I started Wednesday by making the cranberry sauce and preparing some things for the stuffing. I made sure I had every ingredient I needed before Wednesday so as to avoid the grocery store rush. Unfortunately, Kroger's was out of fresh sage Tuesday night, so I ended up stopping by Whole Foods Wednesday morning to pick some up, along with some gravy, which I had forgotten I wanted to buy, so that was happy.
Today, Andrew's mom put a pie in the oven and we all went for a walk; it was warmer today than it has been, overcast and humid. When we got back to the apartment, I started on the stuffing (I had made the corn bread for it last weekend).
After preparing the stuffing, I prepared the turkey with chicken stock and salt and pepper, and surrounded it with the stuffing before popping it in the oven. As there were only four of us eating, I decided not to do an entire turkey but instead to just do a whole breast and a couple thighs (I like dark meat). It turns out that this was an excellent plan, for a couple reasons: a) fewer leftovers and b) when you cook a whole bird, the breast meat has usually dried out by the time the rest of it is cooked through. As it was, the meat was cooked through and really moist; I could not have asked for better results.
While the turkey cooked, I prepared the mashed potatoes. After the turkey finished (about an hour later), Andrew's mom put in her potato rolls and I started the hashed brussels sprouts. If you like brussels sprouts, I highly recommend this recipe--shredded then briefly sauteed with lemon juice, garlic, and poppy seeds, they were crisp and clean-tasting, a nice contrast to the rich foods that made up the rest of the meal.
Dinner was followed by another stroll, then pumpkin pie and movie. Andrew and I rounded up the day after the folks left by watching some Dexter, playing Wii Bowling, and eating dinner. When I put it that way, it sounds like we ate again right away, but the Thanksgiving meal took place around 2:30 and we ate dinner a little after 9 (Tomato basil soupe from La Madeline and leftover brussels sprouts, by the way).
All in all, the holiday was a huge success. We may have started a new tradition!
Recipes for my Thanksgiving menu (I halved every recipe except the turkey and brussels sprouts):
- Roast turkey breast
- Cornbread butternut squash stuffing
- Hashed Brussels sprouts
- Yukon Gold mashed potatoes
- Cranberry orange sauce (on a suggestion from Mark Bittman, I added a little fresh mint and cayenne)
*This post is dedicated to my fan, Kevin Anderson.