November 21, 2017

The Turkey with a Boob Job

Turkey Day came early for us this year. We celebrated with the family on Sunday because Frank and I will be traveling to Kentucky over the holiday. We will spend Thanksgiving with Frank's family. Bob and Hugh are hosting us. I sent my Sunbasket order to Bob's to assist with the meal. We arrive mid afternoon on Thursday so shopping was out of the question. I'm hopeful the meal kit will work out as beautifully as intended. The family is all in Kentucky this year, because Frank's cousin is getting married at Buffalo Trace Distillery. Initially, I wasn't going to attend because airfare was more than $700 on Southwest. I was able to reserve Frank a more affordable fare because we was able to stay until Tuesday. I, on the other hand, must be back to work Monday morning. Last minute, though, I was able to find fairly cheap fares on Allegiant. They recently started flying to Louisville, and their schedule doesn't allow flights every day, but for this trip, it was just what we needed. I cancelled Frank's flight on Southwest and rebooked him sharing my dates. It ought to be a nice time.

A little over a week ago, I took requests for our Thanksgiving feast. Nick wanted glazed carrots, Jeff wanted asparagus and Frank requested a turkey with implants. What can I say, I like to make things happen. Jeff's request was the only one not honored, not for lack of trying, the asparagus at Albertson's was so thin it would instantly turn to mush. Our turkey was more obscene than I had intended, but it was all in good fun. When life gives you lemons, give your turkey... tatas.

This year, I also coated it in a herb butter mask. I also tented only the breast after the first half hour at high heat for about 2.5 hours. Then, removed the foil for the final half hour to achieve even browning. The extras didn't make for a more flavorful bird. Nor did the lemon boobs. It was very moist, but some pieces from the breast were tough. I don't know if that was a result of my doing or not. I stand by loading the area between the skin and the meat with butter, it really does make a difference. I've had great success with juicy turkeys by doing it that way.

These Bourbon Maple Glazed Carrots were pretty tasty. I omitted the dill. I probably could have dressed it with parsley, thyme or rosemary since I had all on hand, but it never occurred to me. I have a run of bad luck when it comes to mashed potatoes. One, I'm not particularly fond of them unless they are those by Joel Robuchon, but let's be real those are more butter with an essence of potato. And who does not like butter?! Mashed taters are such a staple I keep trying to find a recipe that works for me. I've tried ricers, whipping them and even the crock pot. Meh. I was going to scrap them this year, but I decided to make one last ditch effort by trying Pioneer Woman's Creamy Mashed Potatoes. They could be made in advance and with all that butter, cream cheese and cream how could they be anything but creamy? They were my greatest success to date, but they're miles from anything Robuchon like.

I only cooked dinner for nine, which is far less than I prepared for last year. So, the day was much easier. Plus, Amy brought green bean casserole - um. yum, and Lauren prepared salad with mixed greens, cranberries, apples, walnuts, bacon, and feta. It was the perfect blend of sweet and salty. I rounded our feast out with sausage stuffing (technically, dressing), steamed broccoli and cheese (another of Amy's specialties), cranberries and yeasty dinner rolls. We finished with pumpkin pie for dessert.

The biggest tip for your holiday spread is to invest in a electric knife. I received one as a gift last year for Christmas. It was thought to be blasphemous my kitchen was lacking one at Thanksgiving a year ago. And truly it was. Because this baby sliced like a dream, even right through the bones. Frank had the turkey carved in record time.

Wherever you are or wherever you go, may you have the best Thanksgiving yet. Hug your family, just a little longer - for me.

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