really should try baking a turkey one year. The local fire department could use the workout, I'm sure.

  15. Saugage and cornbread dressing... that sounds awesome- recipe? Glad it was a nice day.

  16. Sage
    I think I would pay plenty to see you cramped up with nothing but green beans![the only thing is as close I live to you, who knows what I'd be cramped up with? Glad you had a good thanksgiving .... thanks for having enough w/o green beans I'd bet.

  17. Looks yummy!

    Glad you had a good turkey day, and please keep that snow to yourself :)