No One Got Sick at Our Thanksgiving! Win!

Thanksgiving at our house turned out far, far better than it had any right to be. We’re a very lucky couple.

As we have the last two years, we decided to throw open our Thanksgiving to anyone who didn’t have any place else to go (or didn’t want to go the where they did have, I suppose). The net effect of this is that we never quite know how many people we’re going to have until Black Friday. This year, we were settled for a good long time on two guests, so I ordered a turkey that was a little big for four people, just in case one or two more people decided to join us at the last minute.

A bit more than one or two more guests later, I decided to go looking for a bigger turkey. Yes, I know this song sounds vaguely familiar. I ended up with a frozen 20 lb Broad Breasted White from Gunthorp Farms.

Yes. It was someone’s turkey from last year that had been in super deep freeze. I got it on Sunday, did the math, and figured it’d be ready to go by Thursday.

Wednesday, I again attempted to make cranberry sauce in a lobster jello mold. I also made Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes, and Imbibe’s Jamaican Spiced Pumpkin Pie with a twist. Day of, I roasted up the turkey, Bill made Pioneer Woman’s No Knead Rolls, and we set to tidying.

Our guests brought plenty of sparkling wine, an apple pie, bacon-wrapped dates, a garlic and cilantro dip, a shaved Brussels sprout salad, and a broccoli-sesame salad. I laid out some cheese and crackers and chips and salsa for appetizers (and we all swooned over the dates), and we truly had a feast.

In particular, we had an appetizer feast. And relaxed guests. I could not be more thankful for my Thanksgiving appetizer feast, sparkling wine and relaxed guests. Truly.

Why? Because you know what it turned out we DIDN’T have? A fully thawed turkey!

I pulled a gorgeous turkey out of the oven, the thermometer told me it was done and the juices from the thermometer hole ran clear. So we let it rest for 30 minutes and then got to carving. Whereupon we discovered translucent, cold, turkey. RAW turkey. And our guests knew we’d gotten to carving it.

I had a little bit of a mini-freakout, but Tatiana and Bill got me through it. Tatiana made gravy in the roasting pan, Bill got me cookie sheets and anything else that could go in the oven, and I broke that bird down and started roasting all over again.

The turkey survived that far better than you could imagine. Don’t get me wrong. The turkey was, in fact, a bit dry. But it actually wasn’t totally cardboard and Bill and I both didn’t need (though he had) gravy to make it tasty1.

And, so, we feasted. We later dived into the pies, and I was thrilled that my semi-experimental pumpkin-coconut rum pie was a hit. You can bet I’ll be making that one again. And once I smooth out exactly what I need to do to replicate it, I’ll share a recipe here. I just need to figure out what to do with the excess pie. Bill and I certainly don’t need to have a ton of pies lying around2.

I hope your Thanksgiving was as good as mine, or better. I hope your cranberry sauce also finally gelled. I hope you had as many laughs, or more, as we did. I hope your guests took the expected number of leftovers home3.

All in all, I hope your Thanksgiving was the beginning to a truly wonderful holiday season.

fn1. I actually had some of Tatiana’s gravy a couple days later. Though I am normally a gravy-hater, I quite liked it. Tatiana, please leave a comment telling me what the hell you did there! IT WAS MAGIC.

fn2. How do recipe writers and normal food bloggers do it? Do they just have a greater knack than I do? (Undoubtedly.) Do their families just never object to regularly repeated same meals? I wonder about other food bloggers a great deal, honestly.

fn3. Is this only a problem I have? In any case, thankfully, this year’s guests did a great job of taking copious leftovers. I am grateful.

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