I think a lot of people forget what the holiday is about – it is about giving thanks, it's not about having turkey for dinner, or waiting until midnight to get in line for a store that's going to open at 5am, it's not about watching marathons on television either, although that can be fun.
When we went to Mass yesterday, we were reminded of this, and we were reminded to be thankful for all the diversity in peoples and cultures. How would it be if everyone were the same? BORING! Father said we must be thankful for everything, even the things we might not like – such as hearing the same stories from certain family members year after year.
It was interesting – the night before we had watched Angels & Demons
, and I was truly surprised why anyone would think that Dan Brown's stories would diminish anyone's faith – in fact, it made my faith grow ten fold.
This is really the start of the "cooking season". It's when you take out the good dishes, good silverware, carefully wash and dry them. You take out the table cloth, napkins and place mats, and iron them if necessay.
I actually started a few days before with the brine. Usually, Berta (I always name my turkeys) is only about 12 pounds, but this time Bertha may have been Bernard because the bird was 18 pounds, and I started defrosting her on Monday. By Tuesday, I put her in the brine. Get the recipe for Turkey Brine at Big Oven.
My wonderful Nesco. I highly recommend using the Nesco American Harvest 18-Quart Roaster Oven for turkey, actually for anything. But it does the best job on turkeys. My Grandmother had one, and I remember Thanksgiving and Christmas the Nesco always did the turkey, and it always turned out great.</p<
I do my bird in the brine, and then I use an injector to inject flavor, and roast it in the Nesco. The recipe for Turkey in a Nesco with Injection is available at BigOven, too.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce or Bust
I seriously don't know why anyone would buy a can of cranberry sauce. What does it have in it? High Fructose Corn syrup – and the homemade version does not. Not only that, you can add ingredients to make it uniquely memorable. This is the simplest no brainer dish you can make. Anyone can make this – very easily.
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- 1 package Cranberries (fresh) – about 3 cups
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup crushed pineapple drained
- Candied walnuts
- 1 cup cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Put the cranberries, cup of sugar and water in a heavy bottomed 4 quart saucepan. Let it come to a boil, and you will hear the cranberries start to burst, almost like popcorn. Stir occasionally until all the berries have burst, then use an immersion blender, egg beater or whisk to blend it all together. You can also use a food mill to remove the skins, if you don't want them. You could then put this into a bowl and put it in the refrigerator until it sets – about an hour, then serve it.
Add the pineapple and mix it in thoroughly. Put this mixture into a bowl or mold. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Take the cranberry mixture out of the refrigerator – turn out of mold if needed. Beat the cream cheese and sugar til light and fluffy. Put on top of the cranberries or in the center of the mold, and garnish with the candied walnuts.
Oh the Horror!
I know better than to use anything but Mrs. Cubbison's for making stuffing. I really do, but this time, I thought since I had left over corn bread from Spane's birthday I should use that. BAD IDEA – because it was not preseasoned, and I did not season it correctly, it was dreadful – I had to throw it out.
Putting it All Together
Thankfully, I made plenty of other side dishes, so the dressing/stuffing was not an issue. After dinner, Spane and I went to Amber's (Amber who decorated Spane's birthday cake), and a good time was had by all. Thank you, God, for a day that was easy to be thankful for!