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Turkey Day Live

I thought maybe we could keep up with each other as the day progresses.

Coffee in hand, looking over my to-do list, about to get Mr. turkey out of fridge and into oven.

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  1. First round of company already stopped in to drop off mains and a few side dishes. I made early-riser pancakes, coffee and eggs for my helpers. Now they are outside decorating the front door and front lawn and I'm arranging the table, going through the music and setting up the bar over my own coffee all while reading CH. Probably won't be back online until tomorrow so have a wonderful holiday!

    1. I fell asleep at 9pm last night and woke up at 4:30. Goofed off, made breakfast, rolled out my pie crust and now my pie is in the oven. Took out my parker house roll dough and put it in the proofer to warm up, getting ready to roll and shape them and let them do their second rise. I don't think I'm going to bother finishing up my dressing until the hubby puts the turkey on. I'm going to try keeping the mashed potatoes warm in the crock pot this year.

      1. We fell asleep early after spending last night getting dishes out, setting the table, chopping and pie-making. This morning so far I assembled the stuffing parts and we're about to start peeling potatoes and chopping herbs. I'm nursing a sprained ankle so I have to take frequent breaks, so I'll be checking back here for inspiration and tips!

        19 Replies
        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

          So sorry about your ankle! Last year I made dinner with all the trimmings for our friends... with a broken foot. I cooked standing on my good foot with the other knee resting on a kitchen chair. It worked out pretty well considering. :)

          This year it's just hubby and me and the dogs. No pressure. So awesome!

          I'm making Ina Garten's accidental turkey. I'll put it in the oven around noon. I made all the sides yesterday. They'll reheat while the turkey is resting.

          Wishing everyone a wonderful T day!

          1. re: thingmaker

            Thank you!!! Wow, your broken foot Thanksgiving sounds like quite a feat! Us Chowhounds like a challenge I guess! :)

            1. re: thingmaker

              So I just went to fish out the innards of the turkey and I discovered that my fresh never frozen turkey from Whole Foods has a good amount of ice in the cavity. It's definitely not frozen solid so it was probably just refrigerated at a very low temp. But I'm a little nervous this may throw off the timing. I managed to get some of the ice out of the cavity but the neck is frozen onto the inside of the body of the turkey. I wasn't planning on taking the turkey out of the frig till about 11 (starting it around 12:30) but it's sitting out now.... any tips on this??

              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                Just run some warm water in there, and leave the bird out on the counter for a little while till it thaws.
                Fresh turkeys usually are partially frozen like yours, to keep them fresh longer. They're just not frozen solid.

                1. re: kitchengardengal

                  Great idea, thanks. i'll have my husband do that since I already dropped a container of meticulously chopped onions in the dirty sink. SIGH!

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    You're off the hook for the rest of the day. Once I've dropped one thing in the kitchen, I'll be dropping stuff all day.
                    Don't lift anything, have Hubby do all the putting in and taking out of the oven. You just stand there and stir stuff. I'd even be careful chopping.
                    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

                    1. re: kitchengardengal

                      HAHA!!! You are so right, cuz RIGHT after I did that I tried pulling the neck out of the turkey and squirted turkey juice all over my face and glasses... at which point my husband said it was time for me to leave the kitchen for a while. :) Happy thanksgiving!

                2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                  My fresh, never frozen turkey from Whole foods also had ice in the cavity when I unwrapped it on Monday....hmmm. I'll be sure to ask about that one.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Yeah.... we finally got the neck out and now my husband is trying to defrost the inside a bit. Hope it doesn't affect the cooking time too much. I'm glad I decided last night to not stuff it.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      My wife bought 2 turkey breasts at Whole Paycheck...oops! excuse me, Whole Foods, and paid 20 times more per pound than the regular supermarkets were charging. Good luck with your interrogation.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        "Fresh" turkeys can be chilled to 26 degrees - where I come from, that is freezing - so really, they are 'super chilled/lightly frozen - they just can't be blast frozen and kept that way, like frozen turkeys.
                        _________ From the honeysuckle white website:

                        What’s the definition of "fresh poultry"?
                        Turkeys to be sold as "fresh" must be stored at a temperature no lower than 26° F.

                        Source: USDA

                        What’s the definition of "frozen poultry"?
                        Turkeys sold as "frozen" must be stored at 0° F or below.

                        Source: USDA

                        1. re: gingershelley

                          Hmm, interesting. Everything turned out fine despite my concern about the turkey. It was perfectly cooked, no issues with uneven cooking. In fact it was ready about 30 min ahead of schedule.

                    2. re: thingmaker

                      Hope all goes well with your dinner. Just the 2 of us and the dogs. I was going to roast a duck but found an 8lb. turkey in a grocery store so turkey it is and the best part later will be Hot Browns.

                      I need to bring the pie crust in from the porch. to warm up enough to roll out. I need to run to the store for more flour and eggs. Don't know how that got away from me.

