Happy Thanksgiving!

As I write this, I have a pecan pie baking in the oven. In case you’re wondering, that’s puh-KAHN. Also, I was involved yesterday in a lively online discussion about “stuffing” vs. “dressing.” It’s dressing around here, and it’s always baked in a pan separate from the turkey. Mine starts as a simple slurry of cornbread, onions, celery and chicken stock. Add eggs and spices and bake. That’s about it. I’ll tell you something else I do if you won’t repeat it, because it is not health-department approved. Primarily, I cook my turkey by placing it in a roasting pan in the late evening; I preheat the oven to 500 degrees, and in goes the turkey. I go binge watch “The Crown” for an hour, then turn off the oven. Never open the door! Forget about it. Leave the bird all night, and in the morning it will be moist and delicious. There are caveats. As I said, this is not recommended by experts. They will say the turkey might not be completely cooked. I take this into account. Sometimes, I use a small turkey, and it will get falling-off-the-bone done. If I’m cooking a larger bird or if I want to put on the dog, metaphorically speaking, I finish the turkey in my backyard smoker for a few hours the next morning. You are free to discuss methods of turkey cooking, but you cannot argue with me. You cannot argue with me, because my mother cooked her turkeys that way. We are all still alive. Those of us who haven’t died. Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for being here.

23 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving!”

  1. โ€œAs God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.โ€

    One could always adapt Phyllis Dillerโ€™s directions for cooking a roast: Put a large turkey and a small turkey in the oven. When the small turkey is burned, the large turkey is ready.

    Reply
  2. What a great idea! Only, if the oven here goes above 375 (maaaaaybe 400) the fire alarm goes off and then no one has an appetite. ๐Ÿ™‚
    We are invited to my sister’s place for dinner. Her daughter is chef today. She hasn’t much sense of timing so “whenever, I’ll call you”. ๐Ÿ™‚ But her priorities are spot on. The only things she’s REALLY focused on is cooking the apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake!

    Reply
  3. As Emeril Lagasse once said (and I, as a former truck driver, can confirm): “It’s puh-KAHN; a pee can is something a truck driver has.”

    And we always put as much stuffing (always “stuffing”) into the bird as will fit, then the rest into a casserole dish – because while in is better, there’s not enough room in there for sufficient stuffing to go around.

    Reply
  4. Yep, before interstates a pee-can is what you carried for those emergency stops when you were between towns. Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Here in Tulsa it’s in the low forties and pouring rain. But I know it’s worse elsewhere so I’m grateful for what we have. If you’re traveling, be careful and have fun with your dinner companions.

    Reply
  5. A neighbor of mine that taught people to be professional chef’s at the local community college (if 30,000 students is local) once told me how to cook a turkey. He also added this caveat, it is going to sound weird, but it works.
    You do not put the stuffing in the bird. Take several oranges and roll them and smash them so that the pulp is broken. Then stab them with a fork 8 or so times around the orange. Place them in the turkey (neck and body cavity), butter and season the turnkey, then cover the pan in tinfoil. Cook in the oven according to the normal time and instructions. About 30 minutes before it is supposed to be done, remove the tinfoil so that the turkey can brown. The orange juice steams the meat while it cooks and adds a natural sweetness to it.
    I tried this just for fun one time. I have been cooking turkeys this way for over 20 years now. I refuse to go back. Everyone always raves about how moist and sweet they are. It really does work.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    Reply
  6. emb
    .
    I cut off most of the fat (I think this one was 1/3 fat). Throw the fat & beef in the roaster with some Sauerkraut.
    Cook (covered) in 350* oven 1hr/lb.
    .
    There will be a place set for all those that will not be with us today.
    Those that have gone ahead, those that cannot make the trip, and those friends like the Village we have not met yet.

    Reply
  7. May be the least experienced Villager / roasting birds at home. Fairly sure we did turkeys a few times when the kids were young, but even then were as likely to be at another family’s place as our own. Once kids had flown, we mostly waited table or DR-supervised at various churches’ holiday meals. Learned lots about advantages/hurdles of dining facilities here & there.

