This Thanksgiving, my MIL and I combined our efforts, and made a pretty decent spread for our group of six + one baby.
The star of the show: I bought a fresh (not frozen) free-range turkey from Whole Foods (there’s a world beyond Butterball!!)… Then immersed it in this beautiful brine by The Pioneer Woman.
My soul wafted into oblivion at the sublime citrus and herb smells penetrating our home. Our bird sat for approximately 22 hours before I patted it dry and used this roast recipe by none other than the king of protein, Alton Brown. However, instead of canola oil, I made my own herb butter and slathered it generously over the bird (and under the skin too).
The result? A moist and juicy bird with no dry white meat in sight. How can you fail with The Pioneer Woman and Alton Brown?
The Supporting Cast included garlic mashed potatoes, adapted from this recipe. Smooth, creamy, good, and good for you! With only two pats of butter and a cup of Greek yogurt, we gobbled this up guilt free. Then there was the sweet potato casserole spiced with a generous dash of cinnamon and some nutmeg, then topped with pecans and marshmallows. Creamed corn, stuffing (from a box), freshly baked biscuits, and pumpkin spiced cookies (using an age-old family recipe) also made their way to our table. Finally, we had our made-from-scratch turkey gravy and cranberry sauce to bring everything together.
This Thanksgiving was extra special not only because it was Noellie’s 1st Thanksgiving, but because my side of the family and my husband’s side were able to come together and share a meaningful meal together. It’s a blessing that our families get along so well despite the language barrier and our extremely different households. Kindness, respect, and love filled the air this Thanksgiving Day… I really couldn’t be more thankful for these intangibles. I’m holding them tight, holding them close…
She thoroughly enjoyed her sweet potatoes and turkey (though she probably thought it was chicken and was none the wiser).
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-