26 November 2015

Thanksgiving Cooking, Day 2 and Birthday

This is 35 (and 4)
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. You say it's your birthday. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. Happy birthday to you! 

I woke up to Shawn singing "Happy Thanksgiving to you, Happy Thanksgiving to you. It's also your birthday, let's celebrate that too!" Sweet. I got to open presents on Thanksgiving, and I'll get to do it again on Christmas in less than a month (!).

Shawn preheated the oven for me, and I put the turkey in just about 7:30 a.m. (My family tradition is to eat at lunch so I keep that going. Mainly I like to get it over with AND I like having the leftovers ready for supper.) Pretty sure I made a mistake by cooking the turkey with the giblet/organ bag, but whatever I did I couldn't find it pre-roasting! The turkey was pre-brined from Trader Joe's ($25 for 12 lbs). And the turkey turned out OK even with that dumb mistake.

Last night I did make my Parker House rolls, a recipe from Bon Appetit, a copy of the magazine I got as a hand-me-down from a friend when she moved. I've made them for a few years now and they're very tasty although a pain in the neck. Timing is hard too because you're supposed to let the finished rolls rest in the fridge for 30 minutes - 6 hours. I just did it overnight, so probably more like 15 hours, and they turn out fine. There's also the rising and kneading time to consider. Delicious.

The turkey cooked while we watched the Macy's Parade on NBC. Jane hadn't seen it before, but we're loosening up on screen time restrictions -- or maybe the better way to say it is that she's at an age able to handle more screen time from time to time. She really liked it, although she set up her table and chairs in front of the TV so she could color and "work" to pass the time.

Not quite a beauty shot, but I promise it was cooked to temperature and looked better IRL
After the turkey cooked for 3.5 hours I pulled it out to rest and baked the dressing (it looks a lot better after being baked). It really tasted good and like "home" for me. I make it a little drier than Shawn's grandma does, but they just poured gravy over their servings to get their preferred consistency.


20 minutes after the dressing went in I added the green bean casserole to the oven. I add sliced water chestnuts to the generic recipe and go overboard with the fried onions. NOM.


10 minutes after that in went the rolls and the sweet potatoes I pre-prepped yesterday.

These were browner in person too -- and also the melted butter and salt added at the end make them taste OMG.
While that was baking I whipped cream in my Kitchen Aid mixer. Super easy, but I didn't think to take a picture. I also didn't sweeten the cream, so we have a lot left! I can always fold in a bit of powdered sugar to up the yum factor even more.

I also heated up some Trader Joe's turkey gravy. I didn't eat any, but the others said it was good. And I will say it was easy -- much easier than creating a scratch roux and finagling the drippings out from under the cooked turkey (kind of a pain for something I don't even want to eat myself - LOL). I don't have a gravy boat, so that is something I have on my list to get before Christmas when I'm hosting my side of the family! I could also use more potholders, and those are things I can crochet. I should make complete holiday sets because I ended up having to use doubled over towels and maybe ruining/marring my table top even though we also had double table cloths on. Drat.


Shawn carved the turkey and we served it on a platter. Much easier to serve than doing it at the table, although I do say the presentation is less appealing. We did the wishbone, and we both wished for the same thing. So hope it comes true! (I won, technically.)


We barely had room for plates, let alone the centerpiece Jane made in Sunday school. But I managed to squeeze it in and light the (thankfully unscented!) candle. Jane and I blew it out together, and I wasn't even thinking that we should make a wish for our birthday month!



The table was laden, we all ate a lot. And then I went for a walk. Dale, Shawn and Jane walked with me for one block and then I kept going until I'd walked nearly an hour. I won't have time or daylight to walk after supper of leftovers, so I'd better be more discerning/eat less!

I'm planning to add up what I spent on the meal all in. I probably won't estimate some of the things I had - like flour for the rolls, mustard and mayo for the eggs, etc. I haven't done the math yet though! I'm guessing $125-150, although that's not too bad for enough food to feed 5 people for at least three meals (and some of the things I bought I still have some leftover like spices, butter, eggs, etc.).

Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and enjoy the long weekend.

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