11/22/2011

Talking Turkey

As seems to be the case every year, I put off grocery shopping for Thanksgiving until entirely too close to the actual event. I did manage to get out there today (had planned to go yesterday, but the kiddo really needed a nap and by the time he was up, I was feeling under the weather so...we put it off.). I was mightily annoyed to see that Wegmans "fresh" turkeys were clearly frozen. Now, I don't know if they just have their case too cold, or what, but a fresh turkey is not hard as, ahem, ice. Nor does it have frost on the wrapper. So I have a partially fresh, partially frozen turkey finishing up its thaw in my fridge and all I can say is thank goodness I went today, not tomorrow when there would be no hope of it thawing.
I'm skipping the brine this year. I haven't yet found a noticeable difference between brining and basting and, frankly, I'd just as soon baste. It releases more turkey smell into the house. Though saying that, I think I need to buy a new baster because if I recall correctly, I melted my previous one last New Year's Eve. (I baste a lot, you can tell.)

I ended up having to go to two stores anyway, though, because Wegmans was also out of brussel sprouts. This disturbs me on two fronts: One, that there are enough people serving them that they ran out and Two, that I am among them. We're trying them roasted (and shredded, with Parmesan cheese!) I don't hold out high hopes, but, on the other hand, the ones that hung out under the porchetta I made last New Year's were quite tasty. So...we'll see if it's owing to the roasting or being basted by pig fat that made them delicious. I have my own theory.

The rest of the menu is fairly traditional. We'll be having Stove Top, because no matter what stuffing recipe I try, everyone clamors for the stove top. I've given up fighting it, their cornbread stuffing really is about as good as it gets. I bought just under 2 pounds of potatoes to make a small batch of mashed potatoes. The kiddo fell in love with the color of some pre-chopped butternut squash, so we'll be having that, as well. We'll also have kale chips (my dad has been wanting to try these, no idea why) and green beans for the at least two picky eaters who won't touch the sprouts or the kale and should really have some sort of vegetable touch their plate. There will also be cranberry relish. For dessert, we'll have pumpkin pie (bought at Costco because for $5, I can't make it that tasty, and really, theirs is nearly perfect) and home made pecan pie (because I double the pecan to pie ratio, making it a crunchy, nutty bit of yumminess) with homemade whipped cream. I believe Tim's mom is bringing yeast rolls as well.

I've tried to keep the portions smaller this year, so each dish is only getting a single recipe made, regardless of whether it serves 4 or 8 or whatever. There will be 11 of us sitting down, but when I plan for 11 servings of everything, we swim in leftovers until Christmas. So I'm hoping this will cut down on that. One or two days of left overs? Grand. Beyond that? We'll choke it down, but no one is happy about it.

Now I just have to figure out what, if anything, I can do ahead of time.

No comments: