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Old 08-01-2011, 08:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by joesfolk View Post
Though it is very tempting to us foodies, It may not be a good idea to go gourmet on thanksgiving. Folks who are looking for their traditional Thanksgiving dinner don't always appreciate our gormet touches. You might consider preparing the turkey in a different way and making the sides as they would normally be expected in your family or make just a couple of sides with your special touches so that everyone can still find something that sparks that "home for the holidays" feeling.
If I'm the cook and it's at my house ~ well, you'll eat what I serve. LOL Not sure how else to say it.

I encourage people to shake things up and try new stuff! I'll trade an enthusiastically made and fun meal over the same boring stuff a thousand times over. <3 I hope you come up with a crazy new menu that you have an absolute blast cooking. =)


We are fed by a food industry which pays no attention to health, and healed by a health industry that pays no attention to food - Wendell Berry
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:24 PM   #22
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We go to BIL's house for Thanksgiving. Love he and SIL dearly, but they are both such yuppies. One year, the whole turkey plate was decorated with BAGS of fresh cranberries sprinkled all around the bird. Looked like a Martha Stewart platter. They pitched the whole thing after the meal. What a waste.

I still prefer my stuffing to SIL's. We bring the scalloped corn.

She bakes the best pecan pie ever, though.

Totally forgot about my smashed turnip/rutabegas with lots of butter and a bit of sugar. Yum.

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Old 08-01-2011, 09:29 PM   #23
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I like turkey and the fixins. My turkey is locally farm raised, fresh killed. I don't brine, but I herb butter under the skin. My dressing is complex with sausage wild rice pecans and all the usual savories (carrot onion celery) and chunky bread crumbs. I do mashed root veg (potatoes rutabaga parsnip) and I escallop some sweets with nutmeg. I do a butternut squash soup with garlic and sage. I buy a few extra wings and necks to make extra stock to make great gravy. All of that is a given. Other items depend on who's coming and what they are bringing or not.

I will roast a turkey 2 or 3 other times during the year. It is easy to do, the house smells amazing and we all love the sandwiches and great soup it makes.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:19 PM   #24
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Well, now....If I had my druthers...There would be a nice smoked brisket, roasted asparagus, rutabagas, butter beans seasoned with a ham hock, sliced cucumbers in a bowl with some slightly sweetened cider vinegar, my grandmother's biscuits (I sure do miss those), cornbread (fried in a large flat pone), my great aunt's favorite cake ..A simple yellow two layer cake with chocolate and peach icing, my Mom's iced tea, and for my own personal dessert, a glass of bourbon and a good Dominican cigar.
In reality, what we will likely have will be the traditional fare. Mrs Hoot loves Thanksgiving and she wouldn't like me "wrecking it up", as she puts it.
And that's just fine.
I was merely thinkin' 'bout what I would like if I had a free hand.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:36 PM   #25
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Well I've come up with my draft menu, but I'm sure it'll change. here goes:
Clementine-salted turkey, with red-eye gravy (will probably try this with chicken before the holiday to make sure it's good)
2 stuffings- a wild rice and mushroom one, and a carmelized onion and pancetta one
Still deciding if i want to do tradition cranberry relish or a beet and rasberry chutney
Mashed potatoes-regular and one with goat cheese, yummy
root veggie gratin with gruyere
Bacon braised brussels sprouts
3 cheese macaroni
My mom's sweet potatoes (lots of butter and brown sugar, sooo good)

I know there's quite a bit of starches on this, but let's face it, if you arent feeling like a hibernating bear after a Thanksgiving dinner, something isnt quite right... :D
Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts! ~James Beard
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:39 PM   #26
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i figured i'd just google it for you, since there's time: Raising Turkeys at Home
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:42 AM   #27
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its tempting...buuut maybe next year :)
Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts! ~James Beard
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:29 AM   #28
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I'm so happy to see such a thread, already. I am ready for summer to be OVER and autumn is my favorite time of the year. I don't have to do much planning for Thanksgiving, though.

We really enjoy tradition here, so our Thanksgiving is probably quite boring from a foodie point of view. However, I use my foodie skills to cook gourmet meals all throughout the year, experiment often, and Thanksgiving is our one meal each year that sticks to tradition with little variation. The star is a simple turkey (butter, salt, pepper, no brining) that I have been told by at least 20 people is the most tender, succulent and delicious turkey they have ever tasted. (The key is what a pp mentioned... roasting breast-side down until crisping the skin... a quality bird will shine through on its own.)

The sides for the entree are traditional American sides. Dh is an Armenian from Turkey (really), and in typical Turkish holiday dining fashion, we go slowly with the courses, starting early, and eating the entree/sides quite late in the day... dessert in the evening.

We'll usually start eating warm mezes (appetizers) around 2pm. Then we have cold mezes, which include salads and sometimes cheese, a soup (not too hearty) , then we have the entree with sides and finally dessert. Sides are typical: dressing, parslied potatoes, roasted carrots/parsnips, something new, and of course homemade yeast rolls. Dessert is almost always pumpkin pie and we eat it about 7pm. We pair these courses with wines (often the same ones year to year) and it's quite a gluttonous bacchanalia. (Just kidding... we enjoy the food and wine but don't go overboard usually.) But very traditional, once a year, and it's always the same. Wouldn't change a thing. Every family needs at least one solid tradition.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:41 AM   #29
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I still haven't come across the turkey thigh and breast I bought froze last year. I was going to do a trial run. I hope the FS bag held it's vacuum. I should empty out the freezer upstairs and look for those...
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:07 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I still haven't come across the turkey thigh and breast I bought froze last year. I was going to do a trial run. I hope the FS bag held it's vacuum. I should empty out the freezer upstairs and look for those...

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