Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

US Thanksgiving Dinner 2009, Part 2: Roasting and Eating the Monster Turkey

November 24, 2009

(…or how Adam and I cooked a meal for 16 people -including a 21lb turkey- and survived)

Following up on yesterday’s post, the turkey has now been brining for about 16 hours, and it’s time to do the final preparations and get that thing in the oven. So after a morning of getting other things prepped, we got the turkey out of the fridge. This part was pretty easy, really. We rinsed it off, and stuck the aromatics from Alton Brown’s recipe inside. Then I just tied up the legs with some kitchen twine and tucked the wings under to prevent burning.

Just about ready to go in the oven.

Now, I was a bit wary of one part of that recipe – the only thing it coated the skin with was canola oil with no other flavourings. I was worried it wouldn’t make for a flavourful enough skin – and so I poked around a bit more. I ended up sort of combining two recipes – I skipped the canola oil and did a butter rub as per Food Wishes blog post. He just made it seem so easy!

I made the herbed butter (a bit of my own combo of spices) and rubbed it up inside the turkey skin. His video gives a great tutorial on how to do that – it really wasn’t too bad. I tried rubbing it on the outside as well, but it didn’t really spread out so evenly – so I rubbed it as best I could and then melted the rest and kind of poured it over the top. I got it as coated as I could, an stuck it in the oven. The only other thing I did was chop up some carrot, celery, and onion and stick it in the bottom of the roasting pan along with about an inch of water as per Food Wishes’ blog. This is probably the one part I wish I’d just skipped.


US Thanksgiving Dinner 2009, Part I: Prepping the Monster Turkey

November 23, 2009

(…or how Adam and I cooked a meal for 16 people -including a 21lb turkey- and survived)

As an American living in Canada, I have taken it upon myself to bring Thanksgiving to November for my Canadian friends. Even after being here for 6 Canadian Thanksgivings, I’ve never really gotten used to the idea of Thanksgiving being in October… and on a Monday. It just doesn’t seem right.

So 5 years ago, when Adam and I first had our apartment together, I decided to invite a few friends over for a US Thanksgiving dinner. That year was quite small – 6 people total. As big of a gathering as our 700 sq ft apartment could handle. We also kept it a bit non-traditional and skipped the turkey. It instead became a Vegetarian US Thanksgiving – with the main course being my now famous mac & cheese along with some roasted veggies in a puff pastry cornucopia (I was so proud of those!), a recipe found in an issue of Vegetarian Times (they keep their recipes locked or I’d include the link).


Table set: Dinner for 16 (plus 2 babies)

It has since become an annual tradition among our friends, and now the group has ballooned up to a whopping 16 people. I really love this tradition – it means that we get to spend Canadian Thanksgiving with Adam’s family, and then US Thanksgiving with our friends.  Bit of a best of both worlds sort of situation (except for how I wish we could spend it with *my* family sometime, but I guess that’s what happens when I move to another country). Anyway, I’ve started offering the traditional turkey, and this year I finally stopped wimping out… no more cook-from-frozen-pre-stuffed turkey! I’ve always kind of gone with a fingers-in-ears approach when preparing meat: I’m not eating it, so I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT IS NAH-NAH-NAH-NAH. Clearly, not the most sensible thing. If my money is going to be used to buy it, and my kitchen used to prepare it, I want to know that the meat I am buying is coming from a responsible source and that I’m not supporting factory farming. I ended up going with Fresh From The Farm – a sort of co-op of local Amish and Mennonite farmers – not organic like the widely-known The Healthy Butcher in Toronto, but also nearly 40% less cost. And as much as I want to support local/organic/humane, I also don’t want to go totally broke. And when purchasing a turkey for dinner for 16, you need a big turkey!


So… 21.4lb turkey. It’s big! Really really big! And I had to cook it! Eeeeek! Herein lies the rest of my comedy of errors in preparing our Thanksgiving meal (beware vegetarians… lots of details of turkey preparing below): (more…)