November 19, 2010
My favorite Thanksgiving memories are of my father and I making Thanksgiving dinner together. Everyone pitches in with their special favorites, but we fix the turkey.
We are not turkey snobs: simple is better.
We’re feeding a large crowd, so we find the largest, cheapest turkey in the store. We thaw it out the day before in a large sink of water.
By intuition, my father liberally salts and peppers the turkey and rubs it down with softened butter. We place it in a large turkey bag. If we have time and space, we let it sit overnight in the fridge, a cooler, or even a cold garage!
Before breakfast the next morning, we start cooking the giblets for the dressing. We always stuff the turkey. It makes both the turkey and the dressing moister and more flavorful. (Our favorite dressing is the giblet dressing that comes from the Betty Crocker Cookbook.)
While the giblets are boiling away in a salted pot full of carrots, celery, onions, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf—and whatever else might catch our fancy, we begin to chop and dice the other ingredients for our extra-large batch of dressing. After adding the cooked giblets, we stir it up. Try substituting some of the butter with the giblet broth. We have discovered that it’s a flavorful, low-fat alternative.
Next, one person holds the turkey open while the other one stuffs. We tie it up the legs, close it back into the turkey bag, and let it roast. The smell of turkey quickly fills the house.
In the kitchen, we bump into each other and many other family members throughout the day. We talk and cook; eat and talk. By the time dinner is ready, who’s really hungry? We dig in any way!
Try these great Thanksgiving Cookbooks:
- The new Thanksgiving table: an American celebration of family, friends, and food by Diane Morgan
- How to cook a turkey: and all the other trimmings
- Betty Crocker cookbook: bonus edition by Betty Crocker
- Betty Crocker Complete Thanksgiving cookbook: all you need to cook a foolproof dinner by Betty Crocker
- The Thanksgiving table: recipes and ideas to create your own holiday tradition by Diane Morgan
Blue Springs North Branch