                      Don't send evil thoughts my way but this is going to be a laid back dinner, Christmas and New Year's Eve. I retired in April and don't think about the hoards of peeps who are going to wet their pants if they aren't the first one over the threshold to a store.

                      1. re: Candy

                        LOVE a hot brown! Thanks for the reminder to make one with some of the leftovers this weekend:)!

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            A wonderful sandwich for Thanksgiving leftovers. The "Hot Brown" likely was developed at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY in the 1920s or 30s. You've got turkey breast, tomato, bacon, a sauce that could have butter, flour, cream, milk, grated swiss cheese. Toast the (quartered) bread, make a turkey-tomato sandwich, cover the sandwich with warm sauce, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Garnish with bacon. Variations over the years have included country ham and/or a cheddar cheese sauce.

                              1. re: Florida Hound

                                For dinner tonight. On a small dinner roll, smoked turkey, lightly shredded, thick piece of gouda, then into the toaster oven until the cheese is melted and the top is toasted. Then some mustard and mayo. Simple and delicious.


                                1. re: Florida Hound

                                  Even tho' I'm from Kentucky, it's been donkey's years since I had a hot brown. Thanks for reminding me--that might be tonight's dinner!

                      2. Enjoy everyone! We aren't having our dinner until tomorrow so it is just a regular day here.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Njchicaa

                          Ours is on Saturday, so today is really the start of my real prep.

                          I'll enjoy reading along here throughout the day to see what/how everyone is doing.

                          Happy Thanksgiving to all you wonderful Home Cooking 'hounds!

                        2. Mom and sister have taken over most of the tasks and completed so much of the prep yesterday because of law school finals next week, I've been mostly out of commission.

                          Turkey about to go into the oven, apple pie going into oven. Green bean casserole assembled, sweet potatoes cooked but casserole not made, veggies chopped for dressings, and croutons crunched up.

                          Getting ready to hop in the shower then go help mom and sister pull everything together.

                          Breakfast? Totally forgot about that concept!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: bblonde

                            Law school finals...just threw up in my mouth a little. Ahh...memories

                            Good luck!

                            1. re: bblonde

                              Every single year for the past 8 years I take a moment the day after Thanksgiving to be infinitely thankful that I am NOT spending the day outlining/studying/brief writing. For years Thanksgiving Day was marred by the dread I felt in the pit of my stomach caused by the knowledge of what lay in front of me the following day, weekend, and weeks leading to Christmas.

                              This is not to depress you, it's to say hang in there!! This too shall pass and one day soon you will be able to fully relax and enjoy the holiday again.

                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                I know that feeling. It's only been the past few years after I've graduated from med school that I can finally relax and breathe on Thanksgiving without feeling the need to break out the books and read alone in a corner while everyone else celebrates. Kick butt, bblonde! Med school was pretty rough, but I never could have tackled those law school exams.

                            2. What a fun thread! I will say hello before we head out. We sliced and chopped the apples for the fruited stuffing at 7 am (cut the grapes in half last night). With the sauted celery and spices, the stuffing went in the oven at 8 am and will be transferred to the crock pot before we leave for family dinner. On another thread, I posted that the stuffing won't go in the bird this year. I made a cranberry relish and its anybody's bet whether there will be any takers at all- the jellied stuff is the big cranberry draw for most. The Macy's Parade started a few minutes ago, and its going to be a great day.
                              I am thankful for family, freedom even in difficult times, God's faithfulness, good friends. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Hope the days of Hanukkah are fun and a blessing, as well.

                              1. Turkey in the oven, 225F for the next 5 hours. All sides prepped, back on the couch to relax for a few hours, watch parades and football. Just cooked and chopped giblets which will be set aside for the kitten's Thanksgiving dinner.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Awwwww! I love that you make a special meal for your kitty too!! My beloved would also get a special meal on holidays- the fish skins at xmas were especially appreciated. She passed on but i like to think she appreciated good food the way i do :)

                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                    It was an idea I came across on an old thread here. I'm sorry to here about your kitty, but I'm sure she appreciated it! The spoiled pets of Chowhounders. I try to think of little Shiitake whenever there's a family celebration since he's a big part of the family and he seems to enjoy. Fish skins are a great idea!

                                2. Pie is done, just giving my rolls a few more minutes to rise before baking them. Then it's time to finish the dressing.

                                  1. Have a newborn and working full time so no time to do the thanksgiving for my family but I do have my doughnut dough rising for Hanukah sufganiyot later. Just need to manage to make latkes one day before holiday is over...

                                    3 Replies
                                      1. Made my pie last night. Was up before anyone today so I made my gravy. Had stock made yesterday and used combination of turkey fat from there, from the bird out on the smoker and bacon grease for my roux. Later decided it was a bit thin so made more roux out of the fat rendered out of the country sausage for breakfast.
                                        Also mounted the gravy with a nice chunk of butter. It is very smooth and tasty.

