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FFF....Let's talk turkey and stuff....ing....

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by GAMMA RAY, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    I am making up my grocery list for Thanksgiving dinner. I am interested in how others cook their turkey. Does a fresh turkey taste better than a frozen one? Anybody brine their turkey? I bet some of you do the fryer thang.
    I have about 10 people coming for dinner. I usually do the traditional turkey, sausage stuffing, homemake cranberry relish, candied yams, a "baked" mashed potato dish with cream cheese, slow cooker cheesy cauliflower, tossed salad and homemade pumpkin pies and some other odds and ends..... Nobody every goes home hungry.
    Any secret recipes you guyz and galz wanna share? :eek:hh:
    What's your favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner?

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    We've done the "fryer thang" maybe 30 - 40 times & if it didn't take so
    DAMN long to clean the 22 qt pot, I'd do it again this year.
    We inject em & teriyaki is great in a fried bird!
    But, MY favorite part is Mama Mabel's Sweet Potato Pie. The recipe was given to
    me about 15 years ago, by a woman who was originally from Georgia, but worked
    with me in New York,
    The Recipe (verbatim):


    Mama Mabel’s Sweet Potato Pie

    1-1/2 Cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
    1 Stick butter
    1-1/2 Cups sugar
    1 Teaspoon cinnamon
    1 Teaspoon nutmeg
    1/8 Teaspoon allspice
    ½ Teaspoon salt
    1 Teaspoon vanilla
    2 Eggs, well beaten
    1 Cup (8 oz.) evaporated milk
    1 9 inch deep dish pie shell

    Well, Chile, first off, let me tell you that it was mighty hard havin’ to write down my Sweet Potato Pie recipe. You see, I’m used to cookin’ by vibration. Haven’t used a measurin’ cup for years—if ever at all. Now when you buy your sweet potatoes, don’t get them too big. They won’t boil quite right. Get you some medium-sized ones. Now, get out your big pot and boil your potatoes. While they’re boilin’, get your oven started. Set it to about 350. Also, get out your mixin’ bowl so’s it’ll be ready when comes time to put your spices together. Now, while your potatoes are boilin’, pick out a nice tune or so to sing. If you can’t sing, hum. Singin’ and bakin’ go together rather nicely. Gives you your rhythm, and that’s important to bakin’, I sings “We’ll Understand it Better By and By,†and “How I Got Over.†These two good ole gospel tunes works well for me, but you find what works for you. Now, when your potatoes are finished, run ‘em under some cold water for a spell so’s you can peel ‘em without getting’ burnt, but don’t let ‘em get cold ‘cause you want your potatoes to melt your butter for you (but that comes later on). So, just cool ‘em enough so’s you can peel ‘em. Now, put the potatoes in your bowl, and mash ‘em up real good, now, ‘cause you don’t want no stringy pie. Next, take your butter and put it in your potatoes, and mix that til it melts. Then take all your sugar and spice ingredients and blend em together in one of your little bowls. Last, add your vanilla in with the spices, then add that to the potatoes. Now, beat your eggs real well. (You can start singin’ that tune of you’re a little louder, ‘cause you’re almost finished!) Put your eggs in with all the rest of the stuff. Finally, take your evaporated milk and start adding it - a little at a time – to your potato mixture. Keep an eye on it, ‘cause you don’t want it to get too juicy. If you feel the need to add a bit more, go ahead, but be careful, now. Remember, you don’t want it too juicy. Now pour your mixture into your pie shell, and set your pie in your oven. I usually let mine bake about 35 minutes, or so, keepin’ an eye on it, of course. (After you get to be an ole hand at this – like me – you won’t be needin’ to do no clock watchin’and recipes and all that kind of stuff. It’ll just come to you.) Gen’rally, I starts cleanin’ up my kitchen about now, and singin’ up a storm, wakin’ up everybody who’s sleepin’. You see I likes to do my bakin’ early in the mornin’. Then I sits down and rests my feets for a spell. (I can’t stands on ‘em for too long, nowadays, getting’ old I guess.)
    Well, baby, I hears the phone a-ringin’, so’s I got to go now. Sure hope your pies turn out right!
  3. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Gotta have the green bean casserole
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My favorite part this year is an email to my neighbor asking when dinner will be ready.
  5. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    I made that one year hoss....and nobody liked it.... :long:

    Daksy....that sounds like a slammin recipe...I may make it...
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Unless you are gonna boil it in oil, brine that bird. If you DO brine it, leave the stuffing out of it. It can make the stuffing salty.

    I personally love to smoke the birds, but a good ole roasted turkey out of the oven is just fine, if done right.

