Part of getting ready for the big event was to play superheros leaping on tall buildings (the extra table)....
...and watching the food cook.
I followed the Alton Brown Method of brining and cooking my turkey as I have done successfully in the past. I think it must be due to the first 30 minutes at 500 degrees and then however long it takes to cool to 350 for the rest of the time that makes the bird cook so fast. I had a 20 pound turkey and after about 2 hours and 15 minutes my temp timer said 170. I left it in the oven for about 3 hours because I just wanted to make sure and with an overnight brine dryness is not a real concern. The one change to the method I made this year was to soften a stick of butter on the counter and then add about 2 tablespoons of Kirkland (costco brand) Organic No Salt Seasoning and use to smear on the skin of the bird. This replaced the canola oil his recipe called for.
Ta da....my beautiful bird!
I cooked this first thing after breakfast. It sat covered in aluminum foil for about 3 hours before being carved. I was a little nervous about this plan, but it was still hot to the touch when it came time to carve. Then I felt a little discombobulated that my oven was so free for the sides...no juggling required!
This is who was there:
John and Candy, Kyle's parents and my dad, Joe.
My brother Travis and his girlfriend Amy...on round 2 of Thanksgiving dinner for the day. (Good thing I made some new side dishes!)
Thomas, my step father and Kyle's former co-worker and our matchmaker.
A sliver of my brother Dylan, a grumpy faced Reese, my mom Marion, Kyle and Thomas.
Gus...looking not thrilled with the beginning of his meal. I was there too.
This is what we ate:
Curried Cauliflower and turkey
Brussels Sprouts Gratin (which at least one VA friend added to her menu) and Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes (don't add extra chipotle peppers, just follow the recipe).
Traditional green bean casserole. I used frozen organic green beans and followed the recipe on the chemical filled but oh so yummy French's Fried Onion can. I know the magazines all say it's a tired recipe and give many alternatives, but I like the traditional style and feel it is a requirement for the meal to be complete. On the right is the stuffing/dressing. I loosely followed a recipe in the Thanksgiving issue of Food Network Magazine's 50 ways to make stuffing insert. This is sausage and apple and was quite yummy.
The good ole cranberry sauce...is the same as always. I followed the recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray bag of berries. Next year I'll try to branch out with the mandarin oranges.
This is what we did:
Karaoke and Guitar Hero band.
As always it was fun times. I did forget to bring up my centerpiece I JUST bought for the occasion! I'll try to remember next year.