Friday, November 23, 2012

The Postponed Thanksgiving

While you all are enjoying turkey sandwiches or turkey noodle soup or some leftover Thanksgiving concoction that stretches the imagination much too far...I am preparing for our family's First Ever Postponed Thanksgiving.

This year, much loved members of our family had commitments elsewhere (and I won't point any fingers at the inlaws), which caused us to reject the traditional date for our Thanksgiving meal and moving it the Saturday after.

I am not a fan of messing with time. I find the falling back and springing forward of hours each year to be nonsense and a gross manipulation of human time clocks. Even my dog has a difficult time resetting his internal walk and feeding schedule...and don't get me started on the chickens. They march to their own beat despite daylight savings time.

Well, I'm certainly off topic now, so let's move on and take a peek into my Thanksgiving prep.

The turkey has been patted dry and is salted and resting in the fridge, a method I read at Simple Bites that assures crispy skin. The house is almost clean. The table has been extended to seat 12. The china is counted and the uber long tablecloth has been found. I've got all guests bringing dishes tomorrow, so really it's just turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and stuffing on my list. Cooking will be easy to handle tomorrow, the day of the feast.

Except for stuffing. The stuffing starts today.

Oh and by the way, I'm actually making "dressing" this year because last year we did a comparison between the stuffing cooked inside the turkey and a casserole of dressing baked on the side - same exact ingredients in both...and guess which one won?

The one dug out of the turkey of course! All the drippings from the turkey really added flavor and kept it super moist. However, it was further determined that pouring a bit of gravy over the top was all the dressing needed to bring it up to par with the stuffing and with less hassle. Gosh, we have fun Thanksgivings.

So did I mention I'm making dressing? Yes. Let's get on with it shall we...
I use my mom's time honored recipe, which is recorded in a much used family cookbook compiled by one of my sisters. However, I treat the recipe as a set of guidelines, much like the Pirates Code. The recipe, for example, calls for Accent (msg), which I don't mind, but I know many who suffer terrible side effects from eating it. So I leave that out. Sometimes I add a little more onion or I have my own dried up bread on hand. It's fairly flexible.
Always, there is a base of homemade cornbread with very little sugar added. I used a Jiffy mix once and it was far to sweet, not even gravy could save it.
Next comes a package of dried croutons. Stale and hard as rock.
Next comes celery and yellow onions, which have been chopped and sautéed in 2 cubes of butter, as well as fresh parsley and chopped black olives.

The moisture that softens the dry croutons and binds all the ingredients together comes from milk and eggs, making this is sort of a savory bread pudding.
Last come the addition of seasonings. Even after I put them in, this step will not be complete for many hours. My mom will sample the dressing shortly and declare the need for more sage. Upon arriving tomorrow one sister will try it and throw in a little salt. Then another will taste and say it needs a bit more moisture. This is all before it is cooked, so yes, we are eating raw eggs. But we don't care. Tweaking the stuffing/dressing is a fine art and we are willing to subject ourselves to Salmonella for the sake of the meal.

And I am sure it will be a fine one.

Happy Thanksgiving...belated.


Marilyn said...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to Kevi and all!

So happy to see the Kitchensink blog back!!!

Marilyn said...

Happy belated Thanksgiving to Kevi and all.

Happy to see the Kitchensink blg=og back!!!