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How Do You Like Your Turkey

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The benefit of having a small family, I guess, is that nothing much is changing for Thanksgiving. It'll be seven of us--a little bit more than I'm comfortable with, but we're not going to tell my SIL's mother that she has to spend the day alone. So, me, my parents, my brother, his wife and son, and his is MIL. And probably their dog. Between the baby and the terrier, it will not be a good day for my cats. I'll try to make it up to them.

We just finalized the menu today! Butternut squash soup and a salad for an appetizer, to tide us over until the turkey is done.

Then turkey, stuffing, and gravy. (The key to good stuffing is to add lots of fruit, btw, for those who think stuffing is dry. We start with a mix and then add in apples, onions, raisins, cranberries, orange juice, probably some stuff I'm forgetting.)

For side dishes, I will make applesauce (asdfghjkl;' make your own applesauce you guys it's amazing) and my brother's bringing "smashed potatoes," sweet potatoes with baked apples on top (the dish that got me to actually start eating sweet potatoes), and mulled cider.

And Mom makes apple pie from scratch! Also pumpkin, which I don't like but everyone else does. Next year I might try and make a pecan pie. I always feel left out, not having more than one type of pie like everybody else. :ROFLMAO: But I'm hardly going to ask my ma to bake a whole third pie just because I want one. It's not in the cards this year, but hopefully next year!
 

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@Danneq , your menu sounds great too! I can't agree more on making your own applesauce- sadly our apple trees didn't produce much this year, even though last year they were overflowing. I haven't had any applesauce at all this year. The smashed potato recipe sounds great too. I don't know what my body is missing out on, but I want to make every potato recipe I see these days...
 

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We always cook our turkeys in the oven. I've always wanted to try a fried turkey but I don't think I'm brave or well trained enough to attempt it! 😄

As for our Thanksgiving festivities they'll go about the same as they always do with just Mom, Dad, sis and myself. We live pretty far away from aunts, uncles and cousins so we don't usually see them until Christmas (although cancelled this year due to Covid). We start the day watching the parade and all help getting dinner ready. I'm going to try a new pecan pie recipe and maybe attempt a chocolate cheesecake as well.
 

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@Danneq , your menu sounds great too! I can't agree more on making your own applesauce- sadly our apple trees didn't produce much this year, even though last year they were overflowing. I haven't had any applesauce at all this year. The smashed potato recipe sounds great too. I don't know what my body is missing out on, but I want to make every potato recipe I see these days...
Potatoes are very good for you! Not if you have a very carb heavy diet (they're mostly starch) but they're loaded with nutrients. Potassium, vitamin C, even protein! (Not tons of protein, but what's there is complete.) I'd guess it's a combination of the time of the year and the fact that you haven't had potatoes in a while, though. I usually dislike ham, but once every couple of years, when it's cold outside, I get a ham craving.

I wish we had our own apple trees. I've never even been apple picking. What kind do you grow?
 

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I didn't read all the posts, my old eyes just bog down trying to read the longer ones. too bad as I used to enjoy reading all the interesting posts but just can't seem to get through them now.
Wishing all my American friends on here a great Thanksgiving, celebrated as best you can in these trying times.
Our Thanksgiving is in mid Oct and I usually don't plan to do any Family get togethers as I selfishly want to go riding as it is the best time of the year for that and I hate to miss such a lovely opportunity to get out with my horse,
Now that I am retired it is not such a big deal tho.

I have made a squash souflee for these occasions and sent it if I was not going to be there.
 

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We usually do 2 turkeys, one on the grill (or smoked the last few years since FIL got a smoker) and one in the oven. I like a little of both.

Going to be a sad Thanksgiving for us as well I think. I grew up with a small family so Thanksgiving was just mom, dad, and I. I always wished for big holidays. When I married DH he came with parents, 3 sisters, and their assorted significant others/children/pets so I finally got my wish (my parents have since moved to FL and are never around for holidays). Unfortunately DH's sisters are all quarantined until after Thanksgiving as they all live together and the youngest sister's husband tested positive for COVID. So it will just be me and DH's parents (DH works for his dad so no extra exposure there as we are all pretty much in the same proximity all year long). Hoping the siblings can come for the weekend as their quarantine ends Friday.