    Edit: and my favorite part of the meal is the turkey sammich later on or the next day.
  7. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Brine it overnight. Cut up a stick of butter and slide the pats under the skin, and rub in a spice mixture, like Emeril's Essence, under the skin as well. The drippings make awesome gravy. I used to use a bag, but now I use a roaster. Frees up the oven for other stuff.
  8. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    The Dixette & I are sharing the duties this year, I've got the bird, stuffing, & pies. She's got the cook top stuff

    The oven roasted turkey will be from the local supermarket (special this week$.29 per pound, I'm buying 2, 1 is going right into the freezer). Bread/sausage stuffing, gravy, veggies, pies.

    An extra day off after 2 weeks straight will be my reward :)
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I like Thanksgiving dinner at the neighbor's. Nobody but me likes dark meat so I come home to a clean kitchen with a weeks worth of sandwich makins. :cheese:
  10. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I'm liking the day at home, and my "Jewish Cowgirl" daughter (Erin's gal pals from HS that are still tight) coming for dinner. 3 to cook for. Easy Peasy. Beats slaving for 25, like I have the past few years. Quality time with the Murph, ain't nothing better :)
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    And a little extra shot of oats for Matisse and The Dixie Eyed Hustle. In fact a little after meal ride would be good for them, you and da ladies. Done it many a time down in Texas on Thanksgiving.
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I'm gonna head out there in the AM. Only buying 10 pound birds, after all :) Matisse is not rideable, yet. And I haven't sat on Dix in 2 years, sad, I know. The good part is that it won't be a rodeo when I get on. Best mare in the world, Da Dix is :) Making plans to start working her again, if even on a longe line in a round pen :)

    AM Thanksgiving rides were a tradition. They need to come back.
  13. agartner

    agartner Feeling the Heat

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    I do the brine thing. Basically, I follow the "Alton" method. (Search Alton Brown Turkey, or just check Food Network for "Good Eats", they play the episode to death this time of year).

    Basically, plain old salt water brine, use a cooler and lots and lots of ice. Don't want that bird gettin warm and growing nasties and whatnot. Alton sticks all sorts of different flavorings in the brine, but I'm too lazy for that Let her sit overnight.

    Probe the breast (god, I do love sayin that) with a digital thermometer and stick some aromatics into the cavity (Even that sounds bad..I'm goin to hell). apples, onions, carrots...whatever, loosely packed. (No, we don't "stuff the bird with stovetop stuffing"....that just be bad mojo)

    Oven, by the way is coming up to 500 degrees. Yup. 500. Bird goes in for about 15 to 20 minutes - and yes it'll start hissin and spittin....pull it back out, drop the oven to 350 or so, cover the breast with some aluminum foil (it should be nicely browned, if it still looks pekid, leave the aluminum foil off for about an hour), and let 'er roll until 161 to 165 (Recipe says 161, I go to 165 to 168). Out she comes, cover it up nice, and let it rest about 15 to 20 minutes while you stovetop all the rest of the goodies.

    Favorite part of Thanksgiving? When the in-laws leave.
  14. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    Better watch out! I'm coming up to your side of town, and that's my favorite part of the turkey.
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Well, Bob Evans is still open for breakfast. Hasn't moved. :mad: Two over easy and a drumstick ain't bad. I'll bring the drumstick.
  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    My wife and I have had fantastic luck with the free Giant turkeys you get when you accumulate enough points. Lots of flavor and juicy.
  17. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    The Italian Stuffing is great. :cheese:


    zap

    Attached Files:

  18. Mr. Brownstone

    Mr. Brownstone New Member

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    Cooking the bird in the oven, for me, was very problematic on my first try. Especially when you have 25 hungry family members for Thanksgiving. I resorted to the gas grill with smoking wood chips for the subsequent Thanksgiving events. 15# bird + 3-1/2 hrs = Perfect. Mother in law would always bring an oven cooked bird of the same weight to feed the masses. My Dad just got a turkey fryer as a gift, and we gave it a test drive a few weeks ago. YES! So this year, we go for smoked turkey, on the grill. Deep fried Turkey. The oven is free for heating up the sides that the relatives bring. I get to drink beer with the boys and get the turkey's done outside, with hopefully minimal female interruption!
    Yes, I do brine the turkey that goes on the grill. Overnight, with lots of water, salt, apple cider, spices. I don't think it matters. We did the injection thing with the "test drive" fried turkey. It was awesome. If you like fried chicken, you'll like fried turkey. Fried turkey provides the best wings and legs of any turkey you've ever had.
    Most importantly, drink beer and have fun. It only comes once a year!
  19. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    I'm trying an Indian Thanksgiving this year - East Indian, that is. Indian-spiced Turkey Breast, Panch Phoron Potatoes, Creamy Peas, Naan Bread, Indian Stuffing, Chai-spiced Caramel Fondue for dessert. Mom is making Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potato Casserole (younger son insists on this), and Pumpkin Pie (daughter-in-law insists on this). My dad made the best smoked turkey in his Big Green Egg, but I have been scrambling to come up with a T'day tradition since he passed. Will be daughter-in-law's first T'day with us, she's a smart girl, have a feeling she will start to get an inkling as to how many short of a six-pack this family is :smirk:
  20. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    We started making butternut squash soup to bring to dinner last year. It went over pretty well and was delicious. Less cheese and crackers before dinner. Why fill up on the apps when a fantastic meal is about to be had?


