Thanksgiving 2017 is on the books. It was a bit of a sad Thanksgiving this year as it was the first Thanksgiving without Grandma W. That first Thanksgiving is always awkward. Awkward and sad. This proved to be no different. And it was strange because my Father-in-laws house is always booming with people. Not this year though. There was still a fair amount of us, but still, it was different. (more…)
I saw a friend posted on Facebook yesterday (I think it was) a question asking if everyone had that perfect, Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner. Then she asked what about those who had no one. I am paraphrasing. I guess I never really thought about it truthfully. We have Thanksgiving whether it’s my extended family or just my close family, either way, we celebrate it. In 2011, hubby and I made our first Thanksgiving meal. Prior to that we just attended Thanksgiving at family’s house.
I always had a goal to make a turkey. In 2012 we made our first Bacon Wrapped turkey. Yum! I think having a turkey is the only “traditional thing” we do. We play with sides. We play with turkey recipes. We’re not traditionalists. I remember one year at my aunt’s house she said we were having a “grown-up” Thanksgiving meal. It was good, but the only traditional part was having a turkey. I wish I was into taking pictures that Thanksgiving (as I am now) so I had a memory of what we actually had… I remember steamed green beans, roasted potato chunks, and that’s about my recollection of that menu.
But… do we have that Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner? Good question. Here’s what Thanksgiving looks like at our house, give or take….
Hello Thanksgiving! Truth be told my favorite time of year is between Thanksgiving and New Years. I love the food of Thanksgiving, the fun and reasons for Christmas, the joys that come over the New Year, and then bam, January hits. I’m not a huge fan of January, sorry January, nothing against you and we can still be friends 😀.
Anyway, this year after I have a new found love of decorating sugar cookies, I thought I’d take my stab at Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies. I had no idea what I was going to do with them once they were baked/decorated, but by golly that wasn’t going to stop me. I sent them with my dad to work. He said his co-workers loved them and one even took what was left at the end of the day home. Yey :). Don’t worry, I ate 1 1/2 cookies. They were good 😁.
For Thanksgiving dessert, I chose a Cherry Pie. That was my initial thought even though we don’t have any cherries from our old Cherry tree, but then I found them, Sour (aka tart) Cherries at the store. I bought 4 packages. I only needed 1 but put the other 3 in the freezer for a rainy day. And that is a turkey on the top of my pie, not a Chicken. Just clarifying!
After selling our house and moving in with my parents, I’m back to using my mom’s stove for cooking. Her stove only has 2 burners (normal ovens have 4) so I decided to make our Green Bean Casserole the night before, then just reheat it in the oven day of. We don’t normally have Green Bean Casserole but we’re kind of on a healthy kick here at my house and I thought, well we needed a vegetable and we’ve eaten a lot of green beans so I went on the hunt for a “healthy” green bean casserole to change it up a bit. The one I found didn’t let us down!!
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that all your meals turn out as fabulous as our first Thanksgiving of the season did. Holy Wow! 1st Thanksgiving what? So, the NCHA futurity is going on in Ft. Worth, Texas right now and my uncle has some horses entered. When we started discussing Thanksgiving plans last month, we weren’t sure when he’d draw to show, plus the fact that this isn’t our year to have Tbug on Thanksgiving so we just decided to celebrate Thanksgiving last weekend. It was perfect.
There are 6 of us that headed to my aunts house in southern Oklahoma and right now we only have vehicles that will haul 5 people at a time so Abug, Mom, and I loaded up first thing Friday and drove down to AC & UB’s. Hubby took the day off to try his luck at deer hunting and be ready to pick Tbug up after school, come home and have chores done, pick dad up after work, and then they headed out. I should mention that they swung by J.L’s BBQ in Pryor (which is a little out of the way…..) for dinner before heading on to AC & UB’s but that’s okay 😘.
When AC & UB were up last month for a horse show, we ran to Sam’s Club and AC bought me a Cast Iron cookbook with the “stipulation” that I had to make something out of it for Thanksgiving. I decided to make the Orange Rolls (kind of like Cinnamon Rolls) for breakfast for Saturday morning. They were a little dry, but very good.
Backtrack with me a few years, 2011 to be exact. For YEARS and I’m talking YEARS I’ve wanted to make Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve heard making a turkey is difficult to keep moist yet get thoroughly cooked, etc. 2011 I was given the opportunity to try. The year before if you’ll remember Pioneer Woman challenged Bobby Flay to a Thanksgiving Off (or whatever they called it).
I made her turkey, stuffing, etc. I almost made her exact meal, but not quite. Anyway, then I went on the hunt one day in 2012 for the perfect Turkey recipe. Does one even exist? Well, I think the answer is yes. I found a recipe for a Bacon Wrapped Turkey. I had the opportunity to make the 2012 Thanksgiving dinner as well, so I knew we were going to try this turkey.
I have to say, we’ve tried to change it up a bit, one year we smoked it, one year we forgot the bacon blanket, etc etc… but if you find something that works, why mess with it? Seriously!
If there’s one thing that hubby and I have come to love to do, it’s preparing a Thanksgiving turkey. Obviously if we go somewhere, that’s great too, but when we get the opportunity, we jump on it.
