Well, I made my first ever turkey and everyone still lived to tell the tale. :-) Actually, thanks to the Internet and a few last-minute, desperately needed, insanely appreciated e-mails from Toddler Tamer, I have to say without bragging that I made a fairly delicious, juicy Thanksgiving turkey. Want to know the secret? Well, there are two, along with Lessons Learned:
1) I brined the turkey for about six hours beforehand. I really didn't need to do it overnight; just in the morning when I got up. Mind you, we didn't eat until 6:30, so it worked out.
Lesson Learned: When you brine a turkey in a garbage bag, a) double-bag it, b) do all of this out in the garage so when the bags do inevitably leak, your briny water doesn't go anywhere that needs cleaning up.
2) I accidentally (or was it on purpose? Hmmmm????) cooked the turkey upside down for the first hour. Whoops. However, I am convinced that this gave the turkey its extra juiciness. Plus my mom told me Cooks magazine suggests doing this, so perhaps I'm just a genius cook and I don't even know it. Probably not, but who the hell cares?
Lesson Learned: Some mistakes become serendipitous.
I just got a Basic Roast Turkey recipe from my bible, Real Simple (see link on my page) and added a few of Toddler Tamer's touches, including squeezing a fresh orange all over the turkey and then slathering the whole thing with melted butter. I also cut up a few oranges and lemons and stuffed the turkey with those. Although it took longer to cook than I'd thought, it turned out great. Oh, and everyone seemed to like Giata's corn muffin recipe I used, so let me know if you want it. Frankly, I think they needed some Splenda, but that's easy to fix.
We really did have a lovely afternoon with good food, good folks, and good fun. Mom gave me the Shaker dining room table that my grandfather actually built himself, and I got to finally use a ton of the gifts from my wedding registry--even took some out of the boxes for the first time in seven months.... Add to that my grandmother's china and you've got a recipe for nostalgia and new tradition all in one. Plus we had homegrown Brussels sprouts (and bacon, thus ensuring DH ate them) courtesy of my Maine farmer sister, and my other sister M. made these delicious sweet potatoes--that come with a Frosted Flake crust. And two pies! OHHH...SO YUMMY! Oh, and mom's stuffing...small wonder I got on the scale this past weekend and practically screamed.
Which leads me to my other comment: In my quest to once again fit comfortably into my jeans, I perused the Exercise on Demand feature on our Direct TV. I chose a good looking cardio one that had you dance the pounds right off, tra la! Now, sisters, feel free to start laughing, you little twerps: I forgot that the dance moves in these damned videos are done at a decent speed, and I do not have the coordination to quickly pick up a step-kick-turn-knee up-back-dance like I'm on MTV routine. It had me flailing around like a wounded animal...or a really white girl. Oh, and forget adding arm movements in time to all of this. Thank God I was alone in my living room with the shades down, because I looked and felt like a right jackass. I figured the amount of energy I expended just trying to do what the overly energetic host did effortlessly--not to mention his toned, tight ab-ed, smiling little minion women-- had to have burned some calories. I'll probably even go back for more...but maybe Tai-bo. Or I'll commit the ultimate irony: Sit on the couch and watch it in slo-mo, get the steps, and THEN try them myself. I'll keep you all posted (pun intended).
So, all in all, I had a fantastic Thanksgiving with people I loved, and I didn't have to go anywhere. A nice perk. Hope all of you had a good holiday as well! We didn't take many pictures (I was running around, so I kept forgetting), but here's one: