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Author Topic: Enjoy your turkey!  (Read 3637 times)

Akima

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Enjoy your turkey!
« on: 21 Nov 2012, 18:30 »

Best wishes for Thanksgiving to all my North American friends. Yes, I know I'm about a month late for Canadians. Sorry.

I've been reading statistics about the number of turkeys consumed at Thanksgiving. It is terrifying!
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TheEvilDog

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #1 on: 21 Nov 2012, 18:46 »

Happy Turkey Massacre Day folks  :-P

Nah, seriously, have a great day with your family and friends.
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jwhouk

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #2 on: 21 Nov 2012, 19:31 »

Hey, I have absolutely NO problems with Turkey massacring. Those dumb birds like to walk right in the middle of the road, and if you hit them with your car - it's like hitting a bowling ball.

Besides that, they're yummy and relatively low in fat.
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #3 on: 21 Nov 2012, 20:42 »

I'm totally looking forward to it. A gathering of 20 or more, half speaking Hebrew (I don't), two turkeys, some intelligent, attractive women, my daughter included, plus son-in-law, grandkids, my own Bob's Arrogantly Superior Guacamole -- and I won't have to clean up since it isn't even at my daughter's home. What more could I ask besides Peace in Our Time and On This Hallowed Forum?
I'm thankful that level heads really do seem to prevail here, with guidance from level-headed moderators.
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Bluesummers

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #4 on: 21 Nov 2012, 21:28 »

I spotted a quorum of turkeys at work...that's right, enough turkeys to count as a voting legislative body. Observe.
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #5 on: 21 Nov 2012, 21:53 »

Obligatory Arlo Guthrie appearance!

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #6 on: 22 Nov 2012, 06:20 »

Best wishes for Thanksgiving to all my North American friends. Yes, I know I'm about a month late for Canadians. Sorry.

Seconded.
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Papersatan

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #7 on: 22 Nov 2012, 07:27 »

I am thankful that I live in the age of information.  I am thankful that I live in a place where I can take full advantage of the developments of this age; libraries, the internet, relational databases, searches, recommender systems, the digitization or digital creation of materials of all sorts allowing increased access both geographically, temporally, and through new tools for analysis, OCR, and "big data" comparative analysis.  I am thankful that there are brilliant and passionate people fighting for my rights to access and use all this information, in the face of numerous forces pushing against them.  I am thankful that there are brilliant and passionate people fighting to help me control my own information, in the face of numerous forces which have the opposite interest. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to stay in school and continue to study subjects which interest me, well into adulthood.

On a related note:

The slaughter of turkeys is pretty much a once a year thing:

("how to cook a turkey")

Ham on the other hand we cook for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

("how to cook a ham")

Cooking in general? Mostly Christmas but also a spike for the 4th of July it seems.

(recipe)

I also think it is interesting how the volume of searches goes up over time.  Google Trends measures a term against the total search volume so that an increase in total users should not cause that rise.  We have just slowly given up on cookbooks, and turned to Google. 

Pardon me, I need to go make a pie crust.  But will I pull out The Joy of Cooking, or my iPad to get the measurements?  Yet to be seen.

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Nikolai

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #8 on: 22 Nov 2012, 07:59 »

Having Thanksgiving a little late this year, because I'm not quite back Stateside yet, but at least the cooks at this Air Force base know how to cook. Can't really complain about the food, but still looking forward to whatever my wife is cooking up for our late Thanksgiving.
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Jace

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #9 on: 22 Nov 2012, 12:18 »

Hooray I'm having instant noodles out of a ziploc container for Thanksgiving because I have to work holidays. Oh I also don't get holiday pay either.
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Jimor

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #10 on: 22 Nov 2012, 12:23 »

The only Thanksgiving video you'll ever need:
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #11 on: 22 Nov 2012, 14:16 »

Hooray I'm having instant noodles out of a ziploc container for Thanksgiving because I have to work holidays. Oh I also don't get holiday pay either.

