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Thanksgiving Prep/Planning

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by luck.ofthe.draw, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Standard roast turkey for me, with carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves in bottom of pan for better-flavored gravy. Besides usual sides, lately I have been serving fresh-baked pumpkin. Rather than throw out Halloween pumpkin, I keep it around until Thanksgiving, cut it up into sections and throw in oven.
    When it is tender, the "meat" is scooped out, seasoned with butter, brown sugar, ginger, cloves and dill weed. Reheat and you have a product comparable to sweet potato casserole.
     
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  2. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    I'll give you everything there but the onions.

    For brussels, I'll recommend something I picked up from Alta back in NYC, namely flash-frying or broiling them, with a tiny bit of crame fraiche and (this is key) sliced green apples. The bacon is definitely an excellent addition.
     
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  3. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

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    We're still browsing through recipes on what to make this year! Coming up with some new ideas, but I keep falling back on my old standbys.

    Reading everyone's food and experiences is fun, keep it comin'!

    20201113_200246.jpg

    - @Sonya tell me more about this "choice of pie" thing....I like pie. And I have yet to make a good sweet potato pie :feedme:
     
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  4. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Hmmm...[​IMG]
     
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  5. Basil

    Basil VIP Whale

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    I usually cook Thanksgiving at my Mother in Law's (my father in law is deathly allergic to the cat and dog so can't host at my house, but general consensus has been that I should do the cooking). I've posted pics on here before, but turkey, mashed potatoes (the real kind), giblet gravy, stuffing (apple, clam, and craisin), sweet potato casserole (again, with real sweet potatoes, nothing from the can), green beans (fresh with a little butter and garlic, very much not casserole), roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and pomegranate (for my wife and mother in law, I still don't like them), cranberry sauce that I make from scratch, some sort of dinner roll which I will make from scratch this year, and 1 can of cranberry sauce (forced to by my wife and father in law), and one can of yams (again forced by my father in law).

    This year we won't be going to my in-laws due to Covid. I'll probably still cook the same stuff, just with way more leftovers. It's what I do.

    As for dessert, I usually go all out. For the last two years, I've made a piecaken, and what I called a pie-in-a-caken. Again, I've posted pics here before, but what the heck:

    The piecaken (from the bottom, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, carrot cake, apple pie topping, lots of buttercream frosting:
    IMG_1031 (1).JPG
    IMG_1044 (1).JPG
    IMG_1043.JPG

    The Pie-in-a-caken- an apple pie baked inside a carrot cake:

    IMG_1847.JPG

    IMG_1846.JPG
     
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  6. donfairplay

    donfairplay High-Roller

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    I'm all for the Thanksgiving tradition of turkey, but this year I'm getting a roto chicken from Costco. Sorry, not sorry.

    It's five bucks and I can never finish an entire turkey, plus I don't like the bones in the drumsticks. Plus the size of a standard rotisserie chicken these days is about the size of a turkey.

    I'm on team sides instead of team turkey, so I will cook up some sides.
     
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  7. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    Everyone in my family is lazy. Nobody wants to cook, lol! So for the past 4 years or so we catered our complete Thankgiving dinner from this catering company that does a really fantastic job.

    There's toikey, dressing (or stuffing) or whatever you wanna call it. Mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, goo-wavey, and pumpkin pie. This year we weren't gonna cater the meal since our state leaders strongly recommend we stay home and stare at walls instead of getting together with family.

    But I told my wife lets order the dinner anyway. There will be lots of leftovers that I can freeze and eat for weeks to come. By the time I've eaten it all it will be Christmas and we can start with Prime Rib and start all over again with leftovers and before you know it New Years will come around and we'll have toikey and prime rib.

    Whoo hoo!! Rinse and repeat......

    By the way, the toikey carcass is like gold. Killer toikey soup!
     
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  8. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

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    @Basil that piecaken looks incredible! :clap: Hats off to making it more than once and probably perfecting it more along the way! That's awesome.