As pathetic as this makes me sound my favorite holiday is actually Black Friday. I usually spend all November making my shopping lists (presents and household items for ourselves) from the leaked ad scans and then we go out Thursday night after dinner and again Friday morning. Family usually joins us, DH comes with me and fights the crowds. Sometimes I go to the metro area and shop with my best friend (we started the tradition many years ago). Sooooo, none of that will be happening this year and that really stinks. I will pick up some presents online but the thrill is gone.
 

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Love the topic. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. And actually, not much of a change for us- my husband and I are not close with our extended families so have always done Thanksgiving with just the two of us, occasionally a "Friendsgiving" with other local friends. I see there are more articles and recipes out for small Thanksgiving meals this year, which will be nice for some new inspiration. I do feel sad for people who are close to their families and really count on that time together. I'm sure it will be a hard year for many.

We just started talking about a menu, no firm decisions yet. We do always order a turkey from a local farm. It's usually too big but we usually freeze a bunch to eat later. As far as sides, I don't usually make mashed potatoes, but for some reason this year I'm really craving them- so, if anyone wants to share their best (high-fat, non-diet) recipe for buttery, garlicky mashed potatoes I'll take it! ;) We usually make some sort of roasted green vegetable, either green beans or brussels sprouts, and usually something with butternut squash (risotto or soup). And ALWAYS Sara Foster's dinner rolls. Still trying to decide on a dessert- usually it's some sort of pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, but this year we were thinking about a cheesecake with some apple caramel topping- I have an easy cheesecake recipe that I really like, just not so sure on the topping. Any suggestions?
Mashed potatoes from Gordon Ramsay. I've yet to make anything of his that wasn't absolutely delicious. Gordon Ramsay's Mashed Potatoes, 3 versions.
 

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@ClearDonkey I can't like your post. I'm sorry you're having a rough time.

@egrogan this is very close to how I do my mashed potatoes. If I get asked to bring a dish, this what people who've had them ask for.


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We were going to head out of state to visit family for Thanksgiving but we canceled this morning. I'm so tired of the 'rona.

I voted, no turkey.
I do prime rib for Thanksgiving. Then the usual sides, mashed taters, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, creamed onions, rolls, cranberry freeze and a jellied cranberry.
I really don't like pumpkin pie but hubby does. I usually make an alternative as well.

Husband requested Yorkshire pudding this year. I've never made it. I called my mom because I thought grandma used to make it when I was little. It was my Canadian aunts, is Yorkshire pudding a Canadian thing?

But my grandma used to make Suet pudding.

So anyone have a Yorkshire pudding recipe to share that is tried and true? Also tips to keep from setting my oven on fire? Lol!
Another one from Gordon Ramsay, Gordon Ramsay's Yorkshire Pudding

I made this one Christmas, along with his Christmas Goose and all the other sides. It was pretty much a Gordon Ramsay Restaurant in your personal kitchen. Everybody loved everything, including the goose which was a first for all of us, and I've yet to have one of his recipes fail me.
 

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And now that I've put up all those Gordon Ramsay recipes, I have to come clean and say that this year will be a very small Thanksgiving for us. We picked up a smoked turkey at Costco and I'll probably do my candied sweet potatoes casserole and a salad. I'm trying to get my shoulder surgery done and if I can schedule it before Thanksgiving, I may not even do that much.

No company this year, I don't feel like hosting or cooking for a bunch and I feel even less like traveling. I'm 100% with whoever said they're not flying until we have a proven vaccine. Even then, if I can possibly drive, I'll do it. HATE flying ever since 9/11.

