Monday, November 21, 2011

Home-made Thanksgiving

I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I'm proud to say that nothing is being made out of a can, box or bag.

That's not unusual for my family.   We've always pretty much done the from scratch Thanksgiving feast.   Chalk one up for the Italian Heritage.

It's not that I'm laboring in the kitchen from 4 am to get the meal done.   My family has pretty much always done Thanksgiving Pot-luck style.  Everyone brings something.   One sister is bringing both the apple and pumpkin pies, another a vegetable dish and sweet potatoes (no marshmallows please), and my Mom is bringing the antipasto platter and mashed potatoes (with olive oil and garlic in them of course).

Plus, I've been schooled in do it ahead since I was a kid.   Two weekends ago, I made the turkey stock and gravy base which have been sitting in the freezer since then.   The cranberry sauce was made over the weekend, and is hanging out in the downstairs fridge along with a pate I made as an appetizer, and I cut up two loaves of sourdough bread to make croutons for the stuffing.   I even set the table for the big day.

Tomorrow I'll pick up my fresh turkey and put it in a brining solution.

On Wednesday, I'll make the stuffing base, and peel, cut and chop a melange of root vegetables for roasted root vegetables with ginger and maple syrup.   I'll even begin roasting the root vegetables, to get a head start.  

Wednesday afternoon I'll get the turkey ready to pop in the oven first thing Thursday morning.  I'll take the turkey out of the brining solution, pat dry, and stuff the cavity with shallots, apples, celery and sage.   Then I'll truss the bird, sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside, place in it's roasting pan, cover and set back in the fridge overnight.

On Thursday morning, my 22 pound bird will be put in the oven first thing.   I'll then finish up making the stuffing (we cook it outside the bird), gravy and roasted veggies and dinner will be served.

Bruce Bradley's blog is fast becoming one of my favorites, so I love his newest post detailing just how bad processed "Thanksgiving Food" is.   It's worth a read.

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