Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was fabulous and tasty and indulgent–all of the things a good Thanksgiving should be!

I committed to remaining stress-free, a feat which was threatened as soon as I began preparing the big bird for the oven. It's like groundhog day every year; I can never remember how to cook a turkey. I think I just block it out, traumatized from the previous year's Thanksgiving and overwhelmed by the myriad of ways one can prepare the main dish. I'm too lazy to brine and too much of a purist to cook it in a plastic bag. I just want to stuff it and be done! I needed an old-school approach and decided that nothing could be better than just slathering the thing in butter. And so that's what I did.

After rubbing the turkey in a homemade herbed butter concoction (chopped sage, thyme and rosemary smeared under the skin and over the bird) I started on the stuffing. I bought peasant bread from the market to make my own stuffing, which was scrumptious and so simple to make! I cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and toasted them in the oven for about 5 minutes. I sauteed 2 onions and 5 celery stalks in a stick of butter (ah, the holidays) until soft (about 10 minutes). The breakfast sausage was also from the Farmers' Market–3 links (minus the casings) sauteed for 10 minutes. To create the stuffing I simply combined everything together with a cup of chicken stock. And yes, I stuffed the bird!

The mystery of last year's turkey debacle (hours and hours of cooking and the turkey just wasn't cooked) was solved with the help of an oven thermometer. Turns out my oven has been lying to me all these years! The temperature inside registered almost 100 degrees below the alleged number on the dial. I didn't have time to lament the past so I channeled my feelings of betrayal into hyper-vigilence, watching through the glass to read the thermometer and then frantically changing the temperature to maintain a constant 350 degrees!

The rest of the meal came together after the turkey was done. Everyone chipped in...Nick (my brother-in-law) made the mashed potatoes; my mother made the gravy; my dad carved the turkey ("This is the easiest turkey I've ever carved," he exclaimed...must've been the butter). My sister attended to her own little butterball, Alexa, my adorable niece! Kacey brought the pumpkin and pecan pies, which were both amazing. We all enjoyed seconds of everything!

This was probably the most relaxed Thanksgiving I can remember. Memory is captured through the lens of our experience and so it must've been that I, myself, was relaxed. I feel like we celebrated the essence of the holiday: gratitude, togetherness and contentment. I loved the simplicity of it all and I'll carry this Thanksgiving in my heart for years to come.

PS - A final word about the turkey. It was, by far, the best turkey any of us had ever eaten. So moist, so flavorful...all thanks to butter and a happily-raised bird.


  1. Beautiful writing, Miss Chrissy. Beautiful pictures and food too. Love it!

  2. seriously, what a pleasure to read. and the photos! i kept scrolling, eager to see more, and what a nice collection you've shared. :)

  3. I realized a few months ago that my oven was also 100 degrees off! I couldn't figure out why everything I baked took way longer to cook than the recipe called for. Thank you oven thermometer!