Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Come back for turkey!

I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner three years ago and relentlessly planned the food and table settings.  Unfortunately, I didn’t plan on being deathly ill, five months pregnant, the butcher losing my fresh turkey order, scouring the picked-over freezer section for a replacement, and attempting to thaw this bird within 24 hours.  In the end, I thought I had pulled it together, but the truth came out the following Easter when my family refused a return Thanksgiving visit unless I made reservations.

There ain’t nothing like a come back!

With supplies abound, and the relaxation of a non-holiday, I was able accomplished a great pumpkin pie, creamy potatoes, moist stuffing, and a juicy turkey all on a Monday night.  I’m usually a marinade girl, however I finally tried a brine, and I am a believer! Not only did the $8 brine from Sur la Table make an incredible difference in the quality of the turkey, it was the only hard part of the cooking procedure.  After nearly bathing myself in brine twice, my husband and I finally completed the ‘submerge’ instruction and placed mr turkey in the refrigerator overnight. (I did have a nightmare that the brine bag broke, but I’m sure that’s an anxiety issue more than a brining issue.) The following day, the turkey was a mere thyme, garlic and lemon stuffing, and butter and white wine basting away from fabulous.   Truth be known, I got the turkey for free with a coupon and additional $50 grocery purchase, proving that entertaining never has to break the bank!

My guests arrived around 8:00.  With the kids tucked safely into bed, the four of us gathered around the dining room table and enjoyed a little Thanksgiving meal as we remembered the dinner parties years ago when we sat on pillows, crowded around a coffee table.  About two hours later, with a belly full of carbs, we said tired goodbyes and promised another get together soon.  It seems friends can be a lot like family; you don’t see each other as much as you should and at times take each other for granted; but if you are very lucky, they are always there with support and love... What better reason to add an extra Thanksgiving to the calendar. 

The Party in Numbers:
Parties Completed: 11
Weeks before deadline: 41.5
Justified Purchases: none!
Bottles of Wine consumed: 1
Wish List: espresso machine... maybe santa will surprise me! 

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