I didn’t have the foresight to snap a picture of our thanksgiving dinner this year, but I really wish I would have. It was the first Holiday the hub and I have hosted and our first time attempting to cook a turkey dinner, and lets just say it was a challenge.
I’m very lucky to have such a helpful type of man around when it comes to cooking. In fact, most of the summer, he’s the head chef thanks to a nice large grill I bought him right before we got engaged. He’s the more food-focused of the two of us by far, (probably because I could exist off of pb& j supplemented with the occasional mac&cheese) and it is very comforting to know that I’m rarely solely responsible for meal preparation like many women seem to be.
Thanksgiving dinner went pretty smoothly overall, but I have to say, I was very thankful that no one could see the chaos behind the scenes, starting at about 6am when I woke up to find that the completely over-sized turkey I had bought was not completely thawed out. Meaning that I couldn’t remove the inside grossness that needed to be removed before baking. I mentioned that the turkey was over-sized because one important thing to remember if you are ever cooking a turkey is to buy one that you can lift on your own. The hub had to help me maneuver in and out of the fridge, to the sink for thawing, and in and out of the oven- starting two days beforehand when we started the de-thawing process.
So two days later when it still wasn’t completely thawed, despite its water bath days and refrigerated nights, I was more than nervous, but decided that with family arriving in T-minus-6 hours I had to get cooking. We ended up just baking it half thawed until I could get enough of the ice picked out to remove the neck and whatever else I could (small victory with not vomiting at this point- ick). We never did get that bag of giblets out. Who knew you had to look for ‘surprises’ at both ends??
After that cooking went smoothly for several hours until our pan sprung a leak and turkey juice ended up all over the bottom of our still-relatively-new gas oven. The ensuing smoke that filled the kitchen was quite entertaining to say the least. Windows open and fans on when the outdoor temp is close to 40° isn’t the best idea for creating a cozy atmosphere. Luckily, it was only my immediately family, so teasing and humor is to be expected anyway. :)
It ended up working out in the end (turkey took just an hour longer to cook fully) and it tasted great. Brett also made some amazing sweet potatoes and my mom and sis helped out with the rest of the sides, so dinner was excellent- if a little later than expected. So far no one has complained of food poisoning either, so judging by that low-bar standard, I think we were quite successful on our first holiday dinner. Next year we’ll be much more prepared!