Friday, November 26, 2010

My first Thanksgiving Challenge

I made my very first Thanksgiving meal yesterday. My husband was supposed to take the kids to his brother's house for the occasion, but my husband is feeling under the weather. He decided on Tuesday that he wasn't up to the almost 3 hour drive. I took is as a domestic challenge to hold Thanksgiving here and make it a semi-feast. I went shopping that evening and bought a small turkey (10 pounds - woohoo!), cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes, gravy. I scoured the internet for Thanksgiving meal tips. What I feared the most was cooking the turkey. Pages and pages talked about thawing out a turkey and how it takes about one day per 5 pounds of turkey to thaw it out in the fridge. Holy cow, that meant that I needed 2 full days to thaw out even my itty bitty turkey. I hoped for the best, but I searched for other ways to thaw out and cook the official bird of the holidays (which, at times, I wonder about. How are we so sure the pilgrims used a pheasant or some other bird for their feast. I mean, do we REALLY know??)

I found a very useful website that explained how to cook a frozen turkey. This is what saved my first Thanksgiving meal:
Cooking Turkey from a Frozen State.

Midway through the cooking time, I pulled out the giblets and neck and stuffed the cavity with fresh poultry herbs and garlic. The house smelled wonderful. After only about 4 hours, the thermometer told me that the meat was fully cooked, but not overcooked. The herbs gave the finished turkey a very pleasant and subtle flavor. The meat was moist, especially the breast portion, the skin was nice and crispy (I didn't share, but I took advantage of Cook's Privilege). My daughter mentioned how tasty it was. She even asked for seconds. My son announced that he didn't like turkey, but he is three and is notorious for only eating carbs, so he made up for not eating turkey by eating his share of the potatoes and stuffing. My husband, even with his cold, said how tasty it was.

I am happy to say that I met with my first holiday/meal challenge well-armed and I have succeeded.