Happy Thanksgiving

I have a sixteen-pound bird that I am slow-roasting at 165 degrees for twenty hours. This approach means you cannot possibly overcook it, as the bird will eventually be exactly the temperature you want it to be throughout. I have a few other side-dishes planned, but it will be a simple Thanksgiving this year. With my father's death, my mother has gone out to Wyoming to be with my sister and the new baby. It doesn't seem like it's worth doing things quite as extravagantly without them.

This day of all days I remember Iraq. I was there two Thanksgivings in a row. This year some five thousand paratroopers, a Division's special troops battalion, and a bunch of special operators are in Iraq. More are in Afghanistan, where they serve the interests of a President who never intended for them to win their war. Others are in Africa, and points East.

Think of them today, at least during the holiday prayer.

I wish you all a very fine day.


Cass said...

So how did the bird turn out?

Grim said...

Very well, thank you. You get a very moist bird that way, because it never gets hotter than the boiling point of water in the oven. So it's thoroughly cooked, exactly to the perfect internal temperature, but also much less dry than turkey often can be.

Cass said...

Yanno, I never had a turkey turn out dry in almost 40 years of cooking them. Not sure why - I'm not doing anything special, and have bought everything from Butterball to grocery store brand to fresh turkeys that cost a gazillion bucks.

Worst turkey I ever made was the time I followed this insane recipe my MIL recommended. It was moist, but it was also like soup and (IMO) not much flavor to it.

This year, I cooked the turkey like I do roast beef (start in very hot oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the temperature and cook normally the rest of the time). Best gravy I've ever had - I did not add a single thing to the drippings except flour and the broth from the turkey neck and giblets.

I always like to hear different ways people cook traditional foods.

Matt said...

What, no love for the Deep Fried Turkey? :)

Actually had that, once; some friends of mine decided to try it out at a get-together. Very moist and tasty, provided you follow appropriate safety precautions.


Grim said...

I've only had a deep fried turkey once, but it was fantastic. However, it's a much more expensive way to cook it once you've invested in all that oil.

Though we eat turkey at Thanksgiving as a festival food, it's actually normally our cheap protein. I have a big freezer, and usually not long after Christmas or New Years all those frozen turkeys left over from Thanksgiving go on a fantastic sale. So I buy 11 or 13, and all year long we have meat for very little. This year's Thanksgiving turkey was the last of last year's batch of cheap turkeys.

Now, at Christmas we're having steak. Big 2" thick caveman ribeyes.

Cass said...

I have never had a fried turkey! Maybe we'll try one some day.

So I buy 11 or 13, and all year long we have meat for very little.

I love examples of thrift. It's funny - groceries were one area where I economized when we were raising the boys. I didn't buy much processed food, or frozen dinners, or anything of that sort. I cooked everything from scratch and could get 3 good meals from a 19 cent/lb. chicken. Nothing went to waste.

Once the boys were gone and we were both working, we went through a brief period where I was just so sick of economizing that I never looked at prices and even bought frozen dinners (we love those Healthy Choice ones) every now and then. They are great for nights when both of us get home late from work after a 1.5-2 hour commute. The last thing I feel like is cooking and cleaning the kitchen.

For a while, I just loved not having to constantly plan every expense. But lately, I've been drifting back to semi-planning and trying to be thrifty. There's something very satisfying about it, and if I plan I can start a homemade soup or stew in the morning and add to it during the work day without it interfering with getting things done. I've never particularly enjoyed cooking except at the holidays - for years, that was "work" for me, not fun.

But now that it's a choice and not a necessity, I really enjoy having a nice, home cooked meal for The Spousal One when he walks through the door.