                                        Of the 5 of us in the house, everyone had a different breakfast. I made sausage and eggs for Mrs. Sippi. I took crumbled up sausage and stuck it between one of those "Sandwich Thins" with a bit of Jack cheese. I topped it with a big dollop of pimento cheese and then a sunny side up egg. Split the yolk and let it ooze out all over it. Waaay better than it sounds.


                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Davwud

                                          Oh, my. Wish I'd had breakfast at your house. That thing sounds delicious!

                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            Well, it sounds pretty awesome, so...

                                            Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mrs. Sippi!

                                            1. re: TorontoJo

                                              And to you and yours Jo.

                                              You at home or did you go home??


                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                Home in the country. :) But 33 people coming over for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. So I live vicariously through you all until then!

                                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                                  I'll be tweeting out some pictures of the feast in a few hours. Keep your eyes open.

                                                  Good luck Saturday.


                                          2. Stuffed turkey in oven. Pie, cranberry sauce done and dressing and veg prepped. Family at football game and I've just sat down with a cup of coffee before setting the table. Phew.

                                            1. Got up at 4:30 with the idea of making cranberry sauce with craisins. Found a recipe, mission successful. I added some dried cherries just for fun.
                                              Went back to bed, got up at 9:00, made ham salad. DH made bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese.

                                              We are having Thanksgiving with a few other couples, and I keep thinking of dishes to make. Before we leave, I'll bake the stuffing I made yesterday and cook the rice for the red peas.

                                              1. I'm not hosting this year, so it's been a pretty relaxed morning. Still up early thanks to a lively puppy, but it's good because my challah bread I'm making to take to dinner later is already doing it's first rise. I also have one of my guilty pleasures, cinnamon rolls from the can, in the oven. Needed to have the oven on anyway to warm up the kitchen for the bread, so why not? :)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                  Happy 1st Thanksgiving to the puppy! Take, the kitten and I celebrated his first holiday with some couch cuddle time watching the parades. I am jealous of your cinnamon rolls, a childhood treat I haven't had in probably a decade or so. Have a great holiday!

                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                    An excellent example of creative problem solving, Julie! :)

                                                  2. Was fortunate to have yesterday off work, so-
                                                    Made cranberry sauce, chicken stock, refrigerator-rise rolls, pecan pie and blackberry pie yesterday. Adult daughter who lives here made mac-n-cheese (ready for the oven today).

                                                    Turkey is cooking now. Will fix stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans (not casserole) today.

                                                    Pie has been sampled with my morning coffee, and if I do say so myself, I hit a home run on the pies. :-)

                                                    Other daughter's and SIL are bringing cheese ball, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie.

                                                    1. We are headed an hour east to my parents for dinner, so minimal prep.
                                                      Last night I baked off Mexican Wedding Cakes (everyone always brings pie, so I usually do cookies, puddings, or cake) and quarted all of my Brussels sprouts.
                                                      There's only 14 of us this year, so prep is minimal in comparison to most years 22.
                                                      Saturday we will roast our own turkey for leftovers, and my husband is making his stuffing, and apparently wants all of the sides, too. Hmmm. Not sure I'll have the energy for that, but I'll give it a go.
                                                      Dry brining the turkey before we hit the road today. A 13 pounder, so cute and little.
                                                      Right now I'm debating getting up and throwing together Galleygirls pear cake. I have all of the ingredients, but didn't get to it yesterday. I really want to try it and it seems so easy.
                                                      My dilemma is the 15 pound, 5 month old asleep on my chest. Certainly something to be thankful for, but maybe if I move him verrrry sloooowly.
                                                      Happy Thanksgiving, all!

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                        That pear cake is truly wonderful, but please be aware that it's most wonderful on day 2, not nearly as much the day of.

                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                          That's right, I read that!
                                                          Shoot, I'm making it now. Should I just save it for us to enjoy all weekend? That's a lot of cake for two adults....
                                                          I'm making it in a square 9", and just added an upside-down layer to the bottom.

                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                            Oh, go ahead and enjoy it today! It's still tasty, just not as moist and magical as on day two. Maybe serve with some ice cream or whipped cream. Hopefully you'll have some leftover that you'll be able to enjoy with breakfast or tea tomorrow!

                                                        2. re: rabaja

                                                          Let the baby sleep, Rabaja!!! The pear cake can wait! I speak from experience - I'd commit hari kari before I'd let the baby be woken. Ha - I also saw the Teenage Ninja Turtles in the Macy's Parade today (and during Halloween trick or treating) and I was like "they're still around??? DS was a Ninja Turtle when HE was a kid, some <ahem> few years ago.

                                                          Turkey's in the oven - pan was retrieved from my home. Giblets are simmering. I'm attempting honest to god giblet gravy this year. My first. Stuffing's done and will be put in the oven when the turkey comes out (one rack only oven). Just pulled the green beans from the freezer. Flash frozen fresh will supplement the green bean casserole. Don't yuck on SO's yum!

