A few weeks ago, I made the decision to pretend to be American for a day. After all, who doesn’t like turkey? Plus, 14.29% of the dinner party was American, so it was a justified excuse for roasting a turkey. Not that dinner parties or turkey-consumption need justification.
Juggling busy grad-student lives, we postponed Thanksgiving dinner to Friday. Served, of course, with a traditional side of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Mid-bite with friends, I also realised that this was the closest thing I’ve ever had to a “traditional” thanksgiving, and that the boy and I will likely be hosting other large feasts to come. Although my family does the turkey thing twice a year (for (Canadian) T-giving and Christmas), it’s never with all of the fixings. I was rather pleased with our menu:
- spinach pear salad topped with walnuts, pomegranate & sauvagine in a simple balsamic-apple butter dressing
- jasmine & wild rice and mushroom stuffing (loosely inspired by this)
- pan fried garlic green beans
- sticky carrots (a la Jamie Oliver)
- mashed potatoes with sage & caramelized onions
- (of course) turkey
- homemade chocolate torte (served with a homemade cranberry sauce)
- nut brown ale (the boy’s last batch of beer)
- spiced apple cider
A 12-lb bird generously fed 7, with some leftovers to spare. Only having made turkey once in my life, this rendition turned out rather well – that is, the boy did a fabulous job brining & roasting. Using a basic brine of 1/2 cup salt & 1/2 cup sugar to 1 gallon of water, citrus was added as well; thank goodness we managed (barely!) fit the bird into our 5 gallon stock pot. At 325F, the bird was done in about 2 3/4 hours to 165F.