Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner for 18, oh wait, 15!

Today is going to be a busy day!  I am hosting Thanksgiving for 15 tomorrow and I hurt my back pretty badly at the end of last week (still not sure what I did), so I have to give myself plenty of time for prepping!  This is my first time actually hosting my biological family for any type of event, so I'm a little nervous. 

My dad is the second oldest of 6 boys, though the oldest passed away when I was about 6, and while he and my mom were married for 25 years, she never hosted his family for a holiday.  My youngest uncle's wife has been doing both Thanksgiving and Christmas for at least four years now, and my grandmother and I thought she could use a break. 

On Sunday after church, Gimpy came with me to the grocery store to buy everything.  I was cooking for 18, and so wanted to get a 24lb turkey.  Problem was, they sold out of the 20-25lb in the kind I wanted, and were trying to get me to pay close to $3/lb for a 24lb in another type!  So Gimpy had the brilliant idea that I should get the 28lb, and just save myself $20.  Check, and check.  My aunt and uncle who always flake on holidays called me yesterday to let me know they weren't coming, so down a few people, but still enough food for 18.  Good thing I have a dad and a sister to send leftovers home with! 

I have to map out everything I'm making, and figure out the timing over the next two days, giving myself extra time for my back :(

So this morning, I woke up and made the brine for my turkey!

Turkey Brine
1 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 gallon low sodium chicken stock
Rosemary, thyme, garlic cloves, parsley, scallions

I put all the ingredients together, brought to a boil, making sure to dissolve the salt and sugar completely.  I then put it in an easy pour pitcher, and left it in the mini fridge to cool while I'm at work.  When I get home, I'll pull out Mr Turkey, give him a good rinse down, clean out his insides, and put him in a brining bag with the above mixture and another gallon of water.  I'll then put him in a cooler on the balcony filled with more ice water to keep him chilled.  Tomorrow morning, he'll come out of the oven, get a rinse, and put in my roasting pan! 

After my turkey is taken care of this afternoon, I'll chunk up my butternut squash and sweet potatoes, get them roasting in the oven, and roast some garlic at the same time.  I'll then prep my corn casserole, broccoli casserole, my green beans (not in cheese or cream thank you very much!), make my pecan pie, cube my bread for whisky sausage stuffing, prep my baked brie.....  Lots of work to be done! 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


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