Friday, November 25, 2011

First Thanksgiving

Yesterday was my Epic thanksgiving. It was the first time cooking all the dishes, along with  a 20 pound turkey. In my family we name our turkey, this year was no different to me. I named him "Hank" I know some people think of it a little strange that I would name my dead frozen turkey before cooking it and eat it.

 I will recount the crazy 2 days of thanksgiving.  I did make every recipe from my post gobble-gobble, I only strayed a little bit, we will get to that later.
It all started on Wednesday morning. The brine was ready and it was time for hank to be tucked away for 24 hours. It was not the usual brine, the base was apple cider, soy sauce, ginger, salt, peppercorns, cinnamon, garlic and cilantro. For the brining process I found a brininig bag at the store, this bag saved me a whole lot trouble. Turkeys are big-O birds and to accommodate brining for 24 hours and still have everything for the sides and desserts in my fridge. I brined hank in a bag in a cooler with 3 bags of ice. The cooler stayed in the cold garage. To be safe I checked it during the day.
Apple Blackberry Filling
Wednesday was off with a bang. The goal for the day was desserts. I was a little ambitious with picking 4 completely different desserts. First the graham cracker crust, I added one secret ingredient- Candied Ginger, it got ground up with the graham crackers. For the crusts the food processor was my best friend, it makes the doughs effortless. Next was chocolate tart dough, then the cinnamon and ginger double crust pie. Once I had all the doughs done, a break was in order. I am sure it would have taken less time if I hadn't taken so many breaks, that's the luxury of baking from home.
Assembled Apple Blackberry Pie
While reading through my sweet potato pie recipe I realized that  I bought the Wrong kind of sweet potato- WHAT?! I had no clue there was different kinds! Oh great now I had to head to the store on Wednesday night! Needless to say it was a zoo, but getting the right kind of sweet potato (yams) was worth it. After that fiasco I put together the apple blackberry pie. When looking for my mini cookie cutters, they were nowhere to be found. Instead I did a classic lattice crust, I just love that look. With the pie assembled, and pecan toffee tart baking in the oven, I was half way done!  Sometimes I amaze myself when I don't read the whole recipe and then at 9 o'clock at night realize I need to roast the yams for 1 1/2 hours. Luckily I had plenty of sugar in my system so I was just getting started, and with the baby asleep I had less distractions.
Baked Cream Puffs
 On to the cream puffs! You have no idea how many times I tried to talk myself out of making them , then convince myself that it was a yummy idea and they had to be made. So on to making cream puffs at 9:30 at night! While they were baking I made the pastry cream and caramel sauce. Once the cream puffs came out it was time for the sweet potato pie to go in. By the time the pie came out it was almost midnight.  But lucky me all the desserts were done and it was time for bed. Oh my bed felt so good after the day I had.

Thursday was the Big day. I got up and pulled hank out of the brine, patted dry and let sit at room temp for 1 hour. Thursday seemed relatively  easy, all I had to do was the sides.  Once I got the turkey in the oven, it was time to peel 10 pounds of potatoes, 3 pounds of carrots, clean 2 pounds of brussels sprouts and green beans.  I was prepared for the turkey to cook for 4 hours, no way it was ready in 2 1/2!! I was so surprised when I checked the temperature.  I pulled it out and covered with foil. Once the sides were ready I covered them with foil and placed in the oven on warm. I was done! Finally I sat down and had a glass of wine.

 I mentioned I only strayed from the plan a bit. Well on Wednesday night I realized I was not going to make rolls, I had lack of oven space. I made a call and she was happy to make rolls, they were not cranberry but who cares? They were delish! I also added mushrooms to the green bean casserole, I was amazed that mushrooms were not included, just chopped them up and folded in.

Sweet Potato & Apple Pie
In the long run we had 10 adults and 3 kids. Turned out 2 people couldn't make it. I might have gone over board with the mashed potatoes, we have a ton leftover.The sides went fast, only about 1-2 servings leftover. I got rave reviews on the desserts. The cream puffs were the first to go, then the sweet potato pie. Only 2 slices of apple blackberry pie, and chocolate pecan tart are lingering in my fridge. I thought I had made too much dessert, well I was Wrong! Everyone had plenty of food, after dinner we played board games. It was truly a fun night. It was been requested that I do Thanksgiving again next year. So I have officially taken over thanksgiving! Woo whoo! My only regret was that I was so hungry that I didn't take photos of the turkey or sides. I managed to snap a few of the desserts as we were slicing them.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a success!
    Nice fluting on the lattice pie too ;)