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Thanksgiving Week -- What Are Your Plans and Menu?

By Trish
November 20, 2011

Here we are at week two of our ATP chat. Come tell us about what plans you have for the week!

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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Nov 20, 2011 8:27 AM CST
It's just my husband and me and my 87 year old Mom. We have no other family here. My son lives too far away to come home now. We're in Ohio and he lives in Seattle so we only see him a couple times a year- usually Christmas and summer. We really miss him on holidays, and we'll talk to him on the phone for sure.

My husband doesn't cook, period. But he is fortunately an excellent dishwasher. I cook all day it seems, and he does dishes and I create more messes. Traditional menu for us, and it never varies much except for the type of cranberry sauce and type of vegetable: turkey, traditional stuffing (Always cooked in the bird), mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, cranberry sauce (this year blue cranberry sauce), coleslaw, and a veggie or two. Haven't decided for sure but probably peas with pearl onions. Or succotash for me and my Mom with a separate couple of servings of only the corn for my husband. He wouldn't eat a lima bean if he were starving.

There are some things I'll never be able to cook like my Mom did, and one of those is gravy. Unfortunately she can't cook any more so we're stuck with my gravy. Hilarious!

Karen
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
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Trish
Nov 20, 2011 11:31 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Sounds delicious, Karen! I haven't ever mastered gravy either....it's on my list of things to conquer this coming year!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Nov 20, 2011 12:25 PM CST
I forgot to mention pumpkin pie in the menu! I actually had the fixings in my cart yesterday at the grocery, then put them back. I don't think I'll have much time this year- supposed to work Mon, Tues, and Weds. I am trying to get them off though.

Pie crust is the other thing that I've never mastered. I put my husband in charge of pumpkin pie, which means he'll go buy it. Hilarious!

Karen
Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
Southwest Gardening~ moderator/ATP.
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Aguane
Nov 21, 2011 12:03 AM CST
Just me and Lexie. Well, I do go to a friends house in Tempe which is a real treat. Sometimes the only time of year I get to see them. Their menu is so different than the meal I was raised with. I really think we tend to emulate or recreate the meal our parents provided year after year. I crave those flavors.

.... so, after I go to my friends for their traditional meal, I come home and the next day I make mine.

I know gravy. It's a real process. You collect the drippings during the cooking process, right? Take that roasting pan and put it on the stove top. Heated slightly. Gradually pour a little boiling water over the drippings and scrap the hard drippings from the pan with a wooden spatula. Adding the hot water gradually and sparingly. When you have scraped the solids from the pan and broken them up to sauce consistency pour all of the liquid into a pyrex (that's what I use; but I suppose you could use metal.) Let the liquid sit and separate the fat from the water. Takes some time and slows the entire delivery to the table... so you want to start this right after you take the bird out of the oven. Using a baster siphon off the fat and discard (or whatever you like to do with it). Make a flour and butter roux in a separate pan. Return some of the rendered liquid (sans the fat) to the roasting pan and gradually introduce the roux.... mixing, mixing, mixing using a figure eight stirring motion. Continue to add the additional liquid to the thickening roux mixture until it no longer thickens. If you want to extend the gravy you can continue this process using hot water. This should give you a thickening, velvety smooth flavorful gravy. The main thing is you've removed the fat and are using just the flavorful drippings (blood, etc). You can add a very good Chardonnay, Marsala, Brandy, Cognac or Sherry at the end to add another layer of flavor. Salt is important but you don't need too much. This is a process and takes some time. Probably a good idea to get a little stool next to the stove top and sit a spell. You cannot leave the stove. It's worth it. Can't wait! When is DINNER?

My favorite is Apple Pie with a French crust topping. When you make your traditional pie crust substitute a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar for any liquid called for in your recipe. Makes it fluffy and crisp for some reason. Learned this from a tea room in Los Gatos, CA.
“Don't give up too quickly"... unknown, I heard it somewhere.
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Nov 21, 2011 5:39 AM CST
we are having a strange year.. most of my family is staying home.. Randy's Mom, Step Dad, and my neighbor (her son goes away every year) will be here.. I do most of the cooking.. Randy deep fries the turkey every year so that is a big help.. looks like work is not giving us off friday.. and I will have to work.. my suggestions for blunders are keep a lot of chicken stock in a box around.. dry turkey.. run it though the stock before serving.. add to over processed mashed potatoes, add it to gravy that is too thick... lots of good uses.. and can always strain lumps out while no one is looking
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Nov 21, 2011 5:45 AM CST
oh because we deep fry... I cheat with gravy and used a canned one.. with the brined bird you really don't need it anyway
[Last edited by Onewish1 - Nov 21, 2011 5:46 AM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Nov 21, 2011 6:04 AM CST
I've heard that deep fried turkey is great but I've never tried it. I've seen the process on TV and it looks pretty scary.

