So, heading into the holiday, I was still recuperating from a very nasty cold. It got a little bit better each day, and now is nearly gone (barring a small bit of residual sinus congestion). Thursday, Troll went off to his parents house for dinner...I stayed home in bed with the cold (and the cat). Had ramen noodles for dinner. Snuggled the cat a lot.
Friday we both got up early and commenced cooking and cleaning for company! All day and far into the night we labored. Up early Saturday, too, for the finishing touches. The meal turned out beautifully. Some highlights:
- juiciest turkey ever - this was a cheap freebee bird from the local grocery store. Before pulling it out of the oven, we drained somewhere in the neighborhood of FIVE QUARTS of delicious liquid out of the pan. Gravy for days, I tells ya.
- stuffings 1 and 2. I decided to make two stuffings this year. I've been curious about chestnut stuffing for awhile now, and wasn't satisfied with last year's attempt. Enter Trader Joe's. I bought a jar of peeled chestnuts there, making life ever so much easier, then mixed them with the vacuum sealed bag of cooked wild rice I found there! Coolest. Thing. Ever. Added an assortment of things to flavor it with, and I now have a chestnut stuffing recipe worthy of the name.
- I learned that 1 loaf of bread is enough for my regular stuffing. Three is some kind of crazy overkill.
- I've never before been a turkey-skin eater. The skin on this turkey was the exception. The whole bird came out flavored marvelously, the skin was crisp and delectable, and the breast so tender and juicy that it was alarming! And yet, not so overcooked as to fall off the bone (my usual mistake).
- my cranberry gell didn't gell. I suspect I cooked it too long.
- the Jacob's Creek shiraz was a delicious addition to the meal; simple and yummy.
- I realized that what MAKES the holiday for me is twofold: the smell of roasting turkey through the house, and the LEFTOVERS. I've been eating leftover for days now, and loving it(okay, so we went out for vietnamese for dinner last night...STILL eating turkey today and loving it).