November 26, 2010 | At least there is one thing we can thank the Pilgrims for — the good sense to gather together and observe that life is good. Certainly better than the alternative. We don't know what they really ate that day; some say it was eels (NYTimes, 25-Nov-2010), but the modern interpretation is that turkey is the sine qua non of Thanksgiving. Somehow the thought of getting a 20-pound eel for Thanksgiving isn't quite the same.
I offered to host the usual suspects for the usual Thanksgiving à la fortune du pot. As host, I would make the turkey, dressing, and gravy, while everything else would be contributed.
I rose Thanksgiving morning to make the usual pot of coffee and start the preparations. First up was to retrieve the neck and giblets from the turkey thawing in the refrigerator since Sunday so I could begin the broth that would become gravy supreme. OMG, the turkey was still frozen solid! Quelle horreur! Time for the big bucket of water express thaw method. Eventually I could retrieve the turkey's "junk" and put it on to simmer.
Meanwhile, I would begin the sausage cornbread dressing. Although this was the first time I tried this recipe, it is definitely a winner. In fact, I suspect this will become my go-to stuffing recipe.
While the stuffing was baking and the giblets simmering, I set the table:
Around 2pm the guests began to arrive and began drinking Blissinis and nibbling on appetizers. And it's a good thing there were plenty of those because the blankety-blank turkey took almost 4 hours to get done instead of the advertised 2 hours. The fact that its internal temperature was still 32°F when it went into the oven certainly helps explain that.
But never mind — it gave us more time to chat and enjoy the friends and family we're all thankful for.
At long last the thermometer in the turkey began to ding, indicating it had reached the proper temperature to take out (151°F) and begin its resting period. While it was resting, I finished off the gravy and put the stuffing back in the oven to reheat. At last — dinner was served.
And this year I remembered all the dishes! (see Chronicles, November 2009)
Last updated on Jun 22, 2016