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View Full Version : Thanksgiving's around the corner!!!



Barbara
11-21-2002, 06:56 PM
Okay, this is a first for me. I'm hosting Thanksgiving for my in-laws since no other relative of Pete's family has asked them to join them. After Pete's only sister died from cancer, his two brothers haven't done much to keep the family together. His sister was the glue of the family. She made them all stick together.

This will be a fait accompli since we possess an antique 1923 gas stove that has enough space to cook a turkey in a 14" roasting pan, and not anything more - height- or width-wise. I have a love/hate relationship with this stove. It has no thermostat (I use an oven thermometer all the time), cooks unevenly, and I have to get it up to speed for at least 20 minutes on anything delicate and keep checking it every 10 minutes afterward. It's really holding me back on being a better-than-average home cook. On the other hand, it costs less than the commercial-for-the-home range/six burner baby I am drooling over. Plus, it's cute as a button and the talk of anyone who sees it and can't believe I cook stuff like I do. (yes SPetty and MikeM, those pecans were cooked in this very stove!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif)

But I digress. I've already figured out how to cook that green bean casserole Pete really wants in the "broiler" part without torching the unsuspecting thing.

Last night I polished all my silver (plate), and got out my best linens and cleaned my china. And I am genuinely happy to play hostess. I mean, I really like throwing a party and making everyone eat themselves to happiness/bursting point. I really would've liked to have been a caterer or a cook for a small family.

But this isn't about me. It's about family. And those who don't have family but you take them into your house anyway for a meal and company. And maybe at any time during the year, but especially at Thanksgiving. And even if you don't see eye to eye with them the rest of the time, you can put your differences aside and try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Because you never know when you'll never have the chance to make that choice again.

I'm looking forward to next Thursday and having his folks stay over.

And I know it's early, but I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, too.

So now share, whatcha you doing for T-day???

Barbara~~~crossing fingers the innocent casserole won't be toast... /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

9 Ball Girl
11-21-2002, 09:11 PM
I'll be heading out to my Big Sis' place for Thanksgiving. She's a really good cook and like you, loves to play hostess. I'm not big on showing up empty handed so I'll be bringing dessert--Dominican cake--among others that I'm sure will be there.

Paul_Mon
11-22-2002, 05:50 AM
Barbara,
About 15 years ago my wife and I were stressing over how we always have so much traveling to do on Turkey day. Our family is quite large and we all take turns but with in-laws and out-laws we always seemed to be packing up kids, toys, food and moving from one house to another. What we decided to try one year was renting a cabin a the local park and hosting Thanksgiving for the entire family. More like an open house.

The results were fantastic. The only drawback was that no cabins are available on Thanksgiving day so we moved it to the Friday after. We now enjoy Thanksgiving without football on TV, we play football instead. A couple of times we've had heavy snow and can go sledding right nearby. The younger kids put on a stage show every year. But the highlight is the bingo game. Everyone wins eventually and the "prizes" are all rigged and comical.

This year my son is bringing three of his Army buddies with him when he comes home. They live far from the base and can't make it home in the short time they have off. I imagine the younger kids will learn something new from these guys.

Best wishes to you and good luck with the bird. BTW, why don't you consider deep frying the bird. Those fryer's do a great job at about 4 minutes per pound.

Paul Mon~~~~~~~gets to watch Football on Thanksgiving Day

Rich R.
11-22-2002, 06:25 AM
Barbara, if you have a BBQ grill with a rotisserie, you can do the turkey on that. I have done many and they are delicious. Then your stove is free to cook whatever else you wish.

By the way, I have one of those " commercial-for-the-home range/six burner" babies. They are great and worth every penny (read: lots of pennies). Go for it.

bluewolf
11-22-2002, 06:36 AM
ww and I are deciding whether to go home for thanksgiving. I am currently home with pneumonia, so figure that will be a factor. But I was able to be able to drag myself to the pool table for a short workout yesterday, so am hopeful.

We also have a problem with dogs. Holidays are something I always looked forward to, but since marrying ray and we always have to deal with his brother's mean boxer who tries to fight whatever dog I have,this kinda spoils things. So we are always having to think of creative ways to keep them separated <G>
so we will see.

blu

eg8r
11-22-2002, 07:02 AM
I have to say, we will be thankful. I moved my wife out here to Texas away from her entire family. She did not want to come out here, and she has been unhappy really since we moved here. Well this Thanksgiving is lifting her spirits more than I have been able to do this whole time (we have been here for 4 months and still have 2.5 years to go). Her sister and my brother are on their way out here and will spend the Thanksgiving weekend with us.