                                                          Cranberry and pie were made yesterday. Got up ultra early and found it difficult to find the paper amid all of the ads. Went to the grocery store to get ice cream for the pie and sausage for breakfast. Security guard was in a FY fight with an indigent person. Nothing quite says Happy Holidays like fuck you.

                                                          Potatoes and gravy still need to be completed. Afters will be drinks with friends around an outside patio fire.

                                                          Just watched the MT View (Mesa AZ) band on Macy's. Happy, Safe T-Day everyone!

                                                          1. re: JerryMe

                                                            Ha! I gave him 45 minutes and then got up to make the cake. Of course he woke up, but now he's his fathers problem.

                                                          2. re: rabaja

                                                            Forget the pear cake! Let that baby sleep right where he is:)

                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                              Brought home the cake, untouched, so we will see how it improves overnight.
                                                              We shared a piece with some whippedcream once the baby was put to sleep, and we both loved it.
                                                              My mother took pie orders after dinner, never mentioning that there was cake on offer!
                                                              She left my cookies sitting on a chair in the kitchen as well, but I'm trying not to take it too personally.
                                                              I did just take back the whole darn cake though!

                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                I wonder if it was intentional or she just forgot....

                                                                1. re: Siegal

                                                                  Oh, I think she just forgot. There was plenty going on to distract her!

                                                                  If it was at all intentional I'd rather not think about it :)

                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                    I found I'm less miserable if I always give people the benefit of the doubt.


                                                            2. I'm on the countdown to being finished. Pie and dinner rolls are cooling, dressing is in the oven, turkey is on the smoker, sweet potatoes baking. All I have left is mashed potatoes and I'm finished.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                  We are shooting for 1 pm, come on over

                                                                  1. re: rasputina

                                                                    Awesome, my goal is 2pm but I can eat twice :)

                                                              1. .... yawn..... Good Morning! We've just gotten up and have coffee in hand. I'll start to make my "to-do" list shortly. No rush and no stress here since it's just us (which was the whole idea behind not going anywhere!) We'll call our families and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving shortly.

                                                                The lamb is marinated and waiting in the fridge, the veggies and sides are there and waiting. It'll happen when it happens. :)

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                  I am with you on that weeziduzzit. I'm quite enjoying the slow, laziness and relaxed day with it being just the 2 of us for dinner. I must admit I woke up, put the turkey in, and passed out for a wonderful nap with no worries. I can't wait to hear how the lamb turns out, amazing I'm sure!

                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                    I tried a new to me marinade on the lamb since we shifted gears to cook inside. I will let you know how it goes!

                                                                2. About an hour ago BIL brought in the drip tray from the turkey on the smoker to use the goodies in the dressing. The whole kitchen smelled like smoked turkey.
                                                                  Now SIL is sauteeing onion in butter for said dressing. That is one of my favourite cooking smells. Love butter, love onion, love the two sauteed together.
                                                                  Olfactory heaven.


                                                                  1. Husband and I are on our 2nd cups of coffee. We are not eating until 4 and there will only be 4 of us -- our son and GF, and ourselves -- so we are pretty low key. Made the cranberry sauce and crust for the pumpkin pie last night. And then, on a whim, also made some pumpkin muffins as I had an extra can of pumpkin purée. So far this morning, I've partially set the table but that's it. We will start cooking in earnest in the next 1/2 hour and should be in full swing by the time our local radio station plays Alice's Restaurant, starting at 11.

                                                                    1. Have been staying out of my wife's way as she continues to prepare for dinner. Have been banished from the kitchen since Monday as the preparations commenced. Perfectionist wife has been stressed out about pleasing everyone since the 1st of November, and stress level has skyrocketed since then. Best thing for me to do is not talk to her.

                                                                      Happy Thanksgiving to all Chowhounds who read this post.

                                                                      ...and to those of you who understand Italian
                                                                      "Buona festa del ringraziamento!" Italian is the language of my wife's ancestors.

                                                                      ChiliDude, IBM (Italian By Marriage)

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                        She didn't even put you on clean up duty? My husband is washing the dishes right now. But then he is also smoking the turkey, and my part time sous chef ( especially when it's time to chop onions).

                                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                                          Oh, yes.... doing some of the dishes, taking out the full garbage and putting a new clean bag in, chopping the onions..... all of those score huge points!

                                                                      2. Wow, turkey is almost finished. I guess I did wake up early :) The plan is to hold it for 2 hours so I think I'm still OK for an early afternoon dinner. I'm not ready to eat.

                                                                        1. My wife and I have elected to stay home alonethis year and are slow roasting legs and wings, 3.5 hours at 250.
                                                                          Weare also having shaved Brussels sprouts salad, cranberry applesauce, and mashed turnips with a little potato added.
                                                                          For breakfast we had the apple/ cranberry pie I had intended for dessert.

                                                                          Usually I braise legs, but I think they will be wonderful his way and need to keep things simple this year.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: magiesmom

                                                                            Dessert for breakfast on Thanksgiving always made sense to me since you're too full afterwards. I actually know a family that has it the night before. I seem to be sensing a theme this year. While many are celebrating with groups, many others, more than I feel in the past, have decided on the quiet at home route.