As for Covid. Meh. Yes, I believe in it, yes, I'm taking it seriously, yes we mask up out in public and we social distance as much as is humanly possible. Our exposure level is pretty high, hubby is seeing somewhere from 10-25 suspected new cases (and testing for them) daily and then, of course, he comes home. He wears PPE all day and throws his scrubs and underwear in the wash as soon as he gets home and then takes a shower before he even thinks of sitting on the furniture. He steps into a "shoe bath" of Nolvasan at the door and then leaves his shoes outside. BTW, he told me yesterday that for every 10 people he's testing, he's getting 70%+ positive results. We have been seeing anywhere from 2000 - 4000 new cases PER DAY here in OK. When you figure our entire state population is under 4 million, that's pretty significant.

As for feeling down and all the negativity, my daddy used to tell me "You can get glad in the same shoes you got mad in." and one of my old coworkers (RIP Bev) used to tell us, "Don't give away your joy." or "Don't let them steal your joy.". Focus on the good stuff and every time you find yourself starting to walk down the negative road (all the stuff I lost, I'm so alone, why won't they all be responsible and wear masks, etc.) just stop yourself and focus on something good. Let go of the negative, most of it isn't anything you can control anyhow, and focus on "Wow, it's a gorgeous day!" or "Mrs. Soandso, sure is a kind sweet person." or "My horses are just so lovely. I am blessed.". You'll be surprised at how quickly you can turn yourself around.
 

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Another one from Gordon Ramsay, Gordon Ramsay's Yorkshire Pudding

I made this one Christmas, along with his Christmas Goose and all the other sides. It was pretty much a Gordon Ramsay Restaurant in your personal kitchen. Everybody loved everything, including the goose which was a first for all of us, and I've yet to have one of his recipes fail me.
I love Gordon Ramsay!
Quick story, we went to Vegas with another couple a few years ago. The guys had made reservations at Gordan Ramsay Steak as a surprise. Not knowing where we were headed for dinner, in the car, passing one of the casinos Gordon was stepping out on a stage in front of a large crowd. I don't get star struck but I was so excited to see him from a far. Then surprise, we ate at one of his restaurants, which was very good. Our waiter didn't think he was going to make an appearance in that restaurant but he gave us little gift bags with an autographed photo of Gordon realizing we were fans.
I use a lot of his recipes!


Yorkshire pudding as I thought used melted beef fat and was baked at a high heat?
Just doing a search on the internet a good portion of the recipes called for oil or butter rather than fat.
I have an old Betty Crocker cookbook that was given to me decades ago and it uses collected beef fat from a rib roast and add shortening if need be. Hubby's family cookbook uses beef fat as well. His grandma told us when the cookbook was given - "don't drink too much before you make the Yorkshire pudding. If you forget about it you'll catch the oven on fire". Oye! LOL!

I think I'll try the Gordon Ramsay recipe, thanks Dreamcatcher!
 
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I love Gordon Ramsay!
Quick story, we went to Vegas with another couple a few years ago. The guys had made reservations at Gordan Ramsay Steak as a surprise. Not knowing where we were headed for dinner, in the car, passing one of the casinos Gordon was stepping out on a stage in front of a large crowd. I don't get star struck but I was so excited to see him from a far. Then surprise, we ate at one of his restaurants, which was very good. Our waiter didn't think he was going to make an appearance in that restaurant but he gave us little gift bags with an autographed photo of Gordon realizing we were fans.
I use a lot of his recipes!


Yorkshire pudding as I thought used melted beef fat and was baked at a high heat?
Just doing a search on the internet a good portion of the recipes called for oil or butter rather than fat.
I have an old Betty Crocker cookbook that was given to me decades ago and it uses collected beef fat from a rib roast and add shortening if need be. Hubby's family cookbook uses beef fat as well. His grandma told us when the cookbook was given - "don't drink too much before you make the Yorkshire pudding. If you forget about it you'll catch the oven on fire". Oye! LOL!

I think I'll try the Gordon Ramsay recipe, thanks Dreamcatcher!
Yep, most Yorkshire pudding recipes now show vegetable oil. They're still showing the high heat cooking and I haven't seen a recipe that calls for lard or beef drippings in years. I guess because everyone is trying to be PC nowadays.
 

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Thanks @aubie for sharing that Charlie Brown link! My family loves the holiday special and were devastated to find out that Apple got the rights for it.

