Happy Thanksgiving week!
I spent an ungodly amount of money at Costco and Super Target yesterday. Shhhhh. Some of it was for Christmas baking, but not-so-much.
I still have to pick up the turkey, parsley, pearl onions, and Haralson apples on Wednesday morning. The turkey is fresh, which for many years now is the ONLY way I will purchase and prepare a Thanksgiving bird. I have no time nor patience for that whole thawing scenario. Into the brine it goes Wednesday noon and there it stays until Thursday morning when I wrestle that slippery sucker into buttery golden submission.
Brine? Gallon of water in a big pot, cup of salt, cup of sugar, handful of herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage. Peppercorns. Sliced onion and garlic. Splash of white wine if I have some to spare (dry vermouth!). Bring it to a boil, add a bunch of ice to cool it down, then put your turkey in a Rubbermaid tub, pour the brine over the turkey and add enough ice cold water to cover Tom completely. If you live in the North, put the tub in the garage. If you are below the Mason-Dixon line, I hope you have a big spot in your fridge. And you'll probably need a pot rather than a tub. On second thought, don't brine it.
As at your house, every year has some "must-haves" on the menu. I've been doing this holiday meal for 20 years, and there are some things you do not mess with. For example, my mom's wild rice casserole (hot dish, thank you). When I smell it baking, I get teary-eyed. I wish we could have Thanksgiving with my parents . . . And if the mighty hunters get a deer in early November, there will be a venison roast, smothered in mushrooms and onions and some red wine. There has to be lefse. There has to be cranberry relish AND cranberry chutney. Some in Eric's family insist on a cranberry jello thing made from canned cranberries, jello, walnuts, sour cream, and, well, ewwwwww - it's chunky and pink and doesn't touch my plate. But we include all traditions. Pickles are law. And the usual TURKEY-STUFFING-MASHEDPOTATOES-GRAVY situation. Stuffing. In.The.Bird.
Every year, I try to do one "new" recipe to impress the company and keep things fresh. This year, it's Scalloped Oysters, from Martha Stewart's Magazine. See link to recipe below. It calls for 2 pints of shucked oysters. The fish monger told me I would be making a $40 side dish. I opted for canned in water (NOT smoked). It'll be good.
Some of the below items are being brought by other family members. THANKS people!
Sage and Onion Stuffing with Sausage and Pecans
Mashed Potatoes with Scallions (Champ)
Venison Roast with Mushrooms
Wild Rice Casserole
Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions
Dessert: Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Sour Cream Raisin Pie, White Chocolate Raspberry Brownies, Fresh Whipped Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream.
WINES: Rose', Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc. Consumer's choice :-)
(from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, November 2012 issue)
So, friends, what's on YOUR menu?
Have a wonderful, cozy, tasty, loving, gratitude-filled day with the people you love the best. Happy Thanksgiving from the Sassy Family!