Thanksgiving

The days since Thanksgiving have been quite busy, which is why this posting is going up this evening. Outside, a “normal” snowstorm is gaining strength. Normal means about 6 inches of snow, lots of wind, and a big drop in temperature afterwards. Thankfully, we are all safe at home, and will just wait to see what the storm really does, as opposed to what is forecasted.

Now onto the preparation and celebration of Thanksgiving. Wednesday began very early for me, as it was one of those days I woke up early, partially due to putting Princess out, and then letting my brain start thinking. Once 4 am came, and sleep appeared to be not in my future, I decided to get up and start the day. Since I would be brining the turkey for the next day, I put together the ingredients and started them simmering. By 4:30 the brine was complete, and only needed to cool.

Once the brine was started, it was then time to turn my attention to prayer, and spent nearly an hour in the usual routine of prayer, although at a more relaxed pace, given the early start to the day.

Once Denise rose from sleep, and came downstairs, I had her help me put the brine in a plastic bag, so the turkey could be put into it later that day. Once the prayer and prep work was done, it was time to go to work and then to an appointment with a therapist for my hand. After the appointment, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few more items for tomorrow’s dinner, and then met Denise at home. We gathered up Princess and all the items needed for the dinner and headed off to our daughter’s house to get as much as possible prepped or cooked to make Thanksgiving Day a litte less hectic.

With my daughter’s help, we got the turkey into the brine, and put it in her garage to keep cool and let the flavors make their way into the meat. Used the “parts” to start a stock to be used for the gravy, made the mushroom bread dressing, and finished some other items. Then it was time to have supper, relax, and then head home to get ready for the next day.

On Thanksgiving Day, we arrived about 10 am, with a couple of pans of egg bake for brunch. After brunch, we peeled potatoes and other veggies, and got them ready for cooking later in the afternoon. We also prepared a couple of unique vegetable dishes, which are listed below:

Haricots verts a la Provencale (Green Beans with Tomatoes, Garlic, and Herbs)
Gratineed Mustard Creamed Onions – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gratineed-Mustard-Creamed-Onions-240574
Mashed Potatoes with Carmelized Garlic and Parsnips – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mashed-potatoes-with-Caramelized-Garlic-and-Parsnips-240575

And a Cranberry-Apple-Orange relish

The turkey got done a little earlier than expected, however, when carving it, found the dark meat near the bottom was not quite done, but the drumsticks were. Next year, we’ll use a shallow roasting pan to make sure the heat get to the bottom. We were able to get everything else done and put on the table for our feast (see below)

As mentioned above, the drumsticks were done, and are the favorite part of the turkey for #2 grandson. He and I usually share the two drumsticks, and he does finish all of his, even if he skips some of the rest of the food.

All of the food turned out greated, and we all enjoyed the meal, as well as each other’s company. The best part of this whole meal, for me, is getting to cook it with my daughter, and sometimes my grandchildren. When I was growing up, I helped my grandmother in the kitchen when there were big holiday meals to prepare and cook, and other times when there were not as many people. I sincerely hope I am making similar memories for my daughter and grandchildren, and that they will strive to do the same for the next generations.

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