Sunday, December 1, 2013

Vola! Thanksgiving 2013!

A day and half spent in the kitchen, one 10 pound turkey, and a pound and half of butter later, a great Thanksgiving feast was born. There is something about being busy in the kitchen brings about a sense of calmness in me. I love being able to juggle several recipes at once and tackling the most complicated recipes. 

My friend's fresh mozzarella, tomato crostini with balsamic vinegar reduction, and another crostini with prosciutto, arugula, and goat cheese as appetizers.

I started brining the bird Wednesday night (see my Thanksgiving menu here), and made two pies, and a pot full of stock. This year I used Bon Appetite's Herbed-Roasted Turkey and Apple Cider Gravy recipe. The meat came out juicy, tender and flavorful. I am going to brag a little bit, but this was the best turkey I have ever had. The gravy was a great balance of slight hint sweetness of the apple cider and savory herb flavors.

The great Thanksgiving feast with my new Fiestaware.

Honey Pecan Pie from Cooking LIght

Wilted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apple from Joy of Cooking

After doing lots of research on stuffing vs dressing, I am 100% behind dressing. The thought of bacteria infested raw turkey juice seeping into the stuffing gives me the chills. This Italian Mother-In-Law Dressing recipe from Bone Appetite calls for lots of ingredients, some odd ones like green olives. I included mushrooms into the dressing. The different ingredients came harmoniously together and created a perfect meatless dressing with the meat.

As great as the pictures look, not everything turned out all perfect. At least not my left index finger. An hour before guests were about to arrive, in the middle of chopping flat leaf parsley like a mad woman, I chopped off half of the top of my nail along with some fleshy part. Ouch, yes! I immediately bent over the kitchen sink and watched drips of blood turned into trickling stream down the drain. Disgusted? I was, The sight of blood made my knees wobble and light headed. Jake cam running down the stairs just as I was lying on the floor.

Don't worry, none of the my fingernail or flesh made their appearance into this plate.

One of the few things I had Jake help was adding the bourbon into Bourbon Cranberry Sauce. An hour later, I noticed the streusel of Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole had a hint of bourbon smell. Turned out the Jake added bourbon into the streusel mix, instead of the cranberry sauce. What's a Kentucky Thanksgiving without some more bourbon?

Half a bottle of bourbon, a chopped finger, and a food baby all made another successful Thanksgiving. Cheers to another year and looking forward to the next one. 

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