    Also yes to all the fresh food! I too am doing a (way scaled down) Thanksgiving this year, spending time with @MCann before our Vegas trip, so I'll cook a mini-meal for us - then I'm doing dinner with my mom on Black Friday. Fortunately I can make the stuffing, rolls, stock and/or gravy, and cranberry sauce ahead, and the ham is already cooked!

    @44inarow - :hmmm: Hmmm. Glad I'm not the only one that still reads paper magazines! I get both Bon Appetit and Food & Wine each month, I look forward to reading them cover to cover.

    Ooh @donfairplay - are you sticking with what you know in terms of sides, or trying out any new recipes this year?

    Might I also recommend - turkey drumsticks! I got some at the grocery store today for $5 I think! They look huge, but should be perfect for dinner with my mom. I saw Whole Foods also sells smoked turkey legs already prepared, as well as turkey breasts & thighs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  9. donfairplay

    donfairplay High-Roller

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    @luck.ofthe.draw Ooh are you sticking with what you know in terms of sides, or trying out any new recipes this year?

    I'm probably just going with green bean casserole and maybe a candied sweet potatoes. But I'm ordering BBQ close to Thanksgiving this year, so I may not even do the roto chicken and sides, and I'll probably save the cook-a-thon for Christmas time.

    @Basil The piecaken looks incredible. The buttercream frosting - just hook it to my veins!
     
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  10. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    I begrudge nobody of nothin', but you can't get me within six feet of turkey, ever. I've always made sure that there is a ham available... even if I have to offer to bring it myself.

    When I was on my weight loss plan, for two consecutive Thanksgivings I bought my Smokey Joe grill along and grilled some shrimp (marinated with chile and lime), then made a cilantro lime vinaigrette and had a lovely tossed salad.

    I am really not a big fan of most of the Thanksgiving options, save for pork sausage stuffing and candied sweet potatoes... Frankly, our families are so big that cooking space is limited and half the food is either cold or inedibly dried out by the time everyone is ready to eat.

    Many of the past few years, our extended family has gone out for Thanksgiving dinner, and one place we've gravitated to has had multiple proteins on a buffet and it has been really good. They are closed this Thanksgiving, but my wife found a place that is serving a limited menu. At first, we were going dine in with just immediate family, but just today we cancelled the reservation and will carry out Thanksgiving dinner.

    upload_2020-11-14_0-25-34.png

    There is only one real question for dinner this year... steak or prime rib (all dinners come with dessert).

    We are trying to limit the people in our house, but it looks like my wife's twin sister won't be talked out of joining us. Fingers crossed...
     
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  11. vegascurley

    vegascurley Low-Roller

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    This year will definately be differant from past Thanksgivings.I have 7 siblings plus my wifes families and we try to have as many as we can but most wont come this year because of covid. Some years we have as many as 45..crazy! We always have the traditional menu plus rutabaga. For some fun we have door prizes and everyone gets one via a numbered drawing. Nothing big...lottery tickets and mostly gifts I buy after the holidays in the clearance racks. Everyone loves this. Happy Thanksgiving All!!
     
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  12. AlwaysUpForFun

    AlwaysUpForFun High-Roller

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    @Basil Holy crap that dessert is like the Turducken of desserts :haha:

    I wasn't going to do much this year, I just don't enjoy cooking that much anymore and it's just the two of us this year.. BUT you guys have inspired or shamed me into thinking otherwise.

    Here's what I'm thinking of for a menu so far:

    Either Turkey breast or duck - smoked on grill if weather cooperates
    Parmesan roasted Sweet Potatoes
    Mashed Potatoes
    Fresh green beans or Brussel sprouts depending which look best
    Need some sort of salad need to think some more on that
    Dessert yet TBD
    Cranberry Margarita- I have a great recipe from years ago that was in Bon Appetit
     
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  13. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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  14. nhcris

    nhcris VIP Whale

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    I grew up in Plymouth, Land of the Pilgrims, where Thanksgiving is everything. Most years we go down to my sisters because brother-in-law is an amazing cook. My favorite tradition, after the dinner itself, is walking along the waterfront past the Mayflower II, the Rock, Massasoit and the Pilgrim Mother.

