It is thanksgiving weekend, and it wouldn’t be thanksgiving unless we have a big feast. This year we had 12 people for dinner, and we had the following:
- Green Bean Salad with Pine Nuts and Feta
- Garlic Rosemary Turkey
- Upside Down Pineapple Sweet potatoes
- Salmon Fillets with Potato chip Crust
- Oven Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- Italian Sausage Stuffing
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
I made all the above except dessert, “A” deserved the credit. She knows my favorite is carrot cake, so it was a no brainer to serve my favorite for Thanksgiving.
I spent the whole day cooking like a maniac, I got home from church at 1pm and had a simple lunch while I cooked. I did the cranberry sauce and the stuffing the night before, so as to cut down the number of dishes I need to cook in the afternoon.
The boys sensed that there was something going on, and they got super excited, and they were really charged as I worked around the kitchen. Couldn’t help but stopped and took some pictures of them playing. They were so cute.
For the cranberry sauce I had used a bag of fresh cranberry and a small jar of marmalade and about half a cup of white corn syrup ( I ran out of Maple Syrup) and simmered until the cranberry popped. Even since I had fresh homemade cranberry sauce, I never bought the canned ones again.
The stuffing I made was my own recipe, I had made different versions over the years, and I sort of make up my own along the way. The girls love stuffing so I usually make a big pot of it, and they will eat it for the next four meals. For this year I had used two packages of Italian susages, I cooked it in the mircrowave first and peeled off the castings and chopped up the meat, I then fried one chopped onion, and three stalks of chopped celery, a pound of mushrooms sliced, two delicious apples cored and chopped, and cooked it until they are tender, then I add the meat, and two cans of chicken stock, mix it all together and then add about 10 cups of bread crumbs until they are all moistened, and then I add a handful of golden raisins, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, and put everything in a deep dish and baked covered until the top is brown and bubbly. Everyone love it.
I normally brine my turkey, but this year the turkey was way too big, and took forever to defrost, and I could not brine it in time, plus it was too big to fit into my brine bucket. So instead I got “T” to massage the bird with melted butter and chicken rub. The bird was too big to cook properly, and I ended up over cooking it and I found it slightly dry, I have to remember next time to get it just under 15 pounds. This bird was at least 20.
I could not get sweet potatoes, so I used yam instead. The upside down pineapple yam turned out beautiful, and it tasted really good, the pineapple gave an interesting flavor when combined with the sweetness of the yam.
The green bean salad is a pleasant surprise, the dressing is just simple lemon juice and olive oil, and the combination with all the other ingredients really make it worked, I never liked olives, but they do add flavor to the salad, I don’t think it would taste the same without the olives.
The fingerling potatoes are easy to make, just wash and mix and pop in the oven, I baked it the same time with the yam after the turkey is out of the oven. They are very delicious, crispy on the outside, soft and tender inside, good to serve it with a big meal.
Normally I would cook ham for thanksgiving, this year I made salmon, when “S” stayed with us in August, her son’s friend gave me some fillets, they are big pieces, so I gathered thanksgiving is a good time to cook and serve it. I had it at “J”‘s before, and she had made it with a crunchy crust, she had given me the recipe , but I did not know where I had filed it, and found another recipe similar to it online. It turned out really nice, my young guests love it.
Everything turned out except for the turkey which is slightly dry. I had used the meat thermometer, but it is still overcook, I should have stopped at 160 instead of 176.
We had a good time over food, in the end the company is what made the meal. After all thanksgiving is to be spent with friends and family, to show our gratitude for what God has done, He is the giver of everything perfect in all our lives.