Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Journal

When I first learned to cook, I was impressed by people who could get all the food on the table ready to serve (hot things hot; cold things cold) at the same time.   At first, I would make a plan for myself to get the timing right.  As I got more experienced in the kitchen, the timing of the process came easier to me.  But for an affair such as Thanksgiving, I revert to my planning mode.  The night before Thanksgiving, I sketch out a plan.  This year, as the Thanksgiving cooking unfolded, I kept track and made pictures so that I would have a digital record of the process.

The Thanksgiving menu was a very traditional traditional feast:
- roast turkey
- mashed potatoes and gravy
- cranberry sauce
- cornbread dressing
- roasted brussels sprouts
- sweet potato casserole
- cheese & crackers
- rosemary rolls
- pumpkin pie with whipped cream

The days before Thanksgiving, I made the pumpkin pie and the corn bread for corn bread dressing.  Thanksgiving morning, I was up early to get things started.  The goal was a 1 pm Thanksgiving feast.

7 am - set rolls out to rise
 8 am - get turkey out of the fridge to bring to room temperature (it was already defrosted)
- prepare cornbread dressing
- prepare cranberry sauce

9 am - prepare turkey to roast; set oven to 400 degrees
- prepare sweet potatoes to roast
9:30 - turkey in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
- sweet potatoes roast for 30 minutes

10 am - hit a snag with the sweet potatoes, which I hoped to remove roasted from the oven; they need to roast longer

- stir together streusel topping for the sweet potato casserole while the potatoes roast some more
- add broth to cornbread dressing
- place room temp cranberry sauce in the fridge to cool
- reduce oven temperature to 350; continue to roast turkey

11:45 am - assign T to peel potatoes while I trim brussels sprouts for roasting
- brush rolls with melted butter & sprinkle with fresh rosemary
noon - set potatoes to boil
12:15 - remove turkey from oven to rest
- increase oven temp to 425; roast sprouts & start sweet potato casserole, cornbread dressing

12:30 - remove roasted sprouts
- lower oven to 350; continue cooking sweet potato casserole & cornbread dressing
- T carves the turkey.....whose picture I failed to make when I fetched it from the oven....oops!

12:45 - place rolls in the oven; make gravy
- start to set food on the table

1:15 Happy Thanksgiving!

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