Both of us are excited and the 30 degree weather will do nothing to tarnish it. lol (I am originally from S. Fl and I hate the cold).

eg8r

CarolNYC
11-22-2002, 07:52 AM
Well,
Someone better be home today-you know how "sly" I can be!:):)
Carol

Wally_in_Cincy
11-22-2002, 10:13 AM
I swear to you this is a true story.

I was married in a previous life. At night we would put the 2 cats (hers) and the dog (mine) in the basement. One Saturday morning at 5:00 a.m. my dog climbed up to the top of the steps and started barking. She never did that previously. I went to see what was wrong. When I opened the door I smelled gas. The lady that had lived in the house previously had a gas stove in the basement she used for canning. It had those big wing-nuts on the front that turned the gas on. One of the cats had jumped up and turned one with her paw apparently. I turned off the gas, opened all the windows and took the dog to McDonald's for a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit w/ hash brown.

She was a English Springer Spaniel and I thought she was dumb until then. Put her asleep in 1994. Man that sucked. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Barb do you own a cat? /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
11-22-2002, 10:17 AM
Like Paul suggested you should consider deep-frying. It is absolutely the best turkey you will ever eat. It is rather dangerous though.

We would have to ask rackmup but I think that's the only legal way to cook a turkey in Texas now /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Barbara
11-22-2002, 10:37 AM
That sounds like a great Thanksgiving Paul!! The day after - less stress to get somewhere, less hassle, and everyone's in one place that no one has to be responsible for hosting!!

Great idea!!

Barbara /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Barbara
11-22-2002, 10:39 AM
Rich,

I'm going to bake the turkey. I want to stuff it so the stuffing gets the juices from the baking process.

Man, I would love to have a six-burner cook top with two separate ovens!! Talk about some bucks!! But I'd hate to get rid of this stove - it came with the house. Decisions, decisions...

Have a Happy!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Barbara

Kato
11-22-2002, 10:44 AM
I will spend Thanksgiving at my Mom and Pops house with the whole family (36 locals) there. It is a feast of epic proportions with healthy doses of football on the tube. Sunday following I will cook Thanksgiving dinner for my roomate who has no family. I did it last year for him and he was really happy about it. I couldn't think of not doing it again. Besides, I love Thanksgiving feast and I make a kick A$$ bird, stuffed with Grandma's 100 year old recipe.

Kato~~~give me a turkey sandwich and I'll eat it. Give me a turkey and I'll stuff that sum ma ma b$tch.

Barbara
11-22-2002, 10:44 AM
Know what Wally? I'll try deep-frying some other time. I'd rather go with the tried-and true raosting method this time.

And yes, I have 2 cats - The Junior and Spike. That was one smart dog you had. Whenever Pete and I go away for aperiod of time, we turn the gas off because this stove does have a small leak and I do get a whiff of gas sometimes when I come home from work. But there's no way the cats could turn the knobs on this stove, they're too tight.

Enjoy!

Barbara /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Barbara
11-22-2002, 10:46 AM
All right Woman, just what are you up to???

Barbara~~~considers Carol to be the sneakiest person alive... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

rackmup
11-22-2002, 11:10 AM
Deep frying a turkey is a great way to enjoy a very moist bird and can be done safely if certain precautions are followed.

I prepared my turkey on the grill last Thanksgiving, using a variation of the 'Beer-Can Chicken' recipe. It was as moist as the deep-fried bird. I have attached the recipe just in case you are looking for a different way to dazzle your holiday guests!:

BEER-CAN TURKEY

For the Rub

4 teaspoons of sweet paprika
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Additional misc. items

1 can (32 ounces) Foster's Lager
1 Turkey (Can't forget that!) 10-12 pounds, thawed in the fridge if frozen
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

You'll also need:

4 cups wood chips or chunks (oak or apple), soaked for 1 hour in water and/or beer to cover, then drained

1.) Make the Rub

Put the salt, paprika, pepper, sage, oregano, and thyme in a small bowl and stir to mix.

2.) Pop the Tab

Open the beer can. Pour half of the beer over the soaking wood chips or chunks or, pour it into a frosted mug and enjoy it. Hey, your Mother-in-Law is probably over at the house and you could use a drink by now! Using a 'church-key' opener, make two additional holes in the top of the can. Set the can aside for now.