Karen
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Nov 21, 2011 6:19 AM CST
We are - as almost every year - going to be sharing Thanksgiving with our good friends just down the street. Everyone brings their best dish(es) by popular request. The hostess makes the turkey and the stuffing.
There will be about 30 people and we'll eat outside on the lanai. Smiling

I will contribute my roasted Brussels Sprouts, a vegan cashew nut loaf for the couple of vegans that attend, and my Dutch Apple Tart which is always a hit.
Our friends have had a particularly tough time this past year, so it will be a bittersweet celebration. Both husband and wife lost a sibling through tragic circumstances, so we will want to make this a special day; I'm sure there will be tears....

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Nov 21, 2011 6:54 AM CST
I've never tried roasting brussels sprouts. I'll have to try that soon. I do like roasted veggies. Asparagus is my favorite, though usually I broil them instead. Yesterday I tried roasting parsnips and they were great. I do love parsnips but had never tried roasting them alone.

My problem with roasting veggies, I know, is that I skimp on the oil. They seem to need lots to be really good. I'm used to trying to cook lower fat.

I have done roasted mixed root vegetables and that's awesome- sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, etc. Really good.

But when you get down to it, I hate cooking and I'm not a very good cook! Hilarious!

Karen
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Nov 21, 2011 6:59 AM CST
No, not a lot of fat at all! A few tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl, add salt and pepper (and a little cayenne is nice too). Toss the sprouts (they should be dry - if you've washed them make sure of that). Then roast on a cookie sheet at 375-400 until done, shaking them up a few times to make sure they get done on all sides. They are delicious, even people who don't like sprouts will love them, usually.
I also love Parsnips but they are not easily available here. We ate them a lot when we lived in England, but my DS HATED them with a passion....
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Nov 21, 2011 7:21 AM CST
Thanks, Hetty, I'll try them soon.

My husband is pretty much a meat and potatoes guy, emphasis on the MEAT. He probably eats root vegetables more than most green leafy things. We eat a lot of beets! He likes brussel sprouts pretty well though, so I'll definitely try yours.

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Nov 21, 2011 4:26 PM CST
does sound good

and Karen.. the deep frying.. if not done correctly.. it can be very dangerous.. we have done it a zillion times.. and know how to keep us from not getting burned or set the house on fire.. make sure bird is brought to room temp.. patted dry.. when we put it in... flame is off.. dropped in super slow to allow for the bubbling to slow down before you put in more.. hhmm I have a video I taped on my cell.. maybe I can upload it to youtube
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Nov 21, 2011 4:33 PM CST
yep
Name: Marylyn
Houston, TX (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: Texas Daylilies Lilies
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Marylyn
Nov 21, 2011 4:36 PM CST
Neat! Thanks for posting the video. Smiling How long does it fry?
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Nov 21, 2011 4:37 PM CST
3 1/2 mins per pound.. that's all.. here is how NOT to do it
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Nov 21, 2011 4:38 PM CST
That is very helpful. Not that I would ever try it. I hear there are a lot of accidents with this procedure. How long does it take for a turkey to get done when it's fried?
I love the snow in the background, and will be forever thankful that I will spend Thanksgiving in shorts!
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Nov 21, 2011 4:40 PM CST
Wow, I posted my response before the second video - scary!! ... and 3 1/2 minutes per pound, wow that is a quick dinner!!
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Nov 21, 2011 4:43 PM CST
that was halloween weekend here this year Grumbling snow way too early

3 1/2 mins per pound.. oh and I should add we put the bird in the pot... cover with water and mark the line after we take the bird out to have the correct amount of oil in there when it's time to go.. we brine before.. and the skin tastes like turkey bacon.. can't beat it!!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Nov 21, 2011 4:44 PM CST
It is scary. While I'd like to taste deep fried turkey some day, it's not something I'm likely to do.

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Nov 21, 2011 4:46 PM CST
come on over baby!!!.. we usually do 3 or so a year.. and have a standing invite for our friends christmas in july... to deep fry the bird there.. we block off the area so kids or drunks can not get near the fryer .. feels like the rock stars behind the barriers Rolling on the floor laughing

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