For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has meant 30 plus people at my parents' house, eating, drinking, eating, praying, eating, and socializing.
This year, for the first time, one of my babies will be missing. Lauren will be in Europe for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years'. Waah...That (plus the 20# turkey sitting in my freezer) was my motivation for yesterday's Thanksgiving feast. I prepared a scaled back version of the traditional dinner, but it hit the high notes: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cran-raspberry sauce, and veggies. No sweet potatoes, no homemade rolls, and one dessert choice instead of a dozen, but what we had was yummy.
Following a Cook's Illustrated recipe (from 2008), I cut the turkey apart. Saturday night I made broth with the back and wings, and on Sunday roasted the breast and legs (now just a little over 10#).Separating the pieces helps the dark meat finish cooking before the breast dries out, and the whole operation takes much less time. It roasted on a rack over onions, garlic, celery, carrots, thyme, and broth. The broth went into the gravy. Since we tend to serve our turkey already carved,there was no whole-bird tableside presentation to spoil.AND I didn't dry out the white meat! I've cooked only a handful of turkeys in my life, so getting it right is NOT a no-brainer.
Homemade cran-razz is an easy family favorite. I'll post the recipe soon.We didn't forget Dusty.Oh, the one dessert? Lauren and I decided on a pumpkin cake. I considered making pumpkin ice cream to accompany it, but Lauren was intrigued by a recipe for nutmeg ice cream in one of our cookbooks. That got my brain spinning, and I found a recipe for eggnog ice cream online. Yum!
It was eggier/more custardy (duh) than the recipe we had, and called for a teaspoon of nutmeg plus 2 Tablespoons of rum. This ice cream was quite popular, and a perfect foil for the cake.We'll miss our girl in November, so I'm glad we made the effort (Did you see the real, hand washed china?) to celebrate early.