i spent the past couple of weeks dreading thanksgiving. i just find the whole ordeal so daunting and stressful, and i always go into these things thinking i'm going to hate every moment. thankfully, that wasn't the case at all this year. while i did stay up way too late sunday night working on a way too time consuming but delicious sour cream pumpkin pie (my first attempt at the crust went horribly wrong) that could have been an ominous preview of things to come, yesterday's dinner came together almost without a hitch.
the day started with draining the apple cider brine off the turkey (free range, organic, non medicated, and hopefully happy until the bitter end) and giving it a good wash and dry, while i made the stuffing and hans' mother made the cranberry sauce. once the turkey was done we prepared all the vegetables so that as soon as the turkey came out of the oven, they'd be ready to go in. we roasted brussel's sprouts, yellow and red carrots, baby potatoes, and golden and chiogia beets. and while people took turns carving and sampling the turkey, hans' mom made a delicious gravy with chanterelle mushrooms, and i sautéed green beans with butter and slivered almonds and kept my eye on the roasting veggies.
everything went really smoothly, with the exception of the turkey taking about 2 hours longer than we'd anticipated. good thing we stuck the thermometer in the other thigh, or we'd have all been in trouble! there was a 20 degree difference between sides, and the bird looked dry as king tut. i panicked a little inside, but tried to play it cool. a couple of hours later, the other side was done and thankfully it turned out to be the perfect, juicy, tender turkey thanks to the cider brining. i don't think it's possible to make a bad turkey if you brine it. brine brine brine. if i ever wanted to become an ordained minister so i could officiate a wedding, i'd be the leader of the holy church of cider brining.
by the time i went to sleep last night i felt pretty ill, and i woke up with a cold. blah. today i'm working in my pajamas and making turkey soup. holidays can be draining, even when they turn out better than you could have hoped.