All is in readiness for our Thanksgiving Dinner here at the James residence. The Turkey will go into the oven at 11:30 this morning and be ready to come out at 4:30 this afternoon. I baked my Pumpkin Pie yesterday. And, with sister Erin’s assistance, the rest of the prep should be a breeze…
I suggested making the Pie the day before, because it develops richer flavour and firmer texture – and aid to serving – when chilled in the fridge overnight. We’ll whizz up some Whipped Cream, with a dash of Maple Syrup, just before serving dessert.
I made the Cranberry condiments yesterday. They, too, develop wonderful flavours covered in the fridge overnight.
The turkey will roast at 325 F, not 350 or 375. This ensures that the interior gets cooked and the exterior does not burn. Starting off under a foil tent or the roasting pan’s cover keeps the moisture in and aids even cooking. Remove the foil or cover and let the bird brown over the last hour of cooking. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the dressing and the breast are cooked through.
I’ll put the Brussels Sprouts, the Dressing Casserole and the Squash casserole in about an hour and a half before the Turkey is due to be done. For this Feast, we’ll take out one of our three oven racks and place one of the others down close to the bottom. There we will place the Turkey. Another rack will go in just above the bird and should provide enough space for the other stuff that needs oven time.
The Scalloped Potatoes must go in first, about two hours before the Turkey is due to be done. They need lots of time to cook through and become tender, and remember, we’re working with a 325 F oven.
The Squash need only to warm up to bubbling and brown the topping.
Dealing with the leftovers…
As soon as the leftovers have cooled to room temperature, I cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the downstairs fridge. The Bird, which is about 20 lb. / 7-9 kg, will be only partly carved at dinner time. I’ll remove one breast for thin slicing and one leg/thigh. I’ll present the leg whole with its lovely crispy skin and shred off the thigh meat. makes a nice platter with the breast meat in the middle flanked by the leg on one side and the thick meat on the other. After dinner, I’ll bag up the other leg/thigh whole to prepare for freezing later. I’ll also Bag up the carcass with the other breast still attacked, to deal with for freezing later. And I’ll save the bones and scraps for boiling up with the carcass for soup or stock once it’s striped of meat. Separating the meat from the bones a bagging it up in freezer bags, in meal-sized portions, can wait until tomorrow.
The leftover Potatoes, Squash, Dressing and Cranberry Condiments we will have as part of our suppers this coming Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. That will finish them. The Brussels sprouts will probably all be eaten tonight!
The Pumpkin Pie and Whipped Cream will last two more meals. I’m planning to have it for dessert tomorrow night with Hot Turkey Sandwiches for the main course tomorrow night. We’ll have Cauliflower and Glazed Carrots as Veggies tomorrow night, as a change from the Turkey Feast leftovers.
Of course, we will keep the remains of tonight’s Turkey platter available in the upstairs fridge for picking, ad hoc sandwich making and other informal dining activities
And there you have it….
We won’t waste a thing and we’ll freeze up most of the Turkey. That means we won’t have to eat it until we’re sick of it all this coming week…
~ Maggie J.