11/10/2008

IT STARTS WITH TURKEY

So, I've agreed to have Thanksgiving at my house this year. I don't really mind doing it. It's just a lot of cooking. I've decorated a little bit already. But the hardest part is putting together the menu - I want to have something that will please everyone, something that is still traditional, but it's also a fun time to try new dishes. After much thought, I decided not to do anything too new.

I did, however, come across an article in Bon Appetit magazine about a new way of prepping the turkey. Last Thanksgiving at my house, we did two turkeys and brined them overnight using Alton Brown's recipe (omitting the candied ginger and using ground ginger instead). They turned out fabulous. But, admittedly, it was kinda messy. (It involved putting a large garbage bag in a cooler, along with the brine ingredients, turkey, and ice. Despite having the garbage bag lining, the brine got all over the place.)

The Turkey: Salt it, Don't Brine It via bonappetit.com

The salting method sounds a whole lot easier to me, and it's something a little bit different. We're going to do two turkeys again, as Hubby wants to deep-fry one of them. We also will have quite a crowd and you really cannot have too much food at Thanksgiving, now can you?

I did some of the shopping for the rest of the Thanksgiving Day feast while crowds were small and selection bountiful (might I add that prices sure have gone up?). I ordered a fresh turkey this year, as I will be on my Palm Springs weekend the weekend before. I cannot count on Hubby to pull a frozen turkey out to thaw. I'm not one to get all fancy with the selection of the turkey - it's a Butterball AND free-range. I'm not ashamed though, Butterball has done well in taste tests and it's served me well in the past.

But turkey is not what it's all about. My favorite part about the Thanksgiving meal is the side dishes. I'll be going traditional with homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole, and stuffing (I add apples and dried cranberries). I'm going to forgo the yams as it seems that people don't really love them, and instead I'll be doing maple-glazed carrots. For snacking, black olives, almond-stuffed green olive, and hot pickled green beans. I've delegated dessert, salad, and rolls to other people. May delegate appetizer duties as well. And I've picked out a selection of wines and couple of non-alcoholic sparkling ciders, Martinelli's, of course.

I just have to return to the store the night before to pick up the rest of the fresh ingredients, along with the turkey.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, can you believe it?

4 comments:

Auburn Kat said...

I followed Alton Brown's recipe for the brine turkey one year and it was FABULOUS!!!

Best of luck with all the cooking!

Little Fish said...

The only thing I can say is Wow (and that's oming from someone who loves to cook)! I want pictures!

Lys said...

Now THAT looks like an excellent idea, Michelle! You must take pics, like Little Fish suggested.

The side dishes are my favorite part as well - however the prices on food right now is crazy!!!

Ginger said...

*chuckle*

Your Thanksgiving menu is exactly the same as my traditional family one! Incredible!