Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Many of you asked what I cooked for Thanksgiving, so I am doing a special, non-Sunday post. Thanksgiving is my favorite meal to cook all year! I love the traditional foods, and the aromas of turkey and baking seem to fill the house with love and comfort. This year was very different from past Thanksgiving celebrations, but it was great. We have always had a special gathering of dear friends for a huge feast, but due to the circumstances this year, I decided to skip a year for this event. Next year will be bigger and better than ever! So this year, we had Jeff's family over for dinner, and it was a great evening. Jeff helped a lot, and everyone brought a dish or two to share. Of course, I did the bird, my mother's cornbread dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes and salt and pepper cream biscuits. It was Jeff's mom's birthday, so I also baked a coconut cake for her. Jeff made his famous pecan pie but added some bourbon at the advice of my Facebook/college friend, Betty Crowell. It was delicious as usual! We also made a sweet potato pie from this month's Southern Living, and it turned out just like the cover photo! For the turkey, I used a young kosher turkey since they are processed with salt and do not need brining. It turned out very moist, and we combined a couple of roasting methods from Alton Brown and Martha Stewart. For the first time, I tried Martha's cheesecloth method of covering the turkey, and it worked beautifully! The bird was perfectly browned, and the skin was crispy. I will use it again next year. As always, I also cooked a separate turkey breast for leftovers! We had open faced turkey sandwiches last night, and they were divine! I will use the remaining leftovers for Sunday supper this week. While I have had "issues" with the gravy in years past, it was perfect this year! I decided to abandon the painstaking recipes and just go with my gut, and the gravy was amazing. I cooked my mom's cornbread dressing in a huge cast iron skillet, and it was also a big hit. Of course, the salt and pepper cream biscuits were in demand, and I always think of my friend, Matt Porter, when I make them. Both Matt and Jeff have labeled them "Bill's Crack Biscuits!"

So even though circumstances change, love and comfort food prevail. My dear friends and family are always close in spirit, and new traditions and extended families gather to give thanks for abundance. I hope everyone had an equally joyful Thanksgiving, and I wish you a hearty and abundant holiday season.
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