So, Thanksgiving was awesome this year. We hosted it, as we have for the past six or seven years, so the house was full of food, family, yummy smells, conversation, etc. Ten people, with three of them age nine or younger and one older one hard of hearing, made for a rather high volume, but a good time was had by all. And I'm getting better and better at doing things ahead of time -- this year I was actually able to sit down and watch some of the Macy's parade, go me!
We had a bit of drama over the turkey, though. Mr Psmith had suggested we get a heritage turkey
this year, having read wonderful things about them, so we ordered one in early November. It was supposed to arrive Tuesday via Fed Ex. Late Tuesday morning we get a call from the turkey people saying that our turkey had flown the coop: Fed Ex couldn't find it. So they were sending out another one that would arrive on Wednesday, but that it might be a little bigger since they were out of the size we ordered.
So all day Wednesday while I'm cooking, I'm alternating between Nightmare A, in which the replacement turkey never arrives and I have to venture out and scrounge a stunt turkey, and Nightmare B, in which the replacement arrives and is a 30-lb monstrosity that won't fit in my oven and will take six hours to cook.
Happily, Fed Ex rang our doorbell at 2:47 pm with a 17.6-lb bird, so tragedy was averted. Interestingly, it was a noticeably different shape, lacking the enormous breasts of the standard Broad-Breasted White (what most stores carry) and with much larger thighs. The more equal white-to-dark-meat ratio means it cooks slightly faster and more evenly. And WOW did it turn out amazing! They recommend a very simple preparation since heritage turkeys are very juicy and flavorful, so I rubbed butter and herbs under the skin which I've never tried before (this video
was very helpful). The meat-eaters in the group voted it highly tasty, and I got FOUR CUPS of juice out of it for gravy. Normally I get one, if I'm lucky.
Mr Psmith's youngest brother brought his girlfriend E. who is a vegetarian, so there were two of us at the table this year. Since I'm a vegetarian, everything in the meal except for the turkey itself and Mr Psmith's Grandma N's giblet stuffing is meat-free, and E. kept saying how nice it was to have so much she could eat :) Also, she shares my aversion to an empty wine glass which makes her a girl after my own heart. She's been around for a year now and we have hopes that she may be a keeper!
Here is a partial transcript of my five-year-old nephew's conversation:
11:33am: "Can we have pie now?"
11:52am: "Where's the pie?"
12:10pm: "Is it time for pie yet?"
12:36pm (as I'm taking the turkey out of the oven): "Wow, that's a really big chicken!!"
He also got hold of a pack of post-its and amused himself writing notes and sticking them on his chest: PINCH ME, POKE ME, KICK ME. My favorite was HUG ME.
There were some tough moments, since it was the first big holiday for us without Mr Psmith's brother
, and sister-in-law A cried a bit, but it was good to all be together.
On another traditional note: I'll be doing my Christmas bookshelf-weeding and giveaway again this year. I'm compiling the list now and will post it probably this weekend. I do enjoy doing this -- it's such fun to send books to good homes :)