    At Christmas at my younger son’s in Cambridge [MN] & now Mpls, the bird is usually goose. Scrumptious! For last decade or so, have simply gone to Community Holiday Meals for both holidays, now with my retired older son & frau. Much to be thankful for.

    Sanford Health gives volunteers & employees a coupon good through Jan. for a turkey, ham, or fruit basket. I simply give mine to a BUMC member who happens to run/work at the area Food Shelf. Deal.

    Peace,

    Reply
  8. I always just followed the directions on the turkey, not being much of a cook myself. Now my DIL does the cooking, and she’s a wonderful cook! Hope everyone has a peaceful, loving day. And don’t talk about politics unless everyone is on the same side! (Are there families like that??)

    Reply
  9. I am an experienced cook but I do not believe that I have ever cooked a turkey. I think my wife did once and that wasn’t even for Thanksgiving. We always went to other family members for Thanksgiving. The last three years, we decided to have the family event on Saturday. Instead of turkey, which everyone (but my wife and I) had on Thursday, we have tried different pot luck dishes. A couple years ago it was tacos, last year International (I made Yakisoba) and this year Enchiladas. Since I a dieting, that is perfect as I do not like Enchiladas!

    My brother-in-law got divorced earlier this year and I realized that his choice was between two ex-wives. One was the mother of their son and they get along, but it is still a bit awkward. So I invited him over. He is a great chef too, but I told him that I would cook. I am going to cut up some turkey tenderloins, lightly bread them with seasoned flour, cajun seasonings, and panko/Italian bread crumbs. I then pan fry in butter, bacon grease & oil. My mashed potatoes are unique as I only put a little butter and milk in it but also add mayonnaise and sour cream. They come out very creamy. Then it is corn that I froze 4 hours after I pulled it off the stalk. It will be like fresh corn at it’s peak on the cob. The only thing missing is smelling the bird cooking all day

    Reply
  10. My daughter and I had dinner with a friend, who is widowed, and two other female widowed friends. We had a marvelous, loving time. Family is who you choose… sometimes blood relatives… sometimes heart relatives… it is the love and caring that matters. Happy Thanksgiving to my Village Family!

    Reply
  11. My mom was born and raised in Bay St. Louis. She and her younger [next oldest] sister said pee-cans.
    Wild turkeys can fly, high enough over I90/94 in WI not to get hit by semis. We have them in N MN, too, but I’ve only seen flocks on the ground at a distance.

    Reply
    • emb, they can fly all right. When I lived in LaVergne, TN our property backed up to a fence surrounding an airport with lots of old woods. There was a flock of wild turkeys living in the woods that would come over to our side of the fence. They would take a running go and clear that 9 foot fence with no problems. We also saw them flying up into the trees to perch on limbs that were probably a good 20 feet off the ground. They were very entertaining to watch. One year we even saw three toms putting on a mating display for several hens that were on our side of the fence. The males fluffed themselves out to make the best display, and then strutted in small circles and inflating their wattles. Gradually all the hens flew back over the fence and the whole group vanished back into the woods.

      Reply
  12. It’s PEE-con pie down near Dothan, circa 1955. And it’s the recipe on the Karo syrup bottle. Accept no other. Easy as pie to make.

    As a boy, I picked up pecans to sell at the feed store at 11 cents a pound (seedlings) to get a quarter to go to the movies with popcorn.

    Dressing. Cornbread Dressing. Everything else is stuffing, which requires cranberry sauce or gravy to be edible. All dressing needs is a fork.

    Reply
  13. I cooked a 19 pound bird in the back yard. Deep Fried Turkey!!! Ever since we had one years ago we have been frying them. It seems to make a really juicy bird with great flavor! It took just over 30 minutes to get the oil up to temperature then 66 minutes to cook.

    Reply
  14. For many years I have fried my T-Day turkey but yesterday was not amenable to deep-frying: temperature in low 20s, strong winds (up to 40mph), intermittent heavy snow so I roasted it. Herb butter under and atop the skin, wrapped in cheesecloth, basted in white wine every 20 minutes. Splendid!

    Reply

Leave a Comment