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                              HA, we usually don't have the will power to not have a piece of pie before dinner.

                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                The group of friends we usually are with are all having crises and the couple whose home it has settled at have three huge dogs whom they don't discipline at all. Just not up for it.

                                                                                1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                  My mom just called and all I could hear was screaming about washing China in the background and I breathed a sigh of quiet holiday relief :) love them of course but it can be a bit much.

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    E Gads you must be part of the same conspiracy my two adult kids are in. They think I can be a *bit much* too:) So fun annoying them:)!!!! Hope your day is as delish as can be.

                                                                                    1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                      Is that what it is? Strategic. I called back and boy it was even more than a bit much by 5 pm :) Thanks and hope you have a wonderful holiday as well.

                                                                            2. I have today pretty easy, dinner at my mother-in-law's tonight and I'm only responsible for pecan pie. Got my pie crust dough together last night, it's warming up now to roll out and pre-bake. Planning to do so to the sound of the thanksgiving day parade when it comes on here in 10 min. hurray longstanding family traditions :) I'm thankful today that I get to spend the day with both sides of my family, including my parents who just moved back to town this spring :) Happy thanksgiving everyone!

                                                                              1. So will I ruin my dressing if I keep it warm in the crock pot? I ended up with a turkey roasting pan full of dressing, I already completely cooked it in the oven. Usually I just reheat in the oven, but it's just the three of this year and I wanted less to do last minute. So I put 6 quarts of warm from the oven dressing in my crock pot and put it on high for an hour, just because I want to heat the crock fast. Then I'm thinking it should be fine on warm, right?

                                                                                Someone tell me it won't turn into a disgusting mess because it tastes so good. My family will kill me if it gets ruined.

                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                    Ok thanks. Had a moment of panic there. First time I've tried this.

                                                                                  2. re: rasputina

                                                                                    It will be fine on warm! Many folks here actually cook their dressing in the crock pot itself.

                                                                                    If you see a lot of steam condensing on the lid, you may want to put a towel under the lid so all that water doesn't drip back into the dressing and make it soggy.

                                                                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                      Good idea on the towel. My husband does the same thing when he makes rice on the stove.

                                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                                        The Thanksgiving morning crisis around here was the possibility of soggy stuffing. The original plan was to start it in the oven and transfer to crockpot for transport. The oven results were moister than desired. Before transferring to crockpot, another emergency step was added- spoon it out all over a cookie sheet and put it back into the oven to get rid of some of the moisture. That step done, its in the crock pot with the lid not-quite-on, to allow for a little venting. we're wingin' it and hoping for the best. (A turkey wing, I'm sure...).

                                                                                      2. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                        If the steam is coming from the stuffing, why would it make it soggy if it condenses and drips back down? Closed system, right?

                                                                                        1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                          Because water dripping back onto baked stuffing is a different beast than tossing the dry bread cubes with stock before baking. Just because the steam is coming from the stuffing doesn't mean that the stuffing will be happy with that steaming coming back at it as water.

                                                                                      3. re: rasputina

                                                                                        I'm pleased to report that the crock pot worked great for keeping the dressing warm. I set up the mashed potatoes in a second crock pot too.

                                                                                        We've eaten and cleaned up already.

                                                                                        I had a pre meal piece of pie. Someone had to a quality control check.

                                                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                                                          You have enough energy to type, go eat some more :)

                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                            Well I put on the National Dog show and then I fell asleep lol

                                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                                              Is that an annual event on Thanksgiving? I spotted it on the channel lineup and while I didn't tune in I did think it was an interesting choice of date.

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                It's been going for 8 year I think.

                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  I'm not even a dog fan, but I find that show addictive. But then, I also watch the "puppy bowl" and "kitten bowl" when Mr. P. watches the Super Bowl. Oh, yeah, this is about food: and I eat during the dog show!

                                                                                        2. I’m hosting four college boys this year, all T-Giving orphans, all from countries other than the U.S. They’re in third year architecture school and although I scheduled the dinner for 4:00 so they could sleep late, they’re evidently all in the studio putting final touches on projects that should have been finished yesterday. I think they’re going to be very hungry.

                                                                                          Trying the Accidental Turkey this year, which I’ve never done before, and am almost having anxiety attacks that the turkey isn’t in the oven yet as it always would have been in past years. Pies were made yesterday; gougères, gravy, wild rice stuffing, soup, cranberry relish, gelato were all made earlier this week; sides are prepped awaiting oven time; table is set. Practically nothing to do until it’s time to start putting things in the oven. Is it too early for a martini?

                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                            Ha re: martini! I was trying to make it to noon before noon but I opened a bottle of wine for the turkey at 11:57 and so I threw in the towel and poured myself a small glass. Shhh! :-)

                                                                                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                                              I've got some hard cider in the garage fridge, I think I might pop one open after I get out of the shower.

