Laurel’s Thanksgiving Spectacular

For Thanksgiving this year, I offered to do all of the cooking, save a few dishes that Craig’s dad is famous for, the apple pie, which my stepmom brought, and the sweet potatoes, because they’re an abortion and I don’t ever eat them.

First, we drove over there with the car loaded full of food and cooking implements. We had just gotten a few inches of fresh snow. We were pretty much road warriors.

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Then we pulled out the turkey. It had been removed from a 24 hour (3/4 cup salt & 1/2 cup brown sugar/molasses to 1 gallon water) brine about 12 hours prior. You remove the turkey from the brine and give it a resting period to allow the salt and water content to equalize a bit. Then we injected the breasts with a stick of melted butter using a hypodermic needle. Then gave the turkey a rubdown with olive oil and a good sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

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The turkey had been spatchcocked, or flattened out. To do this, you get a STRONG pair of kitchen shears, or a sharp hefty knife and remove the bird’s backbone. Then you knick the inside of the bird’s breastbone with a couple quick strokes of your knife to make the job of flattening that bitch out easier. Then spread the bird open, and deliver a few strong whacks to the top of the breasts. Then you fold the wings behind the breasts, and flop the legs in until they’ll loosely fit inside a half-size sheet pan. The bird cooks WAY faster this way which allows the breasts to stay moister because they don’t get cooked WAY before the thighs.

Here are the homemade butter-dipped dinner rolls.

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Rising in pools of butter!

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This is Funeral potatoes. It’s cubed baked potatoes, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, shredded cheddar all mixed together and topped with crushed corn flakes. YUM.

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Here are some of the desserts.

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My first try at pecan pie. It turns out that I don’t like it.

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Pumpkin creme brulee

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And my stepmom’s beautiful apple pie!

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Craig’s mom’s new adopted chihuahua, Frankie, and Kim, both totally smitten.

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Good times being had by all

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I must be so entertaining!

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Dad and Kim do something called Thanksgiving gifts. They give something valuable to people in need. Last year it was a goat to a family in a 3rd world country, this year, it’s a $100 small business loan to a woman in Africa so she can feed her children. Then they gave us a $100 gift certificate to my favorite butcher shop! Woohoo!

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Now I’d like to somewhat briefly tell you about my thermometer situation. I have a probe thermometer, which I got when I returned another probe thermometer that started reading incorrectly. I’ve had this one for a few months, and of course a week before thanksgiving, my hand read at 32º, and and my countertop is over 128º. Awesome. So I bought a meat thermometer at the grocery store on Wednesday night. After giving it a quick test in boiling water to ensure that it was reading correctly, I was satisfied by my new purchase. Except when the turkey went in the oven, it didn’t actually register the amount of heat that the turkey had. So we used an instant read thermometer. But then I got kind of forgetful after several glasses of hot mulled cider mixed with rum. And instead of pulling the turkey out at 161º, it came out around 180º.

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But it was gorgeous. And I was excited!

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And it turns out, the butter injections and brining made it perfect. It was still SUPER juicy and incredibly flavorful.

Dad, carving the turkey!

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At the table, ready for some foods!

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And the only photo of the full table.

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It was a wonderful Thanksgiving full of good friends and family. Unfortunately, some family members were unable to join us, Mom & Susan in Australia, and Dan & Amanda in Italy. 😦

2 thoughts on “Laurel’s Thanksgiving Spectacular

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