I was very busy over the weekend. Last Friday I woke up early to hit the grocery stores before the crowds, & was happy to discover very few cars in the lot. By the time I was leaving around 9:30, it was definitely starting to get busy. After hitting the local Giant Eagle, I went to the farm market for produce & our weekly ration of bacon, & then ran to our health store for a gluten-free pie crust. I’m not sure my fridge knows what hit it!
Since I worked Saturday, Sunday was spent doing the prep work I could do so early on. In addition to making the bits & pieces for the green bean casserole, I also:
Steamed & pureed butternut squash. I love this stuff so much, & there never seems to be enough of it at our annual feast. This year? I’m making a whole lot of it. This is several pounds worth, pureed in the food processor. What you don’t see in this picture of orange yumminess is a stick of unsalted butter in the middle. I’ll cook this through & let that butter melt on Thursday. Yum! There’s no need to do anything else to perfectly sweet squash.
Roasted brussels sprouts! I forgot to mention the other day that another great thing about brussels sprouts is that they keep very well until a later time for re-heating. I’ll just stick these back on a cookie sheet & cook for about ten minutes at a lower temperature. I made a lot more than usual, since it’ll be more than just me eating them. Unless I won’t share them. I haven’t yet decided.
The reason for all this prep? I think it’ll make Thanksgiving so much more enjoyable if we get as much done before the big day as possible. I made a big list of everything we can possibly do before Thursday morning, & to be honest, it was most of it! A lot of the actual cooking will be done then, but since the menu consists mostly of items that simply need heated through, I’d say we’re looking at a quite relaxing holiday!
Yesterday, I pulled the turkey (all 21.5 pounds of it!) out of the freezer to begin defrosting. Yes, it’s true, I got a frozen turkey, but money’s tight & it’s so much cheaper. Tomorrow morning I’ll start brining it in my super secret mixture that consists of a bit of sugar (you don’t need to add salt to a frozen turkey; it’s already been injected with sodium), lavender, marjoram, thyme… you might have heard of it? Herbes de Provence. It’s a bit unconventional, but when I did it two years ago it was delicious. It’ll brine in cold water for about 24 hours, & then Thursday I’ll roast it for about five hours!
I’ll be stuffing the turkey with peeled & sliced apples & onions. I don’t know if we’ll end up eating this mixture, but I think it’ll keep the turkey wonderfully moist. I’ll also be spreading butter all over the turkey – you might want to try using some bacon drippings on yours prior to roasting; I think that’d taste wonderful. I won’t be doing that because of religious reasons for my family, but since butter makes everything better that bacon can’t, I’m happy to substitute for that.
What are you doing with your turkey? Are you having turkey at all? I think I’ll be eating turkey for about a week & a half after Thanksgiving, & I couldn’t be happier.