I already pay for Hulu, Netflix and Prime so I felt buying yet another streaming service would just be ridiculous. I'll have to find the show and get it recording so I don't forget!
 

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I'm never ready for Thanksgiving it always creeps up on me and this year is no different.

It was going to be just five for dinner. But son-in-law called a couple days ago and said he and the two youngest grands are getting cabin fever and coming over. It will be great to see them.

I usually open my house and the dinner to area ranch cowboys who can't get to family for the day. This year none of them really want to come to town because of the virus. Their bosses will have them over. So I'll just drop off Christmas treats over the next couple weeks to the various camps.
 

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We are going next door to my parents. 2 of my brothers and their family will be there but we are under the 25 people limit so it's all good. Plus we all live in close proximity and follow the rules. We wear masks, hand sanitize, etc. No hugs or kisses blah blah blah.

We will probably meet my husbands parents in town for a brunch or lunch at some point. We won't go to their house or have them in our house because we don't know what they do as far as protocol is and they go out and about day in and day out. I already informed him there will be no hugging and kissing. and they WILL maintain distance.

I know that doesn't seem friendly but we'll see each other so....

I was going to work 8 days a pay period for about a month but they just sent us back to 5 days a pay period. We have to sanitize our offices, where masks and take out our own trash. The cleaning crew is special needs and they keep getting quarantined for COVID. They just aren't as careful with the hand washing and even though they were gloves and masks they keep touching their faces. AND they put them in a bus to bring them to work each day. I think they need to figure out a different method of transportation or they need to stagger their schedules so they bring in half at a time so they can be one to a seat.

I love Thanksgiving because everyone gets together and because it signals the start of the Christmas season. That's when people seem to be the friendliest. Although lately with social media I feel like our world has turned dark. I shall watch the Hallmark channel... that always makes it better :)
 
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I am pleased to hear how many people are being super careful and caring about protecting their family , especially treasured Grandparents. Good on you! Becuase the new format does not show which area of your country you come from, I can't see which state or major area you are describing. But, I know that covid is bad all over now, so at least we can all suffer the inconvenience together.

We will have a small family meal. For me, the best part is the gravy. If the gravy is good, everything else is . . . . well . . . gravy. I smoke whole portobello mushroom over the summer, over a wood fire. I use some of these now frozen treats , chopped up, to make my gravy have an earthy, smoked taste that is out of thsi world!

The stuffing made with smoked clams (canned) is yummy!!!

We do one apple and one pumpkin pie. The secret to a really good apple pie is a teaspoon of almond extract in the filling. REmember that!


Hope you all have a great meal, unburdened with expectations from former years. This year just can't be compared to any other.
 

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Oh, I think I've told this story before, but it's a good one.

So, like way back in 1986 i was living in Tokyo. I taught conversational English, and I had some students with whom I'd formed a real freindship. I invited a half dozen to my apt. for a 'real' American thanksgiving dinner.

I wanna tell you, I had to go over hiil and dale to find a real turkey in Tokyo, but I did. and real yams. MOst people in Japan do not do much actual baking, so they don't have more than a toaster over. But I had this unique 'over' that was basically a metal box that you put over a gas burner and the double walled box allowed the heat to go up and around the item you put inside the box, to bake.

Not your best oven, but it got the heat onto all sides. So, I barely fit this small turkey in. I made the gravy, mashed potatoes, yams with marshmellows on top, green beans, pumpkin pie , etc.

When my guests came, after I'd worked my tush off, and I put the meal onto each plate and we say on the floor Japanese style around a low table, they all looked at their plates and I could see from their facial expressions how hard it was for them to not show my how revolted they were by the various piles of goopy or dripping dull brown or white foods. Everything just slopped onto the plate, sauces oozing into the neighboring item. "It looks delicious" they managed to say, but I could see that they were forcing themselves to say that.

You see, Japanese food is all about looking fresh, colorful and things do not 'mix' with other things on the plate. Sauces are put on later, by the diner, as they wish, and there is very little 'brown' food. It looked revolting to them, but God bless them, they pretended and ate, . . and even admitted that it tasted better than they thought it would

end of story.
 
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