Monday, December 01, 2003

Well. Wednesday night I came home and baked a cake. Then a squash casserole, and then a pecan pie (the bourbon pecan pie from The Gift Of Southern Cooking. I licked the bowl and I knew it was going to be good, and it was). And then the sour milk cornbread from TGOSC, too. Yum.

Thursday morning I decided that if I woke up naturally at 5 or 6 am, I would brine the turkey. If not, I would not. So no brined turkey for me this year, but next year, I totally will. I boiled potatoes to make the potato starter for my rolls. I sauteed onion and celery. I took the giblets and neck out of the turkey to boil with more onions and celery, and then took out some of that broth to add to the sauteed onions and celery and corn bread and Pepperidge Farm stuffing. I also added some butter. My grandmother's instructions and my mother's additional notes all called for margarine, but I have a margarine free home, and butter worked fine. I stuffed the neck and cavity and put it in the oven (while calling my mother, who reassuringly was doing many of the same things. She also told me when to go ahead and make the gravy- she makes it early and keeps it on low, so it is sure to get thick enough in time. So there were no last minute not thick enough gravy panics for me.)

So yeah, I made the gravy, and the dough for the rolls (which made it through all three risings beautifully) and stuffed celery with cream cheese and chopped pecans. I forgot to mention Julia's Cheese Balls, from Mastering the Art. I made them Wednesday and totally forgot about them, so they went uneaten. I didn't have any crackers anyway, so it was no big loss. I fried the sweet potato spears just until tender and then took them out of the oil, which I left on the stove. Then I rested for a bit and talked about how I wasn't going to do ANY DISHES AT ALL that day.

Really, I had quite a bit of downtime until I took the turkey out and let it rest. Then I put the rolls and the casserole and the extra stuffing in the oven, and deep fried the sweet potatoes, and made the pea and watercress puree and the rice. And heated the gravy and then got everything to the table. Jeff's dad did the carving.

And was it ever delicious. I think I may have made the best stuffing known to man. Friday? I had pecan pie for breakfast, two cups of stuffing for lunch, and pecan pie for dinner. And I'd do it again. I love Thanksgiving!