On Thanksgiving morning, I got up at 6 AM to get my 20lb turkey, Tyrone, into the oven. He had been brining in the garage for the previous 24 hours to ensure his flavorful tenderness. After several careful calculations, I heaved him up and out of his brining container and into the sink.
There is just nothing appetizing about a raw turkey. Especially a raw turkey taking a bath in your kitchen sink. FYI that’s a lemon from the brine, not a rubber ducky.
06:30: Judging by the mess, there was some serious cooking underway at this point.
Here I am mentally preparing myself to lift Tyron and escort him to the tanning bed.
A few last words. Bye bye, birdy.
Next on the list was to make the desserts and eat my breakfast since it was likely only about 7:00 AM at this point. Please note my “Oops! All Berries!”, the traditional thanksgiving breakfast cereal. As I noshed on my nutritious meal, I made brandy apple cake and derby pie. Technically, it was bourbon apple cake because I didn’t have any brandy and bourbon seems to make most things taste better. This wasn’t the last of the bourbon for the day, either.
My mom had gotten me this beautiful cake pan that was featured on the cover of Southern Living a year or so ago. I was anxious to see how cleanly the cake would come out of the pan and nervous that it might tear.
But it slid right out and looked lovely!
The pie looked good, but I overcooked it. While the taste was alright, the pie was so sticky that it stuck to my teeth like tar. This is why I make multiple desserts…with bourbon.
09:00: Princess Eugene arose around this time.
Meanwhile, I continued to baste Tyrone every 30 minutes or so. The previous owner of the home designed a lovely chef’s kitchen but only put in one oven. Have you ever cooked Thanksgiving dinner in one oven and in one day? Trying to juggle a 20lb turkey, a cake, a pie, dressing, sweet potatoes, roasted nuts, and popovers meant that Tyrone’s legs were a little underdone.
I promptly started measuring for an additional oven.
Looking golden, Tyrone!
About this time, I was roasting some pecans for the salad. Eugene walked in and asked if I was making popcorn. I gave her a very confused look and then ran to the oven to pull out my nuts that were so far past roasted that they were as black as night and beginning to melt into the pan. I took the pan outside and left it on the patio to get rid of the lovely smell. When I went to get the pan the next day, the nuts had been left untouched. They were even too far gone for the squirrels.
At this point we had used every piece of cutlery in the kitchen. That is not an exaggeration. Things got especially tight when it was time for dessert.
My collection of serving utensils is lacking. And by lacking I mean nearly nonexistent.
As my mom finished up the gravy, she asked what I would like to put it in. In my imaginary gravy boat, of course! I scrambled for something suitable and came up with this silver nut bowl that was Aunt Anna’s. I think the soup ladle 4 times its size really completed the look.
Though we had a few challenges along the way, we managed to produce a nice meal. It was tasty, but not as spectacular as we had wanted so we started to make a plan for next year. Here’s a sneak peak at the menu: (If you’d like to come, please bring your own tailgating equipment.)
- Fried corn! How did we forget this!!??? This is a thanksgiving staple
- Roasted asparagus
- Dressing patties
- Root vegetable gratin
- Bourbon bread pudding
- Maybe just a turkey leg?
We’ll try to have the additional oven installed by then. Maybe we’ll have a proper table and chairs, maybe not.
Merry Christmas Eve!
Y’all keep it tasty,