post:

turkey day!
November 29th, 2013etc, Mary, RecipesMary Desjean 10 Comments

I hope you and your family had a very lovely turkey day, er Thanksgiving, yesterday! I just chilled out at home, helped with making the dinner (which was a true “dinner” this year – Jake had to work until 6PM and we didn’t eat until after 8PM instead of our usual “eat-at-3PM”).

breakfast-scones-blueberry

I started the day off by baking some scones. These are actually the packaged mix from Fresh n Easy. You just cut in some butter, add an egg and milk and bring it together until it’s just moistened. I forgot I wanted to put blueberries INTO the scones, so rather than run the risk of making the scones too tough, I made a quick blueberry sauce to go on top (just frozen blueberries, little bit of sugar, water and a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up). A delicious way to start the day!

turkey-brine

This is the brine I made for our hefty 17lb fresh turkey. We brined it for about 4 hours instead of doing the overnight thing (that’s how Dad likes to do it).

The brine is: 2 cups brown sugar, 1 and 1/2 cups salt, 2 lemons (peeled and the lemons thrown in), 3 tablespoons of peppercorns and 6 fresh bay trees (we have a bay leaf tree, it’s true). Bring to a boil in some water (use a minimal amount of water so you can add it directly to cold water instead of waiting forever for it to cool down…. which is what I did…. oops). Let cool and add to a bucket or larger container with more water and ice.

pork-stuffing

This is our traditional pork stuffing that goes into our turkey. It is so heavenly, I look forward to eating this every year!

pork-stuffed-turkey

Here’s our golden, glistening turkey with the stuffing spilling out! The turkey turned out great. Dad got a fresh turkey without any of that added crap to it (no injections). It was very moist and juicy and so so so good.

mashed-potatoes

Mashed potatoes. Can’t go wrong with those!

twice-baked-yams

Twice baked yams enjoyed by my parents and me. Jake and T didn’t touch these. I don’t know why, they’re so good! Dad “baked” them in the microwave and then I prepped them for the second bake. I scooped out the middle and added in butter, brown sugar, a touch of sea salt and some nutmeg and then put them back into the shells to be re-baked in the oven. Just a touch of sweetness, these were so good.

garlic-green-beans

I also prepped the green beans, er, haricot verts, this year. Very simple prep – just boil the green beans for 8-10 minutes. Then toss in butter and garlic into a pan and reheat the green beans. This was good since I boiled them first and set them aside until we needed them. I also used my new package of Omnivore Salt here with a few cracks of fresh pepper. I got Omnivore Salt through a Kickstarter campaign and it’s a really delicious blend of fine salt with organic spices – perfect over this dish!

dark-meat-turkey

Mmm, dark meat.

turkey-gravy

Mom always makes the gravy. It’s like the one thing we make her do, haha.

all-the-fixings

The full spread!

fixed-thanksgiving-plate

My plate of goodies.

t-and-dad

T and my Dad.

jake-mary-thanksgiving

Jake and I.

maya-turkey

And Maya, too! Who got to partake in a bit of turkey.

mini-pecan-pies-ritz-cookies

Jake’s mom dropped off some mini pecan pies and some Ritz “cookies” for us that she made. Yum! For dessert, my dad INSISTED that we just get a Costco pumpkin pie and I said, “okay”. But after tasting the Costco pie well… let’s just say I’m gonna make the pie next year, for sure. After a whole homemade meal, a store bought pie just did not cut it! Oh well, lesson learned for next year. Dad says I should be in charge of everything next year. We’ll see how that goes, eh?

Hope everyone had a wonderfully bright, deliciously awesome, terrifically fabulous Thanksgiving!

'10 Responses to “turkey day!”'
  1. Faye says:

    Happy post Thanksgiving! I’m going to try the yam recipe – how long do you put them in the microwave for? And what oven temp do you use for the 2nd bake and for how long?

    I wish I knew how to make turkey gravy from scratch. I have yet to do so. So if your mom’s recipe is easy, let me know

    All the food looks amazing – I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie but surprised Costco’s version wasn’t very good.

    • mary says:

      Hi Faye! For the yams, you want to pierce them with a knife and then microwave them for 8-10 minutes (depends on your microwave). For the second bake, we did it at 325, but that’s because we already had the oven on at that temp. 350 works too if you want a “golden” more crunchy crunch – I’d say for 15-20 minutes.

      My mom’s recipe I believe uses turkey stock (made from the neck bones pulled out from the turkey), flour, and turkey drippings. I don’t know the exact recipe for that one!

      Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Faye!

  2. Jinxi says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Looks so yummy, especially that stuffing!! :) We didn’t bother with the traditional spread this year and just went out for Chinese food, and then having hot pot tonight! I did miss the festivities a bit, though! Maybe next year I’ll be cooking, too :D

    • mary says:

      Hi Jinxi – Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! Hot pot sounds like a fun, non-traditional way to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s all about who you spend it with, rather than what you do/eat exactly. It is the one holiday that I don’t mind always repeating the same foods from the year before.

  3. Happy belated Thanksgiving! Sounds like you and Jake enjoyed a great meal! :)

  4. sabas says:

    Awesome dinner! Those yams looked amazing. Did you bake the mashed potatoes?

    • mary says:

      Hi Sabas – We did bake the mashed potatoes, but it was more of a “too get them warm again” kind of thing. The yams were really really good. Just a touch of sweetness, just the way I like them.

  5. Cathy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving. I ‘practice’ making sides all year, as well as a turkey now and then (they were on sale at Fresh and Easy in October and many stores will have them on ‘clearance’ after the New Year) and it’s just a nice meal. Your stuffing and the turkey photo looks great!

    • mary says:

      Hi Cathy – It’s a wonder I don’t make the stuffing more often, I love it so much. Any kind of stuffing really. My mom likes to buy the turkey wings and cook those sometimes for dinner which are pretty darn good on their own.

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