Tag: Thanksgiving

A nice Zen Thanksgiving

So today, well yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. I cheekily called it Happy Culturally Inappropriate Thanksgiving.

Spent it with good friends – and this year did it differently. As you know from reading this blog I’m getting more and more into precision cooking. Part of that involved me ordering a Chef Steps Joule Sous Vide stick some time ago. It got delivered in October.

So far I’ve done center cut filet mignon in it and it’s awesome. But yesterday I broke down a turkey by removing the breasts, wings, and drumsticks. Wings and drumsticks went into a 149F bath, while late last night I dropped the temperature to 131F and put the breasts into the bath.

The process was to lightly sear, and then dust with a salt/sugar mixture. I added freshly ground black pepper. Then I put rosemary, thyme and sage into the bags with the turkey and burped the air out before adding into the Sous Vide bath.

Then when they came out – I waited a bit. And then seared them again and into a 450F oven for about 30 minutes, just to warm it up. Then out of the oven, cool a little, and sliced the breasts up.

I have to say, I’ll never roast a turkey in an oven again. I’ll Sous Vide it. Tender, moist breast meat that was flavorful. Totally awesome turkey. Then made enough stock to make a nice turkey gravy.

We also did baked beans, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes with cream cheese and cornbread stuffing. The funny part was we arrived at the friends house at around 11AM. I said we didn’t need to start the cooking until 1PM and that it would all be ready to go at 3:30PM.
And right on the money – everything was ready at the same time. I’m getting really good at having all the components of a meal ready at the same time.

The Thanksgiving Day Menu

An interesting them has been kept to for each thanksgiving. The number of foods in the meal is generally matched by deserts.

E.g. this year:

The Meal:
Turkey with Gravy
Cornbread stuffing
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Potato Salad (Life with a southern guy!)
Broccoli Casserole
Butternut Squash
Home made cranberry sauce

The deserts:
Pumpkin Pie
Apple-Cranberry Pie
Berry-Berry Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Banana Pudding
Pineapple Cake

Those last three are made here at casa Truthspew. It’s funny, we get more people for the desert phase than we do for the meal. But it doesn’t mean the meal is bad, just that the deserts totally rock. This is what happens when you have two sugar freaks in the same household.

The mashed potatoes, potato salad, broccoli casserole, cheesecake, pineapple cake, and the cranberry sauce got made today. That way tomorrow it’s the turkey, stuffing and butternut squash.

The cranberry sauce gets rave reviews and it’s so damnably simple. It’s the recipe right off the package of cranberries. A cup of sugar + cup of water, bring to boil. Add cranberries, return to boil and then back the heat down a bit, cook for 10 minutes. I do use a bit of starch to stiffen it a bit.

It looks like it’ll be a good holiday once again. Keyron and I have gotten it down to a well oiled routine.

As to what we have to be thankful for, I’ll start with our health. We’re still in good shape, me at the decrepit age of 44, he at 35. I have a job that pays extremely well and takes advantage of my intimate knowledge of many things I.T., it even allows me to indulge my hobbies as well as going down to North Carolina for Christmas again this year, and perhaps a visit to Atlanta in April to see our friend Kyiesha whom I haven’t laid eyes upon in a few years.

Life is good right now. I know that it never stays this way though. So I’ll enjoy this while it lasts. Over the past few months I’ve explored new wines, new foods, and gotten to know friends a bit better.