We had a pretty low-key Thanksgiving this year, just the three of us. Because of the baby, I didn’t push myself too hard in planning and executing the menu, picking out just a few new items but for the most part sticking with the tried and true.
Jeremy chose the turkey this year: He brought home an 18-pounder, not seeming to realize that it was far and away the biggest turkey we’ve ever had, particularly compared to last year’s 8-lb free range turkey. To put it another way, it was literally bigger than our petite Nolan, who is still under 16 lbs. As a result, I decided to save my arms and delegate the turkey prep to Jeremy. We did a salted turkey a la Bon Appetit, and it came out with beautifully crisp, mahogany skin, as promised. We didn’t find it salty at all, thanks to a thorough rinse before roasting, but the meat wasn’t especially moist either. I used fresh herbs and completely forgot at the end to make the dijon-shallot gravy variation as I had planned. We will be eating leftover turkey forever.
As for the remaining fixings, I mostly stuck with the tried and true: mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, vanilla sweet potato puree, my slow cooker stuffing (this year I added chopped chestnuts for a nice touch), and fresh cranberry sauce. I also tried out a cauliflower-Brussels sprout gratin from Bon Appetit that was very tasty (but it should be, consisting mostly of cream and Parmesan). I left out the pine nuts because we aren’t fans, and left the vegetables unblanched before baking upon numerous recommendations to avoid mushiness. They came out of the oven just right, very slightly al dente.
I also made two pies on Wednesday, but didn’t photograph them because you’ve seen them before: Dorie’s caramel pumpkin pie from earlier this month, and the poifect apple pie I first made last year. They were both delicious, but that apple is really spectacular. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Nolan thought the sweet potatoes were alright, but he loved the pies: we gave him tastes of the pumpkin filling and cooked apple, sans crust and crumb. He remains underwhelmed with mashed potatoes.