My First Thanksgiving

I’m cooking tomorrow, the first time ever. Gulp. On the menu:

  • Turkey & gravy (duh). I think I’ll follow Bittman’s instructions from How to Cook Everything, unless someone else has a better idea? I’m all ears…
  • Whole Wheat Stuffing with Pancetta, Chestnuts, and Parmesan: Pretty sure it’s the unkosherest thing I’ll ever cook.
  • Roast Butternut, Apples & Shallots.
  • Pumpkin Praline Pie from Cook’s Country (subscription required)
  • Chocolate Pudding Pie, only because I screwed up the crust for the Pumpkin Praline Pie and had to start over, which left me with an empty, baked pie crust.

Our friends are bringing a green salad, a mashed potato-leek dish, and wine.

The best part? We get to stuff ourselves silly, and then do it all again at my parents’ on Friday. Since my married brothers are going to their in-laws on the actual day and my folks wanted to get us all together, we postponed our big, official Thanksgiving by one day.

On Saturday, I will make like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and eat one nice green leaf. After that I will feel much better.

What are you cooking, baking, or eating tomorrow?

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Moe Rubenzahl,

    re: Turkey & gravy (duh). I think I'll follow Bittman's instructions from How to Cook Everything, unless someone else has a better idea?

    I love Bittman — thanks for the idea, I checked the book. I like his method, but like mine better:

    Two reasons. One is the make-ahead pan gravy (which I got from Cook's Illustrated). Basically, you make a roux way ahead of time, along with broth from the giblets and neck. Then while the turkey rests, it's easy to finish up the gravy, no stress.

    Second is that he stuffs the bird which makes temperature control harder, especially if you're cautious about not over-cooking the bird. I've tried and there is no flavor advantage to cooking the stuffing in the bird.

  2. Unplanned Cooking

    Good luck! I'm actually cooking our Thanksgiving meal, too, my first. I did a test run of a turkey for a video I was shooting, and it was surprisingly easy.

  3. debbie koenig

    Moe, in my Bittman the turkey's unstuffed. Wonder if you're looking at a difft edition?

    Your technique actually sounds pretty similar to his–start out breast down, flip after a while.

    I'm totally planning a make-ahead gravy.

    Unplanned, good luck! We'll have to compare notes when it's all done.

  4. jeanneeatsworld

    You've never made Thanksgiving before? Inconceivable! You'll be fabulous.

    I use Alton Brown's brining method and roasting technique for turkey, and have for the past several years. I like it because it makes it really hard to overcook the bird.

    Sorry about the pie crust. Sounds like it led to more pie though, which is a good thing.

  5. Deborah

    Sounds yummy, Debbie!

    We're doing the porcini mushroom turkey + gravy that's here. No stuffing because it's enough already with making a turkey (and I didn't grow up eating turkey all the time, much less stuffing). Cranberry is coming out of a can, per husband's preference. Crustless spinach quiche is already done, in-laws bringing roasted veggies. Hubby will make this butternut squash soup tomorrow a.m. Desserts = carrot cake (just took it out of the oven) and apple crisp (courtesy my mother in law). My mom is coming up by bus tomorrow, and super annoyed not to be able to contribute food, so I will "let" her make the salad.

    Say, we don't have kitchen twine and I just realized I'm supposed to tie the turkey legs closed. Is it a dealbreaker if we don't? Or can we use regular household twine?

  6. Alisabow

    Can you post the roasted butternut, apple and shallots recipe? Would love to try it! Especially after looking at that beautiful photo!

  7. Harry

    Sounds like me…stuffed and now eating like a rabbit to make up for it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.