3.) Remove and Discard...

...the trussing clamp if one is holding the turkey legs together. Remove the giblets package from the body cavity of the bird and set aside for another use or discard. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water and then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle two teaspoons of the rub inside the body cavity and 1 teaspoon of the rub inside the neck cavity of the bird. Brush the outside of the bird with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with 1 tablespoon of the rub and rub it all over the skin. Stir 2 tablespoons of the rub into the remaining melted butter and set aside.

4.) Spoon the remaining rub...

...into the beer can through the holes you have made. Don't worry if it foams up: This is normal. Holding the turkey upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, lower it onto the beer can so the can fits inside the body cavity.

5.) Pull the turkey legs forward...

...to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright. The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can. Tuck the wing tips behind the bird's back.

6.) Set up the grill...

...for indirect grilling and preheat to medium heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, place a drip pan in the center. If using a gas grill, place all wood chips or chunks in a smoker box or pouch (aluminum foil pouch with holes punched in it) and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce heat to medium.

7.) When ready to cook,...

...if using a charcoal grill, toss half of the wood chips or chunks on the coals. Stand the turkey up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from direct heat. Cover the grill and cook the turkey until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked through (about 180 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone), 2-2 1/2 hours. If using a charcoal grill, you'll need to add 12 fresh coals per side every hour and toss the remaining wood chips on the coals after the first hour of grilling. Baste the outside of the turkey with the butter/rub mixture every 30 minutes. If the turkey starts to brown too much (and it will have a tendency to do so at the neck end), loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil.

8.) Using tongs...

...hold the turkey by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter. Or, use insulated rubber gloves to pick up the turkey on the beer can and remove it from the grill. Present the turkey to your guests. Let the turkey rest for 10 minutes, then carefully lift it off the beer can. Take care not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself. NO! You cannot chill and drink the beer!

Carve the turkey and serve immediately!

Serves 8-10 people!

The turkey remains very moist because it is cooked by the steam generated by the heated beer! Trust me...this is a great way to cook a turkey!

If using beer is a problem (I promise, Grandma and the children won't be staggering around drunk after consuming a drumstick as the heat burns off the alcohol), fruit juices (peach, pear, pineapple) can be used. You simply buy the can of Fosters, discard the beer (Uncle Leo will drink it!) and add the juice to the can.

Always use an aluminum can and not a steel one (yes, some juices come in steel cans).

A trick to make removing the can from the bird is to spray it with cooking spray before inserting it into the bird.

Want to give Oil-Can Turkey a try but have more questions? Just direct your questions to:

Chef RackMup! @ kenkingan@sbcglobal.net

Bon Appétit!

Ken

stickman
11-22-2002, 11:58 AM
Turkeys started going down in price a few weeks ago, so I decided to do a pre-Thanksgiving test run. I have always smoked a turkey for Thanksgiving, but decided to do the traditional bird this year. I made Turkey and dressing, with mashed potatoes and giblet gravy. I made cranberry sauce, and homemade white sweet bread. I also made banana cranberry bread. Mmmm. It all turned out great. I thought that we might have Thanksgiving dinner here, and I was ready. It turns out that my Sister-in-law has invited all of us to her lake home for Thanksgiving. So it seems that I won't have to do all that cooking afterall. All I have to do is see what she wants me to bring. Not having worked for the last year has made me a pretty darn good cook.

Jim~~~~~the house husband /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fred Agnir
11-22-2002, 12:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> So now share, whatcha you doing for T-day???
<hr /></blockquote>
Cooking. Like everyone else. Because we are located geographically in the center of the Massachusetts relatives, we've hosted Turkey Day more often than not the past few years.

We do the tradional roasted bird. Sometimes I stuff, sometimes I don't. Don't overstuff. The insides of any poultry contain nasties that need to get to a certain minimum temperature. An overstuffed bird will get those nasties into the center of the stuffing where it will fester in the relative coolness and not die.

I also make traditional meat-filled Lumpia, the Filipino version of a meat spring roll. I use ground pork and shrimp, wrapped in Phyllo dough. My father quietly says it's the best he's ever had. My mother gives me an A-. She ought to give me the A+; it's her recipe.

