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Thanksgiving Dinner

  • c

It appears as if I am the first to post a message today. I guess that living on the east coast gives me a jump on a lot of other chowhounds.

As a chef, this is the best day of the year to me. I get a chance to cook for some of the really important people in my life. Besides the food, I enjoy this holiday because it is one that is celebrated by all of us, no matter what our ethnic or religious backround may be.

My nephew Dan is visiting this year and will be working in the kitchen with me. Even though we have a small crowd this year, we must get started now to get dinner on at 4PM as is our family tradition. We believe that an early meal gives everyone time for a nap before we start eating the leftovers.

We brined the bird last year using a New York Times recipe. I think we were a little ahead of everyone else on this. It seems to be a big thing this year. In fact, several poeple asked me to e-mail the recipe. Basically, Dan and I cleaned out my spice cabinet and added many things to the brining solution. Last year we brined the turkey for 24 hours, this year for 48 hours.

I will post a message tonite and let you know how things turned out. In the meanwhile, have a great Thanksgiving.

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  1. Chef, thanks for your nice greetings and post. I'm ready to turn in after roasting a 14 1/4 lb. Amish turkey with sausage/homemade cornbread dressing. We had less variety this year, yearning more toward simplicity with green beans almondine and baby carrots sauteed in orange juice, brown sugar and ginger, along with spuds, and rutabaga and our "sacred nectar" turkey gravy. The food was great, but the sentiment better -we're together as a family, as a community and as a nation. I don't recall an adult holiday where I felt so grateful for those close to me and friends far away. Thanks for opening this door. Hope you had a great day as well. Looking forward to your chow post.

    5 Replies
    1. re: berkleybabe

      What a great day we had yesterday. It was all that I had hoped. I suppose there is some truth about the tryptophan because I slept almost 10 hours last night. Berkleybabe, I enjoyed your posting also and ditto your sentimemnts. We had cornbread in our stuffing and this year put pecans in our stringbeans because Dan has pecan trees in his yard in Atlanta. It's funny how people seem to get upset if the menu varies too much but that's okay with me as I'm as sentimental as the next person. Anyway, I hope that all of you had a great day and please have a safe weekend while you start your holiday shopping.

      1. re: Chef Stefano

        Glad you had a good one as well. Looking forward to leftovers; the dressing's the best, I think!

        1. re: Chef Stefano

          Hear, hear tryptophan! Last night I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner: three guests, ten courses, three pies, five bottles of wine (dinner was a six-hour process, after al) and two Hitchcock movies. I shoved the turkey responsibility on my boyfriend, and concentrated on the stuffing (cornbread, with andouille sausage, oysters, figs, hazelnuts, pecans, livers and lots of dried fruit).
          I've never heard of a food hangover, but this morning I'm certain I have one. I've eaten huge meals before, but never with this effect: woozy, slight tummy upset, dehydration. Anyone else feel like this? And any advice for making it through?

          1. re: anita
            c
            Carolyn Tillie

            I've hosted many 10- and 12-course meals. The first one, a dinner based on Salvador Dali's cookbook was served to 12 people on a Sunday. All but a restaurant reviewer and myself had to call in sick the next day to recover (mostly to sleep). Since then, I have done these sorts of meals four to five times a year and it is always the neophyte that suffers.

            Based on this extensive experience, I truly don't believe their is a "cure" per se. It is those of us that eat like this often that are accostomed to it. Those that don't must rehydrate as much as possible and rest.

            1. re: anita

              Anita and Carolyn,

              Never having hosted (or eaten) a meal more than 6 or so courses, I'd be very interested in the whole process. What were the courses? How were they served? Is there a time lapse between courses? How did you get everything ready/hot/cold/whatever on time? Maybe this calls for a new thread... whoever (or is that whomever??) answers this first gets to start it. ;-)

        2. I was hoping to see what other hounds had for their feasts. I brined my bird with the Chez Panise recipe I found on this board. Several folks said it was the best bird they had ever had. It really was moist and delicious. I also served cornbread stuffing with green chile, pear- cranberry chutney, roasted root veggies (white beets, celery root, yams,fennel, parsnips, sweet onins and haritcot verts for color, mashed yukon gold potatoes w/ celery root and then several hours later... pear(from our tree) walnut (with a touch of Chimayo red chile) and mince (with a shortbred crust) pies. There was also lots of gratitude all around.

          1. I'm so glad to hear everyone's Thanksgivings went well. Next year I am definitely brining (the year after: deep fried or bust), tho it seems to put me well behind the chow pack!

            One thing I must share is the stuffing recipe I used; it was formerly served at Windows on the World and I found it in the Los Angeles Times. It was the BEST stuffing I have ever had; the first thing on the table to vanish and my Mom - who is a culinary genius - begged me for the recipe. HIGHLY recommended for fellow hounds...and in my mind a nice memorial.

            Link: http://latimes.com/features/food/la-0...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Lisa Bee

              Hi, Lisa Bee---
              The stuffing sounds absolutely delicious! However, when I tried to print it from the link, I got nothing but blank pages. Just wanted to know if anyone else experienced this. My printer's been fine till now. ( Do you have to pay the L.A Times to get the recipe? just wondering.) Thanks! ss600

              1. re: scott

                It should work fine...very strange. Scott, I will email you - and anyone else who is interested, just let me know - the recipe.