[Sca-cooks] Thanksgiving menu

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 25 16:24:06 PST 2007

Ch-ch-ch-changes... Yeah, my Thanksgiving plans changed a bit too. 
Blame it on the 4 lb turkey roast that wouldn't thaw.

I've heard of progressive dinner parties - these have nothing to do 
with politics, rather the diners go to a different house for each 
course. Well, i kinda had a progressive Thanksgiving dinner - but 
only at my own house.

I did make everything i mentioned in a previous message to the list, 
but from Thursday through Sunday, rather than all on Thursday.

On Monday the butcher suggested putting the little 4-lb turkey roast 
in the freezer for about an hour so it would still be good on 
Thursday. I put it in the freezer, but i have an Arabic Reading and 
Conversation class on Monday nights and i forgot to take it out and 
put it in the fridge until Tuesday morning (i've got an Introductory 
Arabic language class on Tuesday nights).

On the first day of Thanksgiving:
The little turkey roast was still fairly frozen. So i delayed it 
until Friday and made:
-- mixed wild mushrooms sauteed with shallots in butter
-- a stewed quince
Oh, muh gawd! the quince was absolutely fabulous. It was a very 
large, nearly perfect, lovely yellow, amazingly fragrant quince. I 
cooked in in water with sugar and a little lemon juice to prevent 
oxidizing. When it was done i add a small splash of orange flower 
water. It was soooo good.

Of course the mushrooms were good too. I'm not quite sure what 
varieties were in the box, at least 4 different kinds, none of them 
standard button mushrooms.

On the second day of Thanksgiving:
That tiny turkey roast was still pretty frosty. So i delayed it until 
Saturday and made:
-- a pan of baked stuffing of mixed bread cubes and chestnuts with 
butter and organic chicken broth;
-- Huette's infamous pecan pie;
and i ate them with more of the quince

That pie is a winner. My pie pan was only 9", so i made 3/4 of the 
recipe Huette generously posted to the list. I love pecans and i cut 
a slice when it wasn't fully cooled - the filling was pretty runny. 
But after it cooled completely it set up beautifully. BTW, i cheated 
and used a frozen organic whole wheat crust that was excellent (they 
aren't always - sometimes the whole wheat is too dominant).

On the third day of Thanksgiving:
That tiny turkey roast was still pretty frosty. So i delayed it until 
Sunday and made:
-- chicken soup (to finish off the box of organic broth) with orzo 
and egg-lemon sauce (basically avgolemono - but eaten by 15th and 
16th C. Ottoman Turks in Istanbul)
And i ate it with
-- more chestnut stuffing
-- more pecan pie

On the fourth day of Thanksgiving:
That tiny turkey roast was still frosty. But i'd had it. No more 
waiting! I was going to cook it! So i made:
-- a 4-lb mixed light and dark meat turkey roast;
-- turkey gravy;
-- a baked sweet potato (the kind that's bright orange inside);
-- homemade cranberry sauce

The directions on the wrapping of the 4-lb turkey roast said to cook 
25 min/lb @ 325 F, i.e., 100 minutes/1 hour & 40 min for 4 lb. I 
rubbed the roast with salt, pepper, smoked Spanish paprika, and a 
little olive oil, and put it in the oven. After the requisite 100 
min., i stabbed it with the meat thermometer - it was barely 
registering. Back into the oven. I tried again several times, waiting 
about 20 minutes between times - it was finally done after a total of 
2 hours and 40 minutes. I had put some organic chicken broth and a 
little butter into the pan, and turned the roast every 30 min. or so, 
so it stayed moist.

When had i opened the turkey package, a lot of liquid ran out into 
the pan - i figured either blood or albumen for gravy, so i left it. 
It somewhat solidified in the baking, so i put it, plus the pan 
juices (a mix of chicken broth, butter, and more turkey liquid) into 
the blender and gave it a good whirl. It made a rich thick gravy with 
no need for flour. The turkey didn't taste much of the paprika, but i 
could taste it in the gravy where it added an interesting smokey 
fruity flavor.

The cranberry sauce was a box of organic cranberries cooked in water 
with granulated cane sugar and an organic mandarin orange - i 
separated the segments and dropped them in and broke the peel into a 
few large pieces and dropped it in. When it looked done i tasted 
it... ugh... it tasted like St. Joseph's Baby Aspirin (if anyone else 
here remembers them from their childhood - not a pleasant taste for 
food) and it was not quite sweet enough, even for me. So i fished out 
all the peel, added a little more sugar (this time dark brown cane 
sugar) and simmered it until it was thick. When i took it off the 
fire, i added a splash of rose water. When it cooled it set up a bit, 
which was nice, and it tasted great - the rose water added a nice 
additional note.

The sweet-pickled crab apples (which i'd made on Thursday) didn't 
quite work out - that was because i had only 3 apples and even though 
i used my smallest pan, they really needed to be cooked in a smaller 
pan. They taste ok, just not what i was trying to make. I may make 
more sugar-vinegar syrup and just pour it over them and let them sit 
a day or two and see how they are then...

All in all, quite a good meal, but it would have been nicer if i 
could have eaten it all on the same day :-)
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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