Thanksgiving Success!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope that everyone had a great food-family-friend-fest!

*WARNING:  Photos of raw turkey parts below*

The day before Thanksgiving, I made homemade stuffing.  This is a family recipe, and turkey just wouldn’t be the same without it.  I dried the bread cubes, crushed the dry ingredients (without a mortar and pestle, mind you), and sauteed the veggies in butter.  I mixed it all together, and put it in the fridge for the following day.

As I mentioned in my last post, I made my first roasted turkey ever.  According to the turkey wrapper, it was going to take right around three hours to roast it.  I got it out of the fridge at about 12:20pm, and used the handy ‘easy open holes’ to free it from its plastic jail into the sink.  The photo in the middle below was taken just as it slipped from its bag.  That’s the included gravy packet poking out from its nether regions.

I rubbed it down with salt, as per ‘The Joy of Cooking’, and crammed it full of stuffing.  I basted it entirely in butter, and put it into the oven at 325°.

Once the turkey was in the oven, I threw all the giblets and the neck into a pot, added water, celery and celery greens, an onion with a clove poked  into it, and some salt and celery, and put it on the stove to create gravy.


I put the ‘included gravy packet’ aside.

This is how my turkey looked after an hour:

After about two and a half hours, I took the neck and the gizzard out of the gravy, and had them for lunch.  I strained the gravy and set it aside.

At three hours and five minutes, I stuck the thermometer into the bird’s thigh (I learned where a turkey’s thigh is!), and it was done, so I pulled it out of the oven, and let it rest for thirty minutes.

After its thirty minute rest, I un-stuffed it, and carved it.  I put out the mashed potatoes and salad, and the delicious, delicious stuffing.  This stuffing and the neck are my favorite parts of eating turkey.  Thanksgiving dinner with a side of vitamins.

After Thanksgiving dinner was all finished, I did some kitchen cleaning, and got in my car and drove up to Cedar City to spend the evening with Janet and Julie.  Julie drove all the way to southern Utah from Montana to pick up the newest member of her family, an adopted Clydesdale named Clyde.  She was only in town for one night.  We didn’t get to have a ‘girls’ weekend’ this year, so this was a mini version.

Janet went home from the hotel last night (since she lives close by), and I spent the night with Julie and Cash.  Julie and I had breakfast at the breakfast buffet at 6:00am, and then Julie headed for the animal shelter to pick up Clyde.  I slept in in the hotel room, then drove home to St. George.  On my way out the door of the room, I encountered some weirdness.  We were in the pet-friendly section of the hotel, and I guess I only ever think of people bringing their dogs and cats on trips.  I looked down the sidewalk, and sitting on a perch about 30 feet away was a HUGE hawk.  At first I thought he was just there, wild, waiting for prey.  However, I got a little closer and could see he was chained to the thing he was sitting on, and it was a Harris’ Hawk, not native to Cedar City.  He was lovely, though, and getting some sun.  Such a strange thing to see outside a hotel room door!

I’m happy that I got to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family (although MORE of my family would have been even better), and I’m happy that I got to spend some time with Janet and Julie!

How was YOUR Thanksgiving?

14 Responses to Thanksgiving Success!

  • Glad you enjoyed your thanksgiving! Beautiful bird! I had nachos 🙂

  • Barb – What happened to your Tofurkey kit?! Nothing against nachos, though…I sure love me some nachos!

  • Yay! The mini-girls night was fun and much needed. My front desk gal said that the owner of the hawk was hitting on her…using the hawk in his lines. Wow. She said “he’s trying to get me to date him by using his hawk as a lure”. Yeah, we have awesome guests sometimes.

  • Janet – YIKES. I was just feeling bad for the hawk. Now I feel bad for the front desk girl, too. It WAS fun to see you guys!

  • I am so happy for Clyde. I always worry about horses up for adoption. Horses are my loves but can’t have one where i am so i donate to horse organizations.

    Am so happy and never really had any worries that your turkey would turn out just delicious. I had a delicious meal with my sister Marcy and your uncle Rich. Ah there is nothing more wonderful than left over turkey, Enjoy!

  • Lorraine – I’m really glad that you and Marcy and uncle Rich got together for Thanksgiving!

  • Your turkey looks amazing! Since I was sick I missed the traditional dinner but it looks like great minds think alike because I too had nachos! 🙂 I figured if I couldn’t have turkey, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, and pie, nachos were the next best thing.

  • Jen – I LOVE that you and Barb both had nachos! I hope you’re feeling a little better. I am finally getting over this miserable cold.

  • I had no doubt that your turkey would turn out to be delicious. It seems you had one terrific Thanksgiving. My turkey turned out good as well, although I always am a little tense at the end and hope the turkey is thoroughly cooked or not cooked too much. Enjoy the left overs. It’s a easy meal-just load the plate and stick it in the microwave.

  • Aunt Marcy – Thanks! I agree. I love turkey leftovers! Especially the stuffing. It’s good sprinkled in soup, salads, you name it! 🙂

  • The turkey looks wonderful! . Now that you’ve done it once, you know for all time, like riding a bicycle, how a delicious turkey becomes that way and it’ll be so much less worrisome in future. Sorry we couldn’t be there for the test run. We missed you, Rich and Chris.

  • Sonja (AKA ‘mom’) – I’m sorry we weren’t closer for the holiday, too. It DID turn out great, though, and I am grateful for all the help and suggestions everyone gave!

  • katie you cooking a great meal is no surprise to me, now for myself, I also had a great Thanksgiving meal at cousin Marcy’s. Now the only problem I have is that I have never tasted the two at the same sitting to compare, we will have to work on that. Oh yeah I have one complaint, that is nobody saved me the gizzard, good stuff, but than again like fine wine which you have aquire a taste for HA HA.

  • Uncle Rich – I ate the gizzard here. I’ve never really liked them, but since my mom wasn’t here to eat it, I figured I’d eat it. It was tasty…it’s just got the texture of vulcanized rubber. I’m glad that you got to spend Thanksgiving with the family!

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