Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Turkey Talk Part III: So Good That We Did it Twice

I made ANOTHER Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. On Thursday, I had invited just a few friends; mostly people who speak very good English. However, because the in-laws have been doing so much work on the house, and my brother-in-law loves most things American, I volunteered (was told?) to make another Turkey.

Dinner was the same, minus the candied yams. I was a little disappointed, because half the fun is seeing the look of disgust on their face. The turkey was a big hit, as was the stuffing. However, I think that the vote on the pumpkin pie was mixed. Dinner was a little odd though. Everyone came, ate, and then left. Seriously, they were only here for 3 hours tops.

It think that all of this cooking and cleaning exempts me from kitchen duty for at least a month. On the other hand, I have learned a few things over the past week about preparing a Thanksgiving dinner.

1. Turkey is not that difficult to prepare. Cook it at about 350 degrees. My 4.4 Kilo bird (9 pounds) took about 3 1/2 hours. Placing whole celery and onions in the bottom of the pan adds flavor and makes it easier to get it out at the end.

2. Fresh cranberry sauces is better than the canned stuff. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar into 1 cup of orange juice. Add cranberries and a cinnamon stick. Cook until the cranberries begin to pop, for about 10 minutes. Place sauce in serving dish and cool. The sauce will gel as it cools. Be sure to take the cinnamon stick out after about 30 minutes, otherwise the taste is overwhelming.

3. Don't mash your yams. Slices or chunks are better.

4. Spice up bagged stuffing with celery, onion, chicken broth and fresh rosemary. No one will ever know that it was from a bag.

5. Pumpkin pie tastes much better cold than warm.

I am still so stuffed from the past week, that I don't want to think about the mounds of cakes, cookies, and chocolates coming at me in the next few weeks. You know what they say: 'Tis the season to be eating.


Maria said...

Don't you love being volunteered for things? My husband's teammate called up another of the wives a day and a half before Thanksgiving asking her to cook the HUGE turkey he had bought, so we pulled together a Thanksgiving feast in about 36 hours. Fun times...

Oh-- another cranberry recipe you might try. 1 c. sugar, 1 c. water, 1/2 pound cranberries. I like mine a little more tart though, so I don't always add all of the sugar.

(I hope you don't mind my comments. I just found your blog and was interested.)

Mike B said...

Wait a minute ... these were germans, and they only stayed three hours? How did you accomplish that? Inquiring minds want to know, because we sometimes want to replicate your success.

As for the lessons learned, except for the bagged stuffing (bagged stuffing?), I'm right there with you on all points. Guten Apetit.

Jessica Brogan said...

I cannot agree more about the yams. Disgusting when they're mashed!

christina said...

Claire is the new Martha!!Seriously, you've totally mastered the cooking thing.

I've always wondered why people make such a fuss about cooking a turkey when it's actually so easy. Take out innards, shove in oven, take out when done.