Additionally, for my Filipino relatives, I've cooked up Dinuguan, a pork dish whose sauce is made of vinegar and pig's blood. Not for the faint of heart.

One year when I was younger, my mother didn't want to bother with turkey. So, we had ham and whole lobsters instead. The tragedy of it.

Because of the hosting tribulations, I bake the traditional pumpkin pies and apple pies. I'm not a big fan of chess pies or pecan pies, so I don't do those. About a month ago was the first time I used a real pumpkin rather than canned pumpkin. What a difference. I don't spare the cloves and ginger in my pumpkin pies. Mmmm, Mmmm, good.

Something I tried last year was fried cheese with a sweet creamy cranberry sauce. I had this in Europe and absolutely loved it. They used Camembert, a pungent cheese that, IMO, needs to be southern deep-fried and plunged in sweet sauce to mask its aroma. I used Mozzarella, double-breaded and refrigerated before frying. I just sort of mixed cold heavy cream, sugar and cranberry sauce (yeah, canned) until it tasted ... pretty damned good. You real chefs out there should shoot me for using so many canned ingredients.

And finally, I make a holiday cheeseball, with baked ham and a ton of grated onions. Townhouse crackers filled with fat are a must. I brought one of my cheeseballs to work one year, and now they request it every year. The pressure really sucks.

Fred &lt;~~~ busy

heater451
11-22-2002, 04:03 PM
Just wanted to add another convert to deep-fried turkey way. The skin turns out perfect, and cooks so fast that it seals the moisture in the bird. A friend use to cook them this way at parties.

The downside is the cost of the setup for the fryer, gas, and oil (peanut oil, I think--which could be an allergy hazard).

The upside is, you can cook a turkey in 15 minutes or so.



=========================

Barbara
11-22-2002, 07:45 PM
There's nothing sexier than a man that can cook!!

Barbara~~~yum, yum, yum.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Tom_In_Cincy
11-22-2002, 07:57 PM
Barbara,

One the other hand.. a woman in the kitchen with nothing on but an apron is very appealing.

BTW.. the only way I get breakfast in bed.. is if I sleep in the kitchen

Barbara
11-22-2002, 08:54 PM
Stickman,

I applaud you!! Wives like to come home to a home-cooked meal, too!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Barbara~~~my hubby orders out... /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Barbara
11-22-2002, 08:57 PM
RJ,

That's sweet you share a meal with your roomie. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

I'm wishing you the best with all your family.

Barbara~~~ordering up special treats for Kato!!

Barbara
11-22-2002, 09:00 PM
And I hope you find that as often as you want to, Tom!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Barbara

Barbara
11-22-2002, 09:05 PM
Ken,

You crack me up beyond belief!! Yeah, you see how I write, no where near as erudite and savvy as you!! I love your posts!! Keep 'em coming and keep the faith!!

Barbara~~~ /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif!

Tom_In_Cincy
11-22-2002, 09:35 PM
Fortunately for me.. I do all the cooking.. I have a music stand that I use to place my cook book on, and a piece of plastic to cover the book pages.. from my sloppy splattering of all the ingredients..

I've been cooking for me and my family (every thanksgiving, all the trimings) since the mid 70s.

Turkey, dressing, potatoes, veggies, and pumkin pies..

I really enjoy cooking... as long as I have a cold beverage near by..

rackmup
11-23-2002, 12:19 AM
Barbara,

I'm uncertain if you believed my post but it is an actual recipe that results in a great turkey.

Chicken can be prepared the same way, only a smaller can of beer and less cooking time.

Regards,

Ken

Voodoo Daddy
11-23-2002, 09:00 PM
Voodoo will be handling the T-giving fare this year. My sister is a doll, so beautiful it baffles the mind but her cooking borders on pestilence. So I will get to her house at 7AM and start cook the "old sicilian" way by baking bread, making 7-layer Lasgna, cooking the bird "UPSIDE DOWN" so all the bird is juicy and preparing all that goes with it. My mom will handle desert 'cause I refuse to become Betty "F"ing Crocker at 38 years old. Then later I will go hang at world famous Hollywood Billiards...they always have a T-giving spread there and some good people too. Hope all has the T-giving day you deserve..... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

CarolNYC
11-24-2002, 03:22 AM
OOPS! Sorry,
Tomorrow is the day! The cable guy is coming,ha ha ha ha ha(only kidding) but somethings coming!
love ya and have a nice Thanks giving! to you and all!
Carol