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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving secrets

Okay, we're well past Thanksgiving now, but I've been busy. I cooked the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for 13 people. Judging from the rave notices, I was a success. It wore me out, but it was a lot of fun. I find that I really like to cook, especially when the people I serve seem to enjoy my cooking. When meat gets over cooked, or gravy turns out lumpy or anything surprises me with a nasty taste, then cooking is not much fun.

We had turkey, dressing, potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, creamed onions and pickled beets and eggs. I guess my greatest compliment was the fact that everyone ate and raved about whatever was in their mouth.

Along the way I have picked up a few Thanksgiving secrets. The cream sauce for the little had a little Chardonnay. Mashed potatoes are greatly improved by a generous portion of cream cheese and real butter. Turkey will yield juicy white meat from the breast when it is roasted upside down. It does not have that Norman Rockwell photogenic quality, but since all the juices flow toward the breast, it is moist and delicious. We also own one of those very old and very large roasting pans with cover. It's just too big for anything other than a 22 pound turkey, and so we must store it among all our other trash, uh, stuff for the rest of the year. We are annoyingly trashy (we do resent those reality shows about hoarders). But when it comes to an item that we need, such as this roasting pan, it's very convenient to have it on hand. It holds the moisture better than anything else I have seen. This promotes the moist white meat and great base for the gravy.

The down side is the fact that I gained a few pounds on the leftovers. So it's back to the veggies for me.


  1. I roast my turkey by searing the skin first at 500 degrees. The skin seals, the juices can't escape, no basting is necessary, and it only takes about 3 to 3 and one half hours to cook a stuffed 25 lbs. turkey.

  2. No rosemary in the mashed potatoes? We have a huge bush that we use mostly for that very purpose!