Thanksgiving Feast

Well I meant to post this as it was happening but of course that didn’t happen! Lately I’ve been a huge follower of food blogs, and so I thought I’d give my hand at it. I’m calling this my Food Blog wannabe post! 😉
On our menu for our Thanksgiving Feast was:
Herb butter roasted Turkey with Pinot Noir Gravy
Sweet Potato Gratin
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans with double smoked bacon and shallots
Foccacia bread stuffing
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake

Preparation began on Thursday and dinner was on Saturday

In my copy of Fine Cooking , they talked about how to cook the perfect turkey. And one way that was recommended was to make a brine . And so that is what I did. I made this on Thursday and it was to sit in the fridge for 24 hours before adding the turkey.

Brine

5 gallons of water, 24 cloves of garlic, 24 bay leaves, 1 cup maple syrup, 2 cups of Kosher salt (next time I’d lower that because the juices of the turkey ended up making the gravy a touch to  salty) and handful of thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley herbs. I definately had to make some space in my fridge for this!

Friday:
After getting more last minute groceries it was time to put the turkey in the brine. Oh and I hate to admit my stupidity but well.. I must be truthful. You would think that at 32 years of age I would realize that when you add something (um like a 7kg turkey) to a pot full of water, that you would realize that the water level would rise. Well… that I didn’t think of until after the fact. After when I had water pouring quickly out of the pot and on to the floor! What a mess!!!! Note to self: Think before you act! haha
Turkeyinthebrine

After that fiasco was done and cleaned up, next on the agenda was my crust for the apple pie. I used the pie crust recipe that comes on the box of Crisco Shortening . I also used my new Kitchen Aid food processor .
Applepiecrust

Crustfoodprocessor

Piecrust

Now the pie crust was ready for chilling in the fridge. Time to move on to the herb butter.
The herb butter was being used to rub into the turkey underneath the skin. Again this recipe was in the Fine Cooking October issue.
Herbbutteringrediants

Herbs

Shallotswinebutter

After the herbs and shallots mixture cooled, you mixed it in with the butter using the processor. Make a log form and put in the fridge until Turkey day.
Herbbutterfinished

By this time the pie crust was ready to be rolled out.
Applepie Applepieinside

Applepiefinished

Ok now that that is done… time for the Pumpkin Cheesecake . I altered this recipe very slightly by using a walnut graham cracker crust instead of pecans and I didn’t add the pecan nougat.
But this turned out sooooo good!!!!!!!

Pumpkincheesecakecrust

Cheesecakecrustprocessor

Cheesecakefillingingrediant

Cheesecake

And that finishes up for Friday. Just in time for Ian to get home from Richmond and the McMartin clan to arrive.

Saturday was Turkey day

For breakfast I made some cinnamon buns and tofu smoothies, which were delicious!

I made the Sweet Potato Gratin first. I was able to bake it and then let it sit until just before eating when I added the pecan crust and baked for another 20 mins.

Sauceforsweetpotatoegratin

Onions

Layer first with double rows of sweet pototoes
Sweetpotatofirstlayer

Second layer you add the onions
Secondlayer

Third layer you add the sauce. And then repeat all layers, and then once more with just the potatoes and sauce. Add the crust layer after baking, then bake some more.
Thirdlayer

Gratin

Once the potatoes were done, it was time to get the Turkey ready. For this I used my herb butter, by cutting it up in slices and adding it all underneath the skin and then rubbing it into the meat. I did not stuff the bird, and didn’t realize that that was going to change my cooking time. Thinking that i had about 4 hours before it was done, went to check after 2 hours and it was fully cooked. It looked great.. nice and golden! But since it was done a little early.. we had to act quicky and get everything else ready! Thankfully the white potatoes were peeled and ready to start boiling for mashed potatoes. We quickly got the foccacia bread sliced and toasted, added some garlic, celery and fennel seeds, then got it in the oven. Also in the meantime added the crust to the sweet potatoes and got that in the oven too. For Meghan I quickly tossed some extra firm tofu in some olive oil and shaked in some whole wheat flour and cornmeal for some tofu nuggets. During this time we got the Pinot Noir gravy ready. We had lots of great juice for the gravy from the Turkey thanks to the brining, but the gravy did end up a tad on the salty side but delicious none the less!
Gravy

After all these photos I realized I forgot to take a photo of the Turkey once it came out of the oven! You’ll just have to take my word for it that it was nice and golden. I did get a picture though of a plate with all the goodies, and our table.
Allplatedup

Tableisset

Our beautiful turkey centerpiece that Emma made and that I taped onto a butternut squash
Centerpiece

All in all it was  great Thanksgiving!

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2 Responses

  1. good job on the step-by-step of the Thanksgiving dinner- we really enjoyed this special dinner- every bit as good as it looks!

  2. hahahaha wanna be food blog…LOLOL! you crack me up! oh my this was GREAT eye candy for me girl…NICE NICE NICE!!! i am gonna have to try out that brine technique for our Christmas turkey this year…WOW! love all the pictures. now you make me wanna do some mad ass cookin 🙂

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