Thanksgiving "prep"

Thanksgiving is little more than a week away and I am in full “gay nerves” mode. We are, once again, hosting my in-laws for Wednesday and Thursday night this year as well as the usual suspects for Thanksgiving dinner. They would be Bob, Tobe and The Contessa di Pomodori. That makes 7 for dinner.

In preparation, I have already taken down the drapes and sheers in the living and dining rooms, washed and ironed them, and rehung them. Dusted all art and tchotchkes. Also, the silverware is polished, although I noticed the coffee service needs just a little more care. The table linens have been washed, ironed and refolded so that I won’t have to work on them next week. Mr. B and I have also given the living and dining rooms “the big clean” too.

So far the menu looks like this:

Hors d’oeuvre:
Shrimp, crostini varie, asparagus with proscuitto.

Roast Turkey (Cook’s Country method, see below)
Sausage and cornbread dressing (my own recipe)
Mashed potato casserole (America’s Test Kitchen recipe)
Green beans “Elegantes” (Dr. Joe’s recipe)
Puree of Turnip & Carrot (Mom’s recipe)
Cranberry sauce (Direct from the can. I made a “scratch” version last year and it was nasty. Plus I got a serious “bead reading” from my side of the family over it, so I am just going to take a can of Ocean Spray Whole Berry sauce and “doctor” it up with some orange zest.)
Squash Rolls (from B&T)

Apple Pie (Mom-in-Law’s baking this)
Pumpkin Cake (from the Contessa)
Canoli (also from the Contessa)

Recipes have been pulled and printed from cookbooks and I have also been gathering diverse methods of turkey cooking as my efforts last year were a little lacking. Last year the turkey was as dry as a buckwheat fart but no one complained. (I do have good friends and relatives, don’t I?) I am trying to narrow down the method from 3 that I have garnered. The first is just a standard “rub with butter and herbs and toss in the oven” method (Bobby Flay). The second involves brining the turkey, rubbing the skin with a mixture of salt and baking soda to produce a crispier skin and roasting (America’s Test Kitchen). The third, which I saw on Cook’s Country TV” on Public TV, has a layer of salt pork draped over the breast and leg meat, covered with water-soaked cheesecloth, and roasted (with the cheesecloth/pork on for a little while and then removed). I am leaning toward the third method but I need to decide soon. I haven’t purchased the turkey yet so I do have a little time left.

That’s it for T (for Thanksgiving) minus 11 days and counting. If you have any tips, ideas or suggestions for me or for any of my readers, please make sure you enter them in the comments section.


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