Wednesday, December 5, 2012

THE Meal (a slightly delayed post)

Okay, I am finally getting around to posting about our first Thanksgiving here in Washington. It was pretty great! Since Jacob kept me home from work almost that entire week, I had plenty of time to prepare our meal. And boy, did I prepare a meal! I must admit, I'm a pretty darn good cook. The key is finding great recipes, so... I'm sharing some of mine here. Lucky you!

First up was brining the turkey. Brining is a must for a super juicy, tender, flavorful bird. Here is the recipe I used for my brine :
  • 3 cups Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
  • 2 gallons Cold Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-1/2 cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
  • 5 whole Bay Leaves
  • Peel Of Three Large Oranges
Bring all of the ingredients, except the water, to a boil in a large pot. Allow it to cool (I put mine outside for a couple of hours). Then, put turkey in a brining bag (I got mine at Target, or you can use a CLEAN 5 gallon bucket), add cooled brine mixture, and the 2 gallons of water. Let turkey sit refrigerated for 24 hours (or outside if its cold enough where you live, I put mine in a cooler in the garage so the bears couldn't get it. Seriously, I have bears), then rinse the brine off before roasting the turkey.
 Here is Asher, very curious about my brined turkey.

When it comes to roasting, I just discovered the absolute best way of roasting for a beautiful, moist, evenly cooked bird.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, and heat oven to 425.  Rub turkey all over with 4 T softened butter. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place bird breast side down in roasting pan. (On a V rack if you have one- I didn't and it was fine). Chop 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 ribs celery. Place vegetables in the pan.  Roast for one hour. Remove from oven. Lower oven to 325. CAREFULLY turn turkey breast side up, emptying drippings from the cavity into the pan in the process. Return to oven and continue to roast about 2 hrs until a thermometer in the thigh reads 175 (my 22 lb bird needed 2 1/2 hours). Remove from oven, transfer to carving board, and allow to rest for 30-40 minutes before carving. Ta da!
 My glorious bird
 Rolls, before they were baked. I totally cheated and used frozen Rhodes rolls, they were awesome.
 Adam's professional carving job on the turkey
 The spread, which included: The turkey, rolls, stuffing (from a box, of course!), green bean casserole (recipe here), candied sweet potato casserole (here), creamy mashed potatoes (here), cranberry sauce AND jelly, olives, and amazing gravy. Appetizers were muddy buddies (a classic!), and a cheese ball. I baked my little heart out, and could have fed an army. Dessert was a store bought pumpkin pie (I'm not that good!); and it didn't even come close to my Grandma Patty's homemade pie. Oh well!

I forgot to mention- Adam has been super sick with this awful cold for about a month. He's been on antibiotics and steroids. Finally Thanksgiving Day he went to Urgent Care again, was put on a different antibiotic, more steroids, and now he is back to his healthy self. I think he just wanted to get out of the house and away from our little monkeys for a couple of peaceful hours!
 Sweet little Jacob-man that night
 Thanksgiving was pretty great. We missed the extended family, but it was nice having a relaxing day with my little family. The day after Thanksgiving, we decorated the house for Christmas and listened to carols. Then, I took Taylor and Jonny to see "Rise of the Guardians" with Jonny's buddy Jake and his mom. Cute movie!
Jon being a silly sticker monster!

I was looking forward to everyone being healthy come Monday. And wouldn't you know it, Jonathan came down with a fever Sunday night. Gaah! Thankfully, my boss is amazing, and I work with only 2 people in a huge office suite, so Jon came to work with me and set up house in the guest office.
He got tired of mixing up his office with the other two, so he created the sign above and taped it to the wall. Cute kid!

He felt better that night, and went back to daycare Tuesday (much to his disappointment, he wanted to go to work with me again!). Life has resumed normalcy since (knock on wood!).

1 comment:

  1. Your turkey dinner looks great!
    Hope everyone is back to healthy again!
    Congrats to Taylor on winning the art contest! You have to post her work of art asap!