    This year it will be just the 2 of us. We are Keto, so it's a challenge. Turkey, of course! Instead of giving up stuffing/dressing, I am going to try the Myles Standish recipe (thanks @ken2v) using a Keto 'corn' bread I make that doesn't suck. For a mash I think I will do celery root & cauliflower puree. I confess to loving canned cranberry sauce, but I will behave and make a Keto version. I finally found one that is pretty good, and I might add chia seeds this time to get it more like a jelly. A couple vegetables simply prepared. I do tasty keto pumpkin cupcakes with cheesecake frosting for dessert.

    I am still deciding between a Pinot Noir or a Sauvignon Blanc, but then part of me thinks a nice Cava would be good, and it is lower carb.
     
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  15. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I remember the first time my mom and I cooked real cranberries for my husband (who grew up with a very midwestern child-of-boomers-who-don't-like-to-cook bland meals & canned cranberry "sauce") He LOVES the popping so much. I don't like cranberry sauce (as a side - I'm weird about combining sweet and savory though I love tart crans on their own!) So we make it when we have a larger group just so he can cook them and watch them pop :)

    We're going to brainstorm this weekend about sides for the duck (I always make stock from the carcasses and my duck ramen last year was pretty darn tasty!)
     
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  16. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    Not a big Turkey fan either - my Dad is smoking 4 of them for various quarantined family members - so it's Rib Roast and (99 Ranch) Chinese Duck this year. Will also probably pick up Dungeness Crab while I'm getting the duck, make an ahi poke salad with kim chee, and have someone bring over a Costco Pumpkin Pie for dessert. For beverages, we're really into these canned cocktails from Cutwater Spirits (which is actually located just up the road) so we'll be supporting local business while getting blasted on their Long Island Ice Tea (13.2% ABV!) Minimal cooking, maximum socially distanced celebrating - just your typical traditional Thanksgiving holiday.
     
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  17. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    That sounds great, but I'm not cooking. They could put tomatoes in the Brussel sprouts and I wouldn't complain. I would pick them out while making a face though. :haha:

    We are getting the small version for the two of us, so I will also do my balsamic green beans for leftovers night.

    I'm apple. Dan is pumpkin. They have sweet potato, pecan and mince too. They had a peach a couple years ago. Sorry we didn't try it when we had the chance.

    I may have to stop reading this thread because it is making me want to cook and that is just crazy talk when Aloha Alabama BBQ will do it all for me. :)
     
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  18. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    See, but, sweet potato pie is not a dessert dish as far as I'm concerned. It's a side, you just have to keep it away from the gravy. Plating is important.
    I am begging of you to please share what you come up with. My favorite duck dish is the panang curry over at Lemongrass, but I've also done a duck ragu, and seared duck breasts with a raspberry coulis. It's just a pain to get duck out here at retail unless you're going to pay for overpriced D'Artagnan shipping. My girlfriend went to a Chinatown place for roast duck, and it was terrible -- no skin, no fat, basically overpriced dark meat turkey.
    Ha, the security guard at Cosmo the other day was positively amazed by the fact that I had the most recent copy of the New Yorker in my messenger bag. He was a fellow NYC transplant as well.
     
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  19. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    I don't know what in the nine circles of hell this blasphemy is, but I want it.

    In terms of sweet potato, I think it's just a childhood thing. I grew up on the canned stuff. I honestly can't even really eat fresh sweet potatoes, it's my grandmother's canned recipe or nothing.
     
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  20. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    YES YES YES.... A thousand times YES.

    NO FOOD TOUCHING!!!!

    Compartment plates for all! I hope I never again have to see the crime of someone putting Jello on the same plate as gravy, then slopping the corn through that slurry...

    upload_2020-11-14_18-32-38.png [/QUOTE]
     
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