    http://www.garden.org/celebratingtheseasons/?page=butternut-squash



    +1 on the green bean casserole. It is fantastic, with the crunchy onion rings on top.

    edit: pecan pie for dessert.
  21. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    TGD morning finds Lady BK up at 6 AM to start the bird. Always a fresh turkey, usually a premium brand (it's one day out of 365). Biggest one we can get, usually up around 25 pounds.

    She uses Mama BK's stuffing recipe from half a century back:

    1 large onion and three celery stalks, chopped and sautéed in a stick of butter
    3 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
    2 pounds dense stuffing bread (pulled apart, not cut into cubes)
    2 eggs
    salt and pepper to taste
    Bell's seasoning to taste

    Simple basic recipe that lends itself well to adding roasted chestnuts, giblets, sausage, cranberries, etc. The mashed potatoes get added until the right consistency is achieved, and help to bind the ingredients together. We like a dense stuffing that holds up to cutting with a knife for sandwiches later.

    She stuffs the bird to capacity, then inserts several sage leaves from our garden under the skin. Looks pretty and makes a real nice tasting breast. In the meantime, I'm out in the garden collecting a big colander of the sweetest brussels sprouts from the garden. A few years I've had to bring a shovel to get at them. A snow shovel, that is.

    The BK family Turkey Day extravaganza begins:

    Fresh seasonal fruit
    Nuts, dates, figs, and fig rolls
    Celery w/cream cheese
    Black, green and oil-cured olives
    Bread'n'butter pickles, dill pickles, and sweet gherkins
    Fresh cranberry and orange relish, and cranberry jelly
    Pickled beets from the garden
    Mashed rutabaga
    Mashed Maine potatoes
    Baked Idaho potatoes
    Baked white sweet potatoes
    Braised brussels sprouts
    Butternut and acorn squash
    That green bean thing, except I buy fresh green beans and french-cut them myself (why simplify if you don't have to)
    Candied carrots from the garden
    Peas
    Scalloped corn
    Scalloped oysters (when my FIL was still alive)

    Da bird, of course... and about half a gallon of gravy

    Then dessert...

    Apple, pecan, pumpkin, chocolate cream, lemon meringue, and mincemeat pies (can never have too much pie)
    I am the world's best pie crust maker ;-)

    Several bottles of Pellegrino with lemon slices
    Cranberry juice
    Several bottles of good Oregon Pinot (always plenty leftover, but a sin to run out)
    4-5 single-malts (for variety, more or less as the budget allows)
    2-3 bourbons (budget always allows)
    Organic Sumatra coffee - roasted Viennese-style, fresh ground, and brewed strong
    Humidor full of cigars

    Brand new bottle of Gavascon sitting by the recliner.

    Then there is the procession of meals spawned by having a 25 pound turkey.

    Besides cold turkey sandwiches every day for lunch:

    Day 2 - leftovers
    Day 3 - leftovers (break turkey carcass apart and make soup stock)
    Day 4 - hot turkey sandwiches
    Day 5 - creamed turkey and peas on homemade biscuits
    Day 6 - turkey chow mein
    Day 7 - turkey soup

    Getting a new house, so we won't be doing Thanksgiving dinner here this year. Everything will be packed. Going to my DIL's aunt and uncle's house. All I have to do is bring the Pinot and the pies.

    I could get used to that. :)
  22. Milton Findley

    Milton Findley Feeling the Heat

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    Green bean casserole is Lutheran food, we even have a song about it. :cheese:

    Honey baked ham for us this Thanksgiving, nothing gets stuffed but us. For about 4 days.
  23. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    Missing out again because we are taking the megabus-- http://us.megabus.com/default.aspx
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Now that sounds like the way to travel.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Wife and I always do the B & B . . . bake and baste . . . we have yet to eat dry turkey . . . and we love stuffing it with sausage stuffing.

    Family favorite is banana bread . . . probably some dumb Maine tradition, but it seems as though almost every Maine home I've ever been to for Thanksgiving they have banana bread . . . for some reason it never seems like Thanksgiving for me without banana bread . . . then again for a long time it seemed weird to eat banana bread when it wasn't Thanksgiving.

    This year my wife has to work so I'm solo . . . thought about just spending the day cutting wood, but a few of my other loser friends who have spouses working all or part of the day thought we might get together for lunch at Dysarts Truck Stop (sounds much worse than it is . . . actually they serve wicked good food).

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