Family, Food, Friends, Fun and Fatigue

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  It was so nice having all the children home and the house filled with their friends.  Today, as I take all the Thanksgiving items and store them away until next year, here are some random musings about the holiday.

We had the biggest turkey ever~~a whopping 28 lbs, delivered by Jimmy from Personal Gourmet, a local company who specializes in restaurant grade meat and fish. Typically, we have done this to our turkey:

But this year, my foodie son suggested we dry brine the turkey for 24 hours.  Honestly, I have never heard of dry brining and was a bit skeptical but it was so easy.  After patting the turkey dry, we sprinkled the bird with a combination of salt and baking powder.  This apparently changes the pH of the skin. We refrigerated it uncovered for 15 hours (can do up to 3 days).

Instead of a roasting pan, we put the bird in a V-rack on a cookie sheet.  According to Serious Eats, this increases air flow for even cooking.  In order to have the dark meat cook at the same rate of the white breast meat, we placed the cookie sheet on a preheated pizza stone.  You can find all the details on how to do this by clicking here.

This was, hands down, the most delicious turkey we have ever had.  The dry brining was SO easy.  I did add some herb butter between the skin and the breast meat before roasting, but other than that, we hardly basted it (maybe once).  The skin was so crispy and it sealed in most of the juices. We declared this a winner and this will be the recipe of choice when we roast a turkey in the future.

Thanksgiving Day started with blood orange mimosas.  We found the oranges at Whole Foods and it was a nice alternative to regular orange juice mimosas.

Every year, my husband makes his famous pumpkin pies.

And my son, Benjamin and I make a cake from Tessa Huff‘s incredible cake book, Layered.

Presenting (drumroll)…..the Butterscotch Bourbon Cake.

With the table set and ready to go, we enjoyed a delicious meal with family and friends.

Friday was a relaxing day (thank goodness as I was pooped) and, as we do each year, watched the Wizard of Oz, which is my favorite movie.

And took our annual family photo~~it seems to be more difficult to get everyone looking somewhat normal at the same time.  Of course, the battery was low in the camera and hopefully with some editing, we will have a Christmas photo for our card.

Hope you had a relaxing Thanksgiving.  Today, all the autumn decorations come down and onto Christmas! I leave one Christmas related item out all year long and this sits on the mantle in the breakfast room.  I purchased this Christmas car waterless “snowglobe”from eBay.  Created by artist Alicia Reiner, each is hand signed and numbered.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!