[77] Whole Roasted Turkey Without the Gravy

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

And now we come to the main event. A 22.5 lb monstrosity of an event. A gorgeous event.

Now, I have to admit to you something. Icing the turkey breast is nowhere near Mr. Bittman’s method. His method also assumes you WILL make gravy, which we didn’t (as you can see from the title). That leaves us with having actually made a variant on this recipe. I’m okay with that, though some of my readers may call foul.

I’d be sad if you guys did that.

So, let’s not. Let’s just get on to this gorgeous bird. I was pretty darn proud of it, I have to say.

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[76] Mashed Baked Potatoes

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

This is the second to last recipe that counted for this challenge from Thanksgiving. It’s also the second of two that I failed to remember to take photos. My apologies.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about why I did a slightly different recipe than Mr. Bittman’s traditional mashed potato recipe. I had two reasons, both very simple. First, because I was convinced (erroneously, it turns out) I had already made mashed potatoes (version 1) for this site. Obviously part of this challenge is to get me to spread my wings in the kitchen, so minimizing repeats is important. It’s also important if I ever want to buy another cookbook again in my whole forever life. Secondly, and even more basely, I picked this recipe because Bittman says that baking the potatoes, rather than boiling them, dries them out and allows them to soak up even more milk and butter.… Continue reading →

[75] Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

One of the tricks to planning Thanksgiving, they say, is to make as much ahead as possible. I believe them. I believe them as I have never believed them before. I still don’t know who “they” are, but I utterly believe them.

I just didn’t listen to them much.

Honestly, this is because I struggled to plan a Thanksgiving feast for four that would still be fairly traditional, with way too much food, without being WAY too much food. I also couldn’t decide what really needed to be made the day of the celebration. Some things, I knew could be made ahead (the mashed potatoes and cranberries, for example).

I knew the brussels sprouts really needed to be made Thanksgiving day. I hesitated on roasting them, since my oven would be fairly busy most of the day, but decided that a roast during the turkey’s rest period would be just fine.… Continue reading →

[74] Firm Cranberry Sauce

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

This Thanksgiving, there was great temptation to jettison anything I don’t like to eat. After all, I’m the cook. Also, there were only going to be four people eating. Finally, our guests would have NO IDEA what’s traditional and what’s not.

I’m telling you this because, yes, I was tempted to dump the cranberry sauce. It’s never been a Thanksgiving food I enjoy. Bill, however, wanted some and I’d bought a pile of cranberries for cranberry liquor (to be posted sometime in February), and had some leftover. Also, I wanted another recipe for this challenge. Man, that’s a song you all have heard before, eh?

I’m really glad I made it. It’s still not my favorite food, but I did enjoy this batch. Probably my tastebuds have matured and the added sugar helps.… Continue reading →

[72] Baked Potatoes

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

You guys, I have to be honest with you here. The first photo for this recipe was, apparently, taken at 10:42 pm CST on the day before Thanksgiving. That means I was tired and stressed out, but also desperately seeking yet another recipe to be executed.

You see, Thanksgiving was not the glut of recipes I expected it to be. Largely, this is because I had to keep the feasting down to a reasonable amount for four people. As you can imagine, this was hard to do. When I thought we might have between eight and ten, I was thinking maybe four or five pies and several sides and a monster turkey and so on. When it finally came to just four people, I had to 1) reign in my instincts quite a bit and 2) give myself permission to make things I’d been drooling over for days, even though they didn’t apply to the challenge.… Continue reading →