For many years I and many of my friends were given a free turkey from our employers. Most of us worked in the food business and typically folks in this industry gift their staff a holiday bird. We started a tradition of having a second Thanksgiving. One Thanksgiving with our family and a second one with our friends. This year since Claire wouldn’t be home after Thanksgiving we moved our second Thanksgiving before the real Thanksgiving. So, we’ve had our second Thanksgiving and tomorrow we’ll have our first. Confusing, but no matter it means you get to eat turkey, stuffing, and all the rest twice in one week, and that’s ALL that matters!
I’ve settled on one preparation for the turkey which is how I’ve done it for years. I cut the leg thigh and wings off the turkey and place them in the bottom of the roasting pan with aromatic vegetables. Then I place a rack over and place the breast in the rack. I butter it all and season with salt and pepper, if you want a beautiful brown bird, brush with a mixture of coconut oil and butter. I season with salt and pepper, splash some wine in the pan, and that’s it. I typically roast a bird less than 15 pounds it it typically takes a touch less than two hours. This way when I’m ready to serve the turkey I don’t have to wrestle the wings and legs off a piping hot bird.
Next there’s the stuffing which gets it’s traditional flavor with a ton of butter and the classic herb trilogy of rosemary, sage, and thyme. I always make biscuits for the second Thanksgiving, and my sister in law always makes crescent rolls for the real Thanksgiving. For the traditional Thanksgiving I make pumpkin and apple pie, and then argue with myself about making pecan. It was my father’s favorite, my husband loves apple and no Thanksgiving is complete without pumpkin pie. In the end, I always make all three. For the second Thanksgiving I may make a traditional pie, or some other dessert. This year I made a pumpkin marble cheesecake. It was great, a real hit.
Other than that, it’s whatever else any of the guests want to bring or can’t live without. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables, cranberry relishes, gravy, you name it. This fall I’ve been obsessing on a new (to me) cocktail. One of my coworkers went to Sweden in October and told me about a charming young man serving iced cold cider on a street cart. He’d scoop chopped apples into the cider and then splash it with whiskey. It’s absolutely delicious! So that’s my cocktail for this holiday season.
Of course the holiday is about food, but it’s also about sitting at a table with family and friends, sharing a meal. Gathering together in gratitude, grace, and laughter.
Filed under: Holidays