Friday, November 28, 2008

Sharing our turkey...

It has become a tradition in our house to buy our turkey from a local market. It is fresh, and I pick it up on Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Typically, I order a 20-22 pound bird and in the past we have gotten one that is close to 20 pounds. This dear bird tipped the scales at a whopping 22.56 pounds. "Tucker" as we affectionately called him is awaiting cleaning.

Here he is all cleaned. I do not stuff my bird with a bread stuffing. Instead I use organges, fresh cut herbs and aromatics such as celery, onions and carrots. This year I didn't put in the carrots. Under the breast skin I put in a paste made from fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, garlic, dry mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I borrowed it from Ina Garten. I sprinkled olive oil over "Tucker's" back and gave him a good shake of salt and a good grind of pepper. Now he is ready for the oven.

I usually cook my turkey at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes before turning down the heat to 350 degrees for the remainder of the cooking time. Tucker is looking good just out of the oven. His total cook time was 4 hours and 35 minutes. Not to shabby for a big boy. Yes, we always use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.

I was so busy I forgot to take a picture of the turkey once it was carved and plated. Trust me, he was a good one. I hope all those of you who read my blog were able to share a blessed Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day...

I am ready. I made up my whole wheat rolls on Monday. Here is a nice "oven" shot. They are on the rise. I go so wrapped up in baking that this is the only picture I took of the food I prepared.

Yesterday I got cranberry orange bread and two apple pies. Today was the big push. I got both pumpkin pies, a pecan pie, cranberry sauce and my make ahead mashed potatoes finished. The turkey was picked up. I am going to remember to take more pictures tomorrow.

Happy baking and cooking.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Preparations: Shopping

I had high hopes for baking and cleaning today, but they were not to be. I did shop, and then I realized that this was a very important part of preparing for Thanksgiving day.

I had already planned the menu last week, and while I was planning the menu I made a shopping list. Yesterday I went to a local market that had good prices on produce and a few other items. So, I picked upthese items to be used for Thanksgiving:

cream cheese

Today I went to Aldi and Wegmans. I think I have everything I need. Here are my holiday items from those two stores.

green olives
mint patties for after dinner
black olives
sour cream
soda pop
apple cider vinegar
Izze (My kids love these, and they only have them on Thanksgiving.)
chicken broth
kalamata olives
Thanksgiving paper napkins
navel oranges

I think that sums up the purchases. All I have to pay for now is the turkey which I will pick up on Wednesday afternoon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hi Friends...

Finally I am settling into the school year. Who knew it would take me four months to get comfortable with all the activities and school work. We are looking forward to a week off from school next week. I like to focus on preparing for Thanksgiving. So, we will be reading, and Jonathan will be working through some math. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we will enjoy the break. I hope to post on the preparation for Thanksgiving.

I can give you a little tip on the first thing I do to prepare. I declutter my kitchen. I can work so much better when I can see my counters, find my spices and grab the proper cooking utensil. We started by working on the spice rack a couple of days ago. I will do more tomorrow. I am also going to make and freeze my rolls and cranberry bread.