Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving, with Snow

We got 5 inches of snow on Thanksgiving day; it turned our yard into a beautiful winter wonderland. Although I worried for a bit that the snow would keep our guests away and we would end up facing a whole turkey ourselves, Eric & Miriam braved the drive from Olympia and Dave and Anita brought Great Grandma Marjorie and Anita's friend Ann out from Bellingham so we had plenty of help with the eating.

Conan worked up an appetite riding around the yard on the "snow boat" pulled by his only-slightly-less-excited-about-snow Papa.

We don't have any real sledding hills available, but it was a lot of fun anyway. With his warm winter coat, snow pants, fuzzy hat and big boots Conan was ready to make the most of the unexpected snow bonanza.
Sadly, the temperatures rose in the night, the snow turned to rain and there wasn't a flake left by the next morning, so we didn't get a chance to make any snow sculptures. Next time!

The food, of course, was delicious. We had smashed potatoes, roasted squash, ginger glazed carrots, vegetarian stuffing, bread, turkey & gravy, and pies for desert.

For the turkey I got a little creative and went with a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that promised over-the-top glaze, crispy skin, and tender juicy meat. I'm pleased to say it delivered.

The hard part was butterflying a 21 lb turkey. The turkey came from my buddy Ben Wiley, who moved back to Plain and raised a few birds for friends and family this year. We didn't necessarily need such a large bird for our group, but it was the one I got so there it was. It was a delicious, flavorful bird with great meaty texture and good muscle tone, so much better than the flabby pale meat from a supermarket bird. It took a good bit of wrassling to get the backbone out and break the breastbone in preparation for roasting, but in the long run it was worth it. The turkey cooked evenly and the glaze (apple cider, cranberries & molasses, reduced on the stove-top - now THAT smelled good!) adhered beautifully. Mmmm!

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