- Best turkey ever. Seriously. For several years now, I've been brining my turkey using THIS recipe from Alice Waters. And it's been damned good. But this year, I decided to try something new and went DRY brine. Oh yeah. I used this recipe from good ole Southern Living Magazine. It was super simple and MUCH less messy than the wet brine. And the turkey was moist and yummy.
Herbed Dry Brine for Turkey
3 tbsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. rubbed sage
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
Stir all this together. Pat the turkey dry. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. brine into the cavity of the turkey. Reserve another tbsp. brine for later. Sprinkle the rest all over the turkey, rubbing it into the skin. Cover and chill the big bird for 10 to 24 hours.
When you're ready to roast, rinse the brine off the turkey and pat dry again. Then mix the reserved tbsp. of brine with 1/2 cup of softened butter. Loosen the skin over the turkey breast and spread the butter under the skin over the breast. Oh YES! Amazing!
Then just roast it the way you like to do.
- JUDE ATE SOMETHING GREEN! Spinach, no less! My best friend Kaysie's family always makes Spinach Madeline for holiday meals, and I decided to haul it out this year. I must admit that it's possibly the least healthful vegetable recipe imaginable, right up there with that Bloomin' Onion from the Outback. But he not only ate it, he gobbled it up and asked for SECONDS! Here's the recipe that Kaysie gave me long ago, but I'm afraid that the Jalapeno Cheese stuff can't be located anywhere, so you should substitute Velveeta and some Pepper cheese grated together. I'm thinking you could put in whatever kind of cheese you want, but don't try to make it too healthful or you're defeating the purpose.
Kaysie's Spinach Madeline
2 pkg. frozen chopped spinach (boiled and squeezed very dry - reserve 1/2 cup of liquor)
4 tbsp. (1/4 cup) butter
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup reserved spinach liquor
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 oz. Kraft Jalapeno cheese roll (or Velveeta or Pepper Jack) - cut up or grated
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Melt the butter and saute the onions. Stir in flour to make a roux. Add evaporated milk and spinach liquor and cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper. Add cheese a bit at a time, stirring each addition until it melts before adding more. Add the Worcestershire and garlic powder and spinach. Transfer to a baking pan. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until it bubbles around the edges, about 30 minutes. Sit in shock as your vegetable-hating child asks for seconds!
- I'm thinking that next year I'm going to find a folding table to set up on the side of the dining room and just go buffet. It's the same problem every year, there's too much food on too many large serving dishes that don't all fit on the table and are too hot and/or heavy to pass. I think it would be easier if we all just got up and helped ourselves. And that way the kids could grab their own food without their parents having to wait on them. Somebody (mmm...Lynn) needs to remind me of this next year!
- Best Thanksgiving purchase - a Girlmade Apple Pie. I am a total snob about store-bought desserts. As in...I won't allow them at my dinner table. I either make it myself or we don't eat it. However...this year I made a slight exception. Jude's school is very involved in do-gooding, and every year each class does an Adopt-a-Family thing. The kids all come up with ideas to raise money for their family. Six little girls in Jude's class got together and offered homemade apple pies, which they took preorders for and then handed out in the carline at school. Those little girls worked themselves silly and damn if that pie wasn't delicious!
- This last Friday after Thanksgiving was possibly the laziest day that our family has ever experienced. Jimmy stayed in bed all day. Really. All. Day. And Jude and I sat on the couch and played video games and ate leftovers until I finally decided that we had to do something productive. So we went and got ice cream. Yes, productive is a relative thing. We then curled back up on the couch with MORE leftovers and watched a double feature - The Princess Bride, followed by Spaceballs. A Sillyathon. Next year we need to add some Monty Python. I am proud to say that Jude is now walking around saying things like "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.", "Inconceivable!" and "May the Schwartz be with you."
- Best leftover repurposing of the year. I made Aimee's Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions recipe again - delicious as always. But by Sunday we were totally OVER the whole leftover thing, so I had to get creative. So I sauteed a mess of kale (That's a Texanism - "a mess". It's a vague measurement that approximately equals "a buttload".), tossed in the leftover sweet potatoes and onions, added olive oil and a half a pound of cooked pasta, then sprinkled it with freshly grated Parmesan and YUM!
Okey dokey, that's all for Thanksgiving. I am proud of myself for not veering too far off my diet and leftovering myself back into my fat pants and for managing to get to the gym twice during the Thanksgiving weekend.
How were your Thanksgivings?