This year was one of those years. So a couple weeks before Thanksgiving we made out our menu, planned out our plan of execution, made out the shopping list, and cleaned house. Cleaning house included rearranging some too… we invited 16 people to our humble little abode so we needed to make sure we had room to set up tables. Easy Peasy! Yup, Abug was helping daddy move the old desk out of the living room :).
We were able to get Tbug on Tuesday night. Tuesday afternoon Abug and I started working on one of the desserts, a recipe that my aunt makes when we go to her house. This cake is awesome! Chocolate, chocolate ganache, a praline topping, what more could you ask for? Oh yeah, there were like 6 other options for Thanksgiving…. (and ignore my fashion sense, remember, there’s a reason I’m not a fashion blogger!)
Can you believe we’re at Thanksgiving week? Didn’t we just ring in the New Year? This year has flown by. In the last couple days I have been putting together a document on Christmases and as we’re approaching my favorite time of the year, between Thanksgiving and New Years, I’ve been a scrooge the last 3 or 4 years at Christmas time. How the heck does that happen? I wish I had an answer but I don’t. Maybe this year will be better? Here’s to hoping!
My mom laughs at hubby and me because we write our Thanksgiving game plan out with courses, how long they cook, at what temperature they cook and even when we need to start working on them to get them in the oven at the correct time.
One of the recipes we’re making this year is a Tennessee Whiskey Cake with Candied Pecans. Hubby was going to buy some candied pecans, but I told him I would find a recipe and make my own so that’s just what I did yesterday… made my own candied pecans. Can I tell you how easy they were because wow, they were! The hardest part was I accidentally dropped my egg yolk into the egg white I was separating out and broke it while I was at it. Bummer!
That just meant I had to start over. Seriously, separating the egg white from the egg yolk is the hardest part of this recipe.
You drop the white into a mixer (or do it by hand, I was being lazy), bring to a frothy white, add brown sugar, fold in the Pecans, spread on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a 175˚ oven for an hour and a half. And…. then you have Candied Pecans.
In 2012 I was surfing the internet one day and found a recipe for a Bacon Wrapped Turkey. I knew that we were going to be cooking Thanksgiving again this year so I shot the recipe to hubby and asked what he thought. He read through it and said he was in. So the next task was gathering the ingredients.
We’ve made it 2 years now and plan on making it again this year. (last year hubs thought he’d do it but smoked it instead of the oven. Then we forgot our bacon blanket….) The Turkey
This recipe is for an 18-20lb turkey but extremely easy to adjust for bigger or smaller. And make sure that if you’re using a frozen turkey you give ample time to defrost it!
What you’ll need:
A large plastic bag (optional, it’s just used for the brining process)
A platter or pan that fits the turkey in the fridge (I use a big stock pot and no bag and get along fine)
A roasting pan that fits the turkey (and fits in your oven. Check, this is important!)
A probe-style meat thermometer.
A turkey (remember, if it’s frozen, give it ample time to defrost!)
Lots of Kosher Salt
1 1/2 pounds bacon
1/2 pound butter
Fresh herbs: sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, marjoram, rosemary
Roasting Vegetables: carrots, celery, onions, apples
Brining the turkey:
Dry Brine the turkey. It works great and is super simple. We learned don’t brine the turkey more than 24 hours in advance or it gets too salty. One year we salted it Monday night and wow, the turkey was way to salty and my husband salts his food and he kept claiming that it was too salty. Remove all the interior parts from the bird. Discard them or use them for stock, or the giblets for gravy. Wash the bird well, inside and out. Place the bird in your brining bag or pot of choice. Rub kosher salt all over the turkey, inside and out. Use a lot of salt. Wash your hands. Put the turkey in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Thoroughly wash the sink you rinsed the turkey in and your hands.
For the Butter:
You can make this up to a week in advance to help with time on Thanksgiving day, especially if you have to get up at the crack of dawn for a noon lunch. We eat in the evening so there isn’t as much of a push but we still make the butter in advance.
In a food processor, add 1/2 lb raw bacon slices, 1/2 lb butter and generous handfuls of the herbs (sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, marjoram, rosemary). I don’t have exact measurements we use for each of the herbs, just play around with it, we do every year. haha. Place the lid on the food processor and blend together until it makes a smooth paste.
Now if you’re going to store, place in an airtight container.
Never do we have the same year twice when it comes to holidays, even when we try to pick the same menu… This year proved no different. We weren’t able to go to Oklahoma to be with my aunt and uncle this year so we stayed home and planned Thanksgiving here.
Hubby wanted to go in to his dad’s house as well, so we planned our meal that evening and went in to his dad’s house for lunch.
When we got to his dads house, baby girl was asleep but she immediately woke up. Memaw swooped her up and took her around the house to talk to everyone. Liss lost count but said upward of 50 people were there. My FIL said he thought closer to 60. That means there were 60 people in his house… oy! 🙂
We definitely had to come in our Thanksgiving Best. We may not have totally cooperated for pictures of our best, but we definitely brought our A-game in the dress department. But just let it be known, we still don’t like shoes.