Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cookin' that bird.

Having traveled to the Frozen Tundra before Thanksgiving, and we're vising Frog Prince's stomping grounds for Christmas this year, which means that we got to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, just the two of us, at our own place!

We got our turkey from a local farmer -- he was selling them at our farmer's market, and we decided to purchase one from Wilbur. We picked up our turkey on Tuesday evening -- and it was then we realized this 14.66 pound bird was not going to fit into our borrowed crockpot. {sad face, insert frown here}

Wednesday morning before teaching class, I made a grocery store run to pick up a big roasting tinfoil pan (I actually got two, just to be safe) and a few other ingredients to make our Thanksgiving complete.

Wednesday evening, we made a few things to make Thanksgiving stress free.

Frog Prince wanted an apple pie, so I made a "real" apple pie -- "real" because it has crust, not a crisp topping.

I don't know how "real" it was since I made a whole wheat crust -- but I tried.

While I was getting the pie ready, I boiled the sweet potatoes, and diced up the celery for the stuffing. I also diced up veggies for leftover soup!

We finished up the evening by watching Glee.

Thanksgiving morning, we enjoyed a brunch of a breakfast quiche and bacon while reading the paper.

After that... we tackled the turkey.

All 14.66 pounds.

We washed the turkey out, and I made Frog Prince pull out the neck. That's just gross.

Have I mentioned I hate touching raw meat?
Yep. This almost put me over the edge.

Then, I called my mom. :)

I had watched her season the bird before, and wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. It was more of a safety blanket, you know what I mean?

It was then that my dad told us he heard from a local chef that you should cross some bacon over the top of the bird, and it self-bastes as well as produces delicious gravy. Sounded good to us.

We placed the giant roasting pans (yep, we doubled them for extra strength) onto a cookie sheet to manuver the giant bird into the oven. There the bird cooked for 3.5 hours covered in tinfoil, and 1ish hours uncovered. It was starting to smell good in our apartment. And, we were getting hungry. The Lions game wasn't helping.

So, I baked Lucy's rolls as an appetizer.

I mixed up the stuffing...

And, the sweet potato casserole.... (recipe to come!)

Then, we checked in on Giant.

Giant was just about done. We carefully lifted the mongoose turkey back into the oven, and added the stuffing and sweet potato casserole to bake.

30 minutes later, we pulled them all out. Checked Giant again, and removed the liquids for gravy!

While Giant cooled enough for us to slice, I made gravy.

It didn't even turn out lumpy!

Then, we admired Giant.

And, strategically determined our plan of attack.

Frog Prince did an excellent job... for never having carved a bird before.

Our first slice of turkey.

We were so proud.

Then, we realized had 14 more pounds of bird to go. So, we stopped, and ate.

Everything was delicious.

Frog Prince even ate the sweet potato casserole. I was proud.

It was my favorite part.

After dinner, we tackled the rest of Giant.

We were in the kitchen for an hour picking off all the meat in his body.

We got 9 C of diced turkey, 1 bag of shredded turkey, and 6 C of sliced turkey!

Oh, and bones for soup.

Did I mention that we'll be eating turkey for the next 6 months?!

After that, we boiled giant. Giant was so large, I had to break him in half to get him in my largest stock pot.

And, this was just the main carcass. The bones of the legs and wings went into the freezer for later enjoyment.

All that turkey cleaning made us hungry.


We had warm apple pie (with whole wheat crust -- recipe to come) and ice cream.

Yes, I had to share three photos, because it was as good as it looks.

So good, in fact, Frog Prince had a second piece.

We played a family game (a new tradition), and then put away the stock (and cleaned more meat from giant).

After, we watched Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (another new tradition) while snuggled in blankets on the couch.

Then, in a tryptophan-induced coma, we walked like zombies to bed. It was wonderful.

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!


  1. Way to go SnoWhite! I may try the idea of using bacon for basting...why not...everything's better with bacon! My sister gave me her Christmas presesnt early...a breadmaker. I'm so excited and can't wait to try some of your bread recipes. Our December menu plan includes a lot of your recipes...thx!

  2. Awww, it sounds like you had a fantastic time and the food looks delicious!

  3. Congrats! I am proud of you!!:)) I think cooking one's first Thanksgiving meal is a big milestone--one I yet have to reach.:) But I have a feeling the raw meat part will be an issue as well, haha...We hardly cook any meat now, so I am getting more and more un-used to it...Matt eats lunch at work every day with his colleagues--I think I told you it is part of the deal, as they do not being lunch from home--and so he has his meat fill there, I guess. Anyway, excellent job on the Giant:)

  4. Wowza....what a fabulous feast! :D

  5. Like the idea of cooking the turkey with bacon!!!

  6. Everything looks fantastic!! My bird turned out dry:( Very disappointing, howrver this wasn't my first Thanksgiving, so I *know* I can do it, lol!!


  7. It sounds like you had a perfect Thanksgiving. Your meal was terrific and you now have the turkey milestone behind you. First of anything can be intimidating. You did a wonderful job. Re: the raw meat thing - I keep disposable gloves in the kitchen so I don't have to touch. They're very inexpensive. The neck and the giblets make a wonderful stock for turkey gravy.

  8. Loved reading about your turkey day adventures, you might have just inspired me to bake my first turkey, after turkey day, just so I can have all the shredded turkey meat, and soup bones!!! Can't wait for all the recipes!

  9. Sounds like it was wonderful. How did you like the turkey with the bacon on top of it? my sister and I tried that a few years ago but we weren't in love with it. I think we put too much on it.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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