this entry will mostly consist of gratuitous pictures of food and my impossibly juicy turkey of which i am inordinately (and justifiably) proud. behold!!!
the convection oven at my parentals place always messes me up...that sucker (18lbs, stuffed) was done in 3 hours!!!!! i also pull my turkey out of the fridge a few hours before i want to start it in the oven, so that there isn't the catch up time. health canada would probably tell you that this is terribly dangerous and a breeding ground for salmonellla, but i would beg to differ. i don't recommend it if you have people in your party who are immune compromised or leery of food-borne illness, because those are the ones that will get sick and ruin a good thing (ie. raw milk cheese, jack-in-the-box hamburgers) with their delicate gastrointestinal systems. i figure if you're taking the turkey up to an internal and external temp that will kill the bacteria, then not having it be straight-from-the-fridge icy does no harm in the long run.
i grease up the bird with butter and season liberally with salt and pepper. then i take cheesecloth and soak it in a mixture of white wine and melted butter and drape that over the breast. when we're nearing completion (i use a digital probe thermometre, set to go off at 170F) i take the cheesecloth off and let the breast brown. i also baste with this mixture, which makes for really tasty and rich pan juices.
i ended up letting the turkey rest out for nearly an hour which resulted in very juicy, tender, and still-piping hot meat, the best of all worlds. my sister paid me the ultimate compliment by saying that my turkey is the only one she looks forward to. i don't know what it is about w.p's...but they like to roast that bird into dry, desiccated submission, and often commit the more egregious offense of THROWING AWAY THE SKIN! the SKIN!!!!!!!! the best part of the bird, bar none! in some misguided attempt to CUT FAT! even whilst they're glomming candied sweet potatoes and green bean casserole held together with great glops of campbell's cream of mushroom soup! it's such a tragedy.
clockwise from the top right, we have: dark meat, white meat, roasted garlic mashed potatoes (passed through a food mill...no lumps here!), stuffing baked in a casserole, my sister's zucchini casserole topped with crushed ritz crackers and bound with an unholy amount of cheese, stuffing from inside the bird, and brussels sprouts and carrot casserole with horseradish mayo.
here's a shot of the plate, featuring all of the above and a healthy slurp of gravy and my family's beloved pillsbury crescent rolls. we loves us some crescent rolls.
pumpkin pie for dessert, with a healthy slump of whipped cream. i love my pumpkin pie but lately i've found it a bit tiresome. i think i've grown so fond of the sweet potato pecan pie that plain ol' pumpkin just doesn't get the gears cranking anymore.
i passed out by 10am...ridiculously early, drained by a day of cooking, a night of eating, and the airing of grievances at the family thanksgiving table. if there's one thing you can say about my family, we're certainly not repressed. we know EVERYTHING about each other and we can converse with a level of honesty and raw, open, communication that i've yet to see in other familial settings. not for us the stoic silence and stilted politeness...oh no. thanksgiving with the lagerfeld's features off-colour jokes, a numerical listing of my mater's favorite children, getting dressed down by an ever curmudgeonly big d, and equal parts laughter and cathartic tears. it's kind of awesome. i wouldn't have it any other way.
the next morning we made a breakfast of huevos rancheros, with scrambled eggs instead of the fried to make things easier.
we also had monkey bread. i effin LOVE monkey bread. we don't have a bundt pan at the familial estate so we split the recipe into two disposable foil pans. i could eat POUNDS AND POUNDS of monkey bread...especially the crispy outer bits. the good thing about baking it in shallow pans is that there's WAY MORE crispy, sugared, caramelized outside bits and less of the doughy innies.
it wasn't all eating though. we re-watched "iron man" watched episodes of "30 rock: season 2" and played touch football. which once again reiterated to me that i'm NOT a football tactician. i can't handle the strategizing. we also went to a park and threw a frisbee around and played nintendo wii until our forearms hurt. i was also completely charmed by little ze's renditions of "piggy noises" and his lisping along to the sesame street theme.
this little gem was awesome too (relayed by my sis): my sis was watching "sleeping beauty" (disney version) with my niece and my niece was asking why the king was destroying all the spinning wheels. and my sis replied that it was to prevent aurora from pricking her finger and falling under the queen's evil spell. to which my niece replied, matter-of-factly and offhandedly, "yeah, well everyone knows that doesn't happen because in real life spinning wheels are for turning hay into gold, and wool into yarn..." and my sister had the funny job of explaining that the events of rumpelstiltskin are not to be taken for real life occurrences.
then we did the big oktoberfest dinner for my outlaw bro. clockwise from the top, we have: bratwurst, oktoberfest sausage, warm german potato salad, braised cabbage and apples, and pork schnitzel. the finale was the cake i had been labouring over, the inside-out german chocolate cake with a semi-sweet chocolate buttercream.
devil's food cake layers with a dulce de leche, toasted coconut and pecan filling, and the light, sweet, buttercream slathered all over. it was hella tasty.
we drove back downtown this morning so that i could prep for my friends G & M's shower at work. i made deviled eggs and cheesecake brownies, and raspberry almond bars and i'll be making chicken salad tea sandwiches and smoked salmon and dilled cream cheese tea sandwiches tomorrow.
phew. we're doing thanksgiving with the dotytron's family tonight. we're going for indian food as a nice turkey and kraut respite. my broski also loaded me up with comics...i can't STOP reading comics. i effin' love them. they're so much more engaging than...books!!! and all you literary snobs can go eff yourselves..."the watchmen" is as dark and dense a dystopia as one could ever hope for.
karl lagerfeld's definitive pumpkin pie
(makes 1 9" deep pie)
1 1/2 c. heavy cream (18%)
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 can 28oz pumpkin puree (if you want to use the whole can, just double everything to make 2 pies...they freeze really well)
1/4 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. cardamom
1 unbaked 9" deep dish pie shell
mix all the ingredients together with a whisk, pour into pie shell, bake at 375F for 40-50 minutes until the pie is set and lightly puffed and pastry is golden.