                                                                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                Yum. I'm making joy the baker's hot buttered rum and cider so I'll definitely be sampling that too. Good thing kitchengardengal gave me permission not to do any more heavy lifting,lol!

                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                I'm making the accidental turkey too. Mine took 35 minutes after I turned the temp down to 325. I was surprised how quickly it cooked.

                                                                                                It's Pinot time at my house! :)

                                                                                                1. re: thingmaker

                                                                                                  Uh-oh. Better go check right now!

                                                                                              2. I got started about 7. Turkey is in the oven, low and slow. Spinach souffle is cooked; cranberry chutney chilling in the fridge; curried onions, sweet potatoes, and cornbread dressing prepped and ready to cook as the turkey rests. Neck and giblets simmered on the stove top with water and will be turned into gravy later.

                                                                                                Spouse is emptying the dishwasher and working on the playlist. Kids will be dispatched shortly to walk the dogs and collect pinecones at the cemetary.

                                                                                                Still need to make mashed potatoes and Caesar salad but we're not eating 'til 5 so I'm taking a coffee break.

                                                                                                1. I am finished. All I have to do it reheat the sweet potatoes and warm the dinner rolls when the turkey is finished.

                                                                                                  ahhhhhh, time for a shower.

                                                                                                  1. Husband made the stuffing and prepped the bird, which is in the oven, and has peeled and cut up the potatoes. I've made the filling for the pumpkin pie and it's in the 2nd oven. Table is fully set and husband is washing all the dishes from this morning's prep so far. As soon as he is done, I'll get back in the kitchen to prepare the relish tray. Our son and his GF should be here within the hour. She is bringing a corn pudding. The drinking light goes on in 10 minutes when it will be noon.

                                                                                                    1. Having coffee here in N. Cal. Making sofrito for pigeon peas and rice, and simmering smoked turkey wings to cook the collards in.....maybe. Might make "Brazillian" style, instead .

                                                                                                      1. Turkey is in the oven, sides are all prepped, 1 month old is asleep in the bassinet and the Lions are ahead at the start of the second half. And I just got to enjoy my first glass of red wine in over 10 months. I love this laid back turkey day this year!

                                                                                                        1. Football on the TV, can't wait for the Ravens game tonight! Turkey is resting, sides will be popped in the oven to reheat and hopefully dinner will be served at 3-330pm. I hope everyone enjoys their wonderful dinners!

                                                                                                          1. Round one appetizers and salads have come and gone. the music is too loud and my Moscow Mule cocktail is going over gang busters. Next up, trimming the tree and lighting the lights..then the fire pit, some family sing and dance time and then dinner.

                                                                                                            Guess what good people!! Hill and I are going to be grandparents!!!

                                                                                                            25 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                              Congratulations! Pour another Moscow Mule!

                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                Ah, the right ginger beer makes all the difference! It's cold enough outside to keep the entire setup in the pond on an ice ring with glassware and candles floating. Looks so nice.

                                                                                                                Carry on all, I'm so happy about this baby news I can't talk about food.

                                                                                                                ENJOY your celebrations!

                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                  As you should be, enjoy your special time with your family!

                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                  Awww, congratulations! I seem to recall that you had been wistfully hoping this would happen. Thanksgiving Day indeed!

                                                                                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                    You recall correctly, TJo! My girl showed up with a small gift basket left on the kitchen counter for me. I open it up and find a mini rolling pin and two cookie cutters; boy and girl shapes with a note-Mum, get ready for a new baker to join our family! Can you imagine my face?! I'm so happy for them, for Hill & me and for my family.

                                                                                                                    Thanks for letting me share.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                        thank you, Caitlin. very nice of you.

                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                          Congratulations HillJ. What lovely news!

                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                            Congratulations to you and your family, Hillj! It's so exciting to have a baby in the family. Wonderful news!

                                                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                                              Thanks so much masha & kitcheng! We're all so delighted!

                                                                                                                            2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                              I'm a total stranger but your happy news (and the way you described it) made me cry, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and a heartfelt congratulations.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jhuston

                                                                                                                                Thank you jhuston, I appreciate your kind words. Maybe we'll come across one another on CH soon!

                                                                                                                          2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                            You decorate a tree for thanksgiving?

                                                                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                              I'm decorating mine this evening. Normally it waits, but the 28th seems so late. Better than going out shopping, I figure:)

                                                                                                                              1. re: KrumTx

                                                                                                                                Thanks all, it's very sweet of you.

                                                                                                                                @rasputina, yes, we decorate the house with lights and set up the tree. We'll decorate the tree next weekend. I take full advantage of the strapping men that come to our home for Thanksgiving-we have a lot of windows and high points to cover along the roof line. Plus the volunteering we do at Christmas means we need to double up our own plans early on.

                                                                                                                                Right now the gang is watching a movie and chillin. Some folks stepped out to check out some big sales at Best Buy..

                                                                                                                                Sounds like everyone here is making the most of the evening! So wonderful!

