Monday, November 19, 2012

A Thanksgiving Menu

Here in the United States we are approaching one of the biggest holidays in our nation. Honestly though in this day and age I think it is just an excuse to overeat and fight with family but you know what? I'm cool with that. Fighting with family just lets you know how much you love them. How? Because you speak with them again, that's how. :P

I was going to make this post on my other site but frankly I like this one better and enjoy posting to it more, so you just gotta deal! Mwhahahah!!! 

I will start you off with a basic Thanksgiving Menu that is one I remember eating many holidays and provide you with various links if I have them to some good recipes. I will also be providing you with 2 recipes. Well 1 recipe and 1 how to as it were. I reposted my mothers cornbread dressing recipe and since then I have been asked several times for just a cornbread recipe as well as how to cook a turkey. So will cover both those here today. 

Let's get started. First thing is first - The Menu. For me the menu comes from what my Grandmother Jewell would have at her home every year. It was a combination of her recipes and a lot family brought with them. Now this will be a long menu because Jewell always cooked enough for an army and then some. There were many times we had over 20 people in the house as well as her preparing some for my uncles firehouse and taking some down there. So needless to say you will probably not need this much unless you are feeding a military base or just don't want to have to worry about cooking again until 2012. 

The Menu
I am sure I probably left something out of that menu but hey, the woman cooked a lot! Some of the recipes link to recipes of my own or families, others link to various websites I have used before and trust the recipes of.

Now onto some other things. First thing is first. The Turkey. I mean come on, what is Thanksgiving without that big gobbler on a platter? ^_^ So, gonna tell you real fast how to roast a turkey. It is really very simple.

What you will need:

  • Turkey - Duh
  • 1 Roasting Pan
  • 2-4 of each of the following - Carrots, Celery, Onion - All large rough chop
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper (Black is fine but I use white due to an allergy.)
  • 1/2 Cup Butter - Softened (Most will say unsalted, I prefer salted for this. Irish or New Zealand if you can get it.)
  • About a quart of Turkey/Chicken Stock if you are planning to want a lot of drippings for gravy.
  • Turkey timer/Meat Thermometer
  • Foil
  • An Oven, lol
Seriously, that is really all you need. 

  1. Make sure you defrost your turkey and it is ready to go. 
  2. Open the bag it is in and remove the neck and giblets. Toss them if you don't use them, keep them if you do. (I toss, lol) 
  3. Preheat the oven to 325F and move your rack to the lowest in your oven.
  4. Rinse the turkey inside and out. 
  5. Drain out the water and pat it down with some paper towels.
  6. Place the turkey breast side up on a rack in your roasting pan. (If you don't have a rack that is okay. Most years I used those cheap foil pans and never had one.)
  7. Make sure your legs and wings for the turkey are all tucked. If they aren't and you haven't done this, check some videos on youtube.com 
  8. Toss the onions, celery and carrots into the cavity of the turkey. 
  9. Rub the outside of the turkey down with the butter
  10. Sprinkle the top with the salt and pepper.
  11. Pour a couple cups of stock into the bottom of the roasting pan.
  12. Stick the turkey in the oven uncovered.
  13. Now, here comes the fun part. Depending on how large your turkey is will depend on when you do the following steps. Follow the chart here for UNSTUFFED birds on the following website - Let's Talk Turkey - to get a general idea.
  14. Check on the turkey about every 30 minutes to an hour and add more stock if you are using it to the bottom of the pan.
  15. Now some will want to baste the turkey, honestly I never have. If you want, do it about every 30-60 minutes. If not, it is okay. At most I will rub down with a cold butter stick from time to time.
  16. Once the Turkey is the level of brown you want, cover it with foil. 
  17. Cook until your turkey time pops or until your meat thermometer reads 180F when stuck in the thickest part of the thigh and away from the bone. 
  18. When it is done remove it from the oven and carefully transfer it to a serving platter.
  19. Let it rest at least 30 minutes before carving. This let's it cool enough to handle and helps the turkey stay moist. 
  20. Carve, enjoy and get ready to make a lot of left over Turkey Sandwiches over the next week.

See, not hard! Now, only recipe number 2. Cornbread. This is a classic recipe I use each year as a base to my mother Cornbread Dressing, (link above) This recipe is an revised version of one I found online a while ago. Now, the way I am telling you to make it...DO NOT EAT JUST AS IS! It is altered to work with the Cornbread Dressing recipe and does not taste the best on its own!

Egg Cornbread For Cornbread Dressing:

  • 2/3 Cups Salted butter Softened
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 2 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Cornmeal
  • 4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Table Salt
  1. Preheat your own to 400F
  2. Grease a large cast iron skillet. (If you do not have one, use a 13x9 baking dish)
  3. In a large bowl cream together your butter and sugar.
  4. Add in your eggs and milk.
  5. Sift together the rest and then add to the bowl.
  6. Mix until smooth.
  7. Pour into the skillet.
  8. Put into the oven
  9. Bake 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes on rack.
  11. Remove from pan, rest on rack until fully cool.
  12. Use for Cornbread Dressing!

And that is that. I hope this helps you with your Thanksgiving Meal Planning! Now! Go! Give Thanks! Over Eat! Pass out while watching Football! And don't forget, enjoy your family and friends this Thanksgiving.

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