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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

     Turkeys, turkeys, turkeys...there are so many ways to cook them.  There are fried turkeys, rotisseried turkeys, grilled turkeys, smoked turkeys and traditional, oven roasted Butterballs complete with a red button that pops out when the turkey is done.  I think I've done them all.  This year was a new wrinkle.  I used a recipe from Yankee magazine, but I cooked it on the Treager rather than in the oven.
     I started yesterday by brining a 13 1/2 pound fresh turkey overnight.  It was a conventional brine with salt, sugar, bay leaves, crushed garlic cloves, etc. until the recipe called for a cup and a half of bourbon!  The pot with the turkey and two gallons of brine just fit in the top shelf of the refrigerator.  The basting sauce included: stock, butter, and chopped pecans which had been run through the blender with some more bourbon.  1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup provided some sweetness.  In order to get the dark meat done without drying out the breast, I cooked it upside down, tented with foil for the first two hours.  It was on a rack in a roaster pan.  In addition to putting some stock in the pan to catch the drippings, I had some other liquid from the night before.  When I carefully opened the plastic wrap containing the bird, I captured a cup and a half of juice...let's say it; "turkey blood".  It was stirred into the stock in the pan.  When all that basting sauce made its way into the bottom of the pan, the result was some rich gravy. 

     Is that a good barbeque mop?  When the bird was done, it found its way to a platter my mother gave us forty years ago.

     The sides included: mashed potatoes, butternut squash, turnip, cranberry jelly and Cindy brought some creamed onions.  Here's the assembled feast:

     We have much for which to be thankful.  The world's turbulence is creeping closer to where we live, and a pandering government is endangering our grandchildren's future.  Nonetheless, we operate on some traditional values that continue to stabilize our lives.  May all of you enjoy the traditions...even the Detroit Lions.
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