                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                  So happy for you. And you just mentioned it the other day...as they say, from your mouth to God's ears. Congratulations!!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                    coll, I had a strong sense something was up and I didn't want to ask her..I didn't want to ruin her moment if my gut was right..but, I'm so happy for her and us and all of us today..I didn't sleep I stopped nibbling last night and I kept thinking about how this miracle is going to enhance our lives.

                                                                                                                                    Then, this morning I stood in the middle of the kitchen and sang the song my Mom sang to me....while I washed all the dishes in the sink. Turned around to find Hill staring at me...and telling me calm down my lady...you really need to relax!

                                                                                                                                    It's gonna take me a day or two to chill out :)

                                                                                                                                    Thanksgiving was a joy. Everything that arrived from start to finish was delish and I learned how to make some pretty outstanding cocktails during the party.

                                                                                                                                    Everyone here made the night extra special for me and you all sounded so happy with your own family, friends and menus.

                                                                                                                                    2014 is gonna rock, Ch people!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                      Congratulations! What wonderful news to get as the holidays begin!
                                                                                                                                      Will it be a summer baby?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                        I'm told late May, rabaja. Turns out my girl wasn't taken any chances, she's known for a while before she told us. All I want is what we all want, healthy!!

                                                                                                                                        I'm making a celebration feast next weekend for our big family. Turns out quite a few of our family knew already so they're already planning a visit to NJ and we're gonna all be together to cheer.

                                                                                                                                        Now I have a menu to plan!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                        Wow, it surely was a Thanksgiving to remember for you!

                                                                                                                                  2. Stuffed turkey in the oven getting his sun tan. Extra stuffing, yams and veggies prepped and waiting on deck. Right now, we are munching on clam dip and ruffles. House smells wonderful. DH woke up to the kitchen smells. Life is good. Bird is cooking a little ahead of schedule though. We'll deal with that.

                                                                                                                                    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                      Here's the birdie fresh out of the oven. Dinner was delicious.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                        I put my stuffed, fresh Butterball in at 1 pm; it's almost 7 pm and parts of it still do not register 165 and stuffing is only 155. Butterball hot line is closed .. don't they care about people on the West Coast???

                                                                                                                                        I don't know what's wrong, my oven (gas) seems hot .. it is only 13.5 lbs.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                            You preheat oven to 475? then lower to 325 for the rest of the baking; it's always worked that way before. I even rotated the turkey. Toward the end, I put it on about 425 for last 40 minutes.

                                                                                                                                            When I went to make the gravy (turkey was out resting, was at least 165 (not same temp everywhere but all was over 165) I had a pan of stuffing in the oven. Turkey pan needed to be on 2 burners and neither of my back burners would come on. Now that my oven is off, they work. (They are the kind with an igniting part of the dial.) Somehow, I think there must be something wrong with the oven. It seemed hot but it should not take 6 hrs to bake a stuffed, fresh, 13.5 lb turkey.

                                                                                                                                            All's well that ends well .. everyone loved it and thought it was even better than last years', white meat (my fav) moist.

                                                                                                                                            I was happy to have 3 guests who'd never had an American Thanksgiving meal .. the one who was not a vegetarian was extremely pleased.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                              Glad it turned out for you in the end. Mine was also a Butterball. My bird was 20.2 lbs and it took about 5 hours total to come to 165. Started the oven at 450 and turned it down to 325 when I put the bird in. Also turned around 1/2 way through for even browning.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                I looked at my recipe again, it said start at 425 .. that's what I did. I know my oven goes about 50 degrees higher. Before turkey went in I had an oven thermometer in there to make sure it said 425. After turkey goes in you put it at 325 so I just turned it down 100. I don't leave the thermometer in there because there's no room and also it would get dirty .. I've had to buy new ones because they won't come clean, make it hard to see numbers.

                                                                                                                                                I had inserted a Wms-Sonoma digital thermometer plus was using a Thermapen, got different numbers in different parts of the turkey.

                                                                                                                                                Was your turkey stuffed? Gonna have my oven checked out.

                                                                                                                                                Didn't get around to making the creamed onions (was going to use frozen this time). Was worried they would not be good if I made them ahead and reheated but I was too tired and busy making the roasted carrots; next year, I'll make the carrots day before and reheat .. I don't think they'll suffer for it.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: walker

                                                                                                                                            Which parts? If it's legs. maybe you can take them off and finish separately? I pulled mine at 30 seconds past 160 at the deepest part of the breast, it hit 169 resting, and the breast was a bit dry at the surface. This was a Willie Bird with a three day "dry brine'" that I started at 475 (whoops!), then reduced to 320 for the last 1.5 hours.

                                                                                                                                      2. I wish I had something entertaining to contribute, but so far so good. Looking forward to 6 p.m.ish!

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: BangorDin

                                                                                                                                          What's your chow plan @ 6pmish, BangorD?

