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?

To Phoenix With Mom – Day Three

On our second morning in Phoenix, we made it out of the motel at about 9:00 am (after a nice breakfast of cold Cafe Istanbul leftovers), heading for Boyce Thompson Arboretum (which is about forty-five minutes east of Phoenix).  The road to the Arboretum goes through some low mountains, and there were tall pink Penstemons on both sides of the road.  Beautiful!

Here are some photos, in no particular order, from BTA.

Here’s the one and only new plant I brought home from Phoenix.  It is Haworthia herbacea.  I love it!

After several lovely hours at the Arboretum, we drove back to Phoenix, and had a lovely late lunch at a little diner right next to the motel called Jim’s Coney Island Cafe.  I had a really good tuna melt (which I am always on the lookout for – I LOVE a good tuna melt).  Mom had a bacon cheeseburger, which she said was great.

We relaxed in the room for a little while, and then Janelle came to the motel and picked me up.  We went out to have dinner and drinks.  It was great to see her.  We went to a place called Crave.  The food was really good.  The garlic fries were amazing!  I had a beer, and Janelle ordered the sangria, not realizing it was a whole carafe of it.  It was delicious, and she was nice enough to share!  🙂  That’s me, drinking out of the carafe, and me and Janelle at Crave.  The photos are phone pictures, and it was dark, so they aren’t great.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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