                                                                                                                                        2. I had a completely untraditional day. My ex-SIL was sick so she decided not to take my niece and nephew out of town today. So it was Cracker Barrel for breakfast with those two. Terrible, terrible pancakes. Then we saw Catching Fire, complete with way too much buttered popcorn.

                                                                                                                                          Not a usual Thanksgiving, but I'll take it. I adore those kids. Hope everyone's day is great!

                                                                                                                                          1. I never could have pulled this off w/out a lot of pre prep; I did so much yesterday I felt sickish and felt I was going to faint .. rested in bed a couple of hours and then got up and finished.

                                                                                                                                            Turkey (with stuffing inside) is in oven and when it comes out I'll roast the carrots, make creamed onions (trying frozen this time) heat up extra stuffing and make frozen peas last.

                                                                                                                                            I have so many recipes for dinner rolls but did not have time to make any so it's King's Hawaiian, take it or leave it. Also regret did not have time to make a pie. From a suggestion on CH, I have a nice refreshing fresh fruit salad ready to serve.

                                                                                                                                            My best friend, (wonderful helper) helped this morning and I made him scrambled eggs and bagel with cream cheese and homemade Bourbon cranberry sauce .. great way to start the day.

                                                                                                                                            My Asian Japanese cuke salad is ready and sooo refreshing!

                                                                                                                                            I'm very thankful to all of you who've made me a better home cook.

                                                                                                                                            P.S. Here in San Francisco the sun has been out all day; I even had to open the front door to let some fresh air in .. a lot to be thankful for!

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                              Kings Hawaaian are yummy! I'm regretting buying rolls from the bakery, not what I was looking for, awfully dry and dense. Maybe next year I'll make my own. Glad you're feeling better.

                                                                                                                                            2. The lamb is in the oven, the scalloped chipotle sweet potatoes are prepped and ready for when the oven gets turned down, and I just read that someone is doing bacon wrapped green beans so our green beans just might be bacon wrapped since it would be so easy... the oven is already on!

                                                                                                                                              I'm loving how casual the pace has been today. :)

                                                                                                                                              1. Thanks to my waking at 4.30 this morning with a bad asthma attack, Thanksgiving was almost a non-starter... DH said 'lie around and rest and don't do anything' but at lunchtime I jumped in the shower and felt human again so I could do the cooking after that.
                                                                                                                                                I made pepperidge farm cornbread stuffing with apples and craisins and used part of it to stuff my pork loin while the rest went into the oven in a seperate dish. Rolling the pork sounded really simple from the online tutorial, but it was much harder in reality! I made a bit of a dog's breakfast of it, but it worked out okay in the end. Some of the stuffing fell out of the holes and turned into the gorgeously soft gooshy stuffing I adore. Roasted the pork with carrots and sliced baby bella mushies. There wasn't really any gravy but that was okay - the veggies were wonderfully moist from the broth I put in the pan, and so was the pork. After about 45 minutes the pork was done but the veggies needed some more time, so I pulled the roast out to rest and put the pan back in the oven at 425 to finish them off.
                                                                                                                                                Made a basic sweet potato casserole that came out too sweet for me but DH liked it (I sweetened the potatoes to taste and forgot that the marshmallow topping DH wanted would make it three times as sweet when it melted!) and heated some rolls. Dessert was a slice of Edwards turtle pie in the morning, and a slice of Edwards boston cream 'pie' much later when the dinner was digested. (they were on sale for half price this week) Not sure why they call it a 'pie' when it's just a sponge cake with a custard filling, but it tasted good with eggnog icecream. We have leftovers in the fridge, but not enough to be wasted... and I hope to grab a leftover turkey on the weekend so I can roast us a bird at least once this holiday season...

                                                                                                                                                1. 9:41 pm on the east coast. Home from the relatives, after a good Thanksgiving. This thread was a great idea. Reading so many "snapshots" of busi-ness in the kitchen, anticipation of company or making plans to go out, etc, etc, down the thread, made it feel like a very connected, communal day. America celebrating a very special day, and the link with other Chowhounds through a thread like this added to the day's activities. Thanks and blessing to you all,
                                                                                                                                                  Florida Hound

                                                                                                                                                  1. I can't tell you all how much I enjoyed this thread. My dinner isn't until tomorrow and I'm currently trimming my way through 8 pounds of brussels sprouts. The potatoes are next!

                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                      8 lbs? How many guests are you having and how will they be prepared?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: masha

                                                                                                                                                        Final count is 31 guests. Brussels sprouts will be roasted and tossed with caramelized onions (6 lbs worth of onions!) and a wonderful aged balsamic vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                          Best of all celebrations to you and yours TJo!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                        I did my Brussels sprouts for the 1st time with caramelized onions yesterday! Cut them in half, tossed with olive oil, salt and Trader Joe's 21 Salute seasoning, roasted at 400 till caramelized, and then tossed with caramelized onions (minced garlic thrown in at end) and toasted walnuts.

                                                                                                                                                        Keep up the good work with the vegetable prep- hope you enjoy dinner with your guests!