Addendum, the headache I woke up with didn't go away and I might also have a fever? Oh well, only 6ish more hours until 11pm and I can go home. Then I get to come back in the morning at 7am.
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #12 on: 23 Nov 2012, 07:45 »

I honestly can't wait until I can have Thanksgiving in our house. This year's was fun, but over the summer I had kind of been looking forward to the idea of having it in the new house.

Not that I have the slightest idea how to cook a turkey, but I can dream, right?
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Barmymoo

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #13 on: 23 Nov 2012, 08:12 »

You can also Google!
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TheEvilDog

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #14 on: 23 Nov 2012, 08:30 »

I honestly can't wait until I can have Thanksgiving in our house. This year's was fun, but over the summer I had kind of been looking forward to the idea of having it in the new house.

Not that I have the slightest idea how to cook a turkey, but I can dream, right?

The tricky part is that the legs take longer to cook than the breasts which results in the breasts drying out if you aren't careful, so keep it basted with juices.
This is a handy site to work out how long to cook a turkey (though you'd have to convert pounds to kilograms)
http://www.safefood.eu/christmas/turkey.html
That said, I always cook my turkey the night before, mainly because you have a much more controlled environment and not the chaotic mess of Thanksgiving or Christmas morning. Some people might complain, but the fact is, you're cutting out a huge chunk of stress by cooking the bird the night before.
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #15 on: 23 Nov 2012, 11:35 »

Only 11 for dinner this year, and none are family (other than immediate).  Friends all and every one.  22 lb bird (hey, that's 10 kilos!), stuffed (dressed if you're from the south), 10 lbs potatoes, candied yams, baked corn, green beans almondine, hot cider, white zin, and my wife's amazing pies - apple, cherry, 2 pumpkin and 2 pecan. 


Having trouble moving this morneng.... hey, look, pie for breakfast! 
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bainidhe_dub

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #16 on: 23 Nov 2012, 16:43 »

We had an oven malfunction last night - it somehow got turned off for about half an hour while we thought things were cooking. We ended up eating about half an hour late, minus the lentil loaf that was intended to be the main dish of our vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. We didn't miss it - we had salad, stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, roasted cauliflower, mushroom gravy, and cranberry-orange-walnut relish. And frozen pumpkin pie and a pear crisp for dessert.
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TheEvilDog

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #17 on: 23 Nov 2012, 16:58 »

Another good reason to cook the turkey the night before!  :-D
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Akima

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #18 on: 23 Nov 2012, 17:23 »

Lentil loaf sounds worth a try. I was reading around about vegie Thanksgiving options, and discovered the Tofurky. Which comes with a plastic wishbone! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #19 on: 23 Nov 2012, 17:33 »

We tried tofurkey once or twice but I found it really weird. There were different textures, but the same flavor all the way through, including the stuffing and gravy. I can ask my mom for the lentil loaf recipe if you want it.
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Papersatan

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #20 on: 23 Nov 2012, 18:20 »

I'm going to object to night before turkey cooking.  The meat will be cold, and the skin no longer crispy and wonderful. 

I don't think cooking turkey is difficult.  If you are buying a frozen turkey then it has so much "flavor enhancing solution" added anyways, that I think they are hard to dry out.  I think the most difficult thing is allowing time for it to defrost.  It will needs days in the fridge, or hours in a sink.  Other than that stuff an onion and or some herbs in it and coat it with butter and herbs, if you don't want to get creative, poultry seasoning won't fail you.  Throw it in the oven at 325 and baste it when you remember.  I cooked mine yesterday at 50 degrees too hot and basted it twice, cause I was drinking... It turned out just fine. 

The most annoying thing about planning  a meal around a turkey is if you have other things which need to bake, but you just make other people bring them and then reheat them in the oven while you carve the turkey. 
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TheEvilDog

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #21 on: 23 Nov 2012, 18:46 »

The sliced turkey can always be reheated and to be honest, as much as I like the skin of a turkey (or chicken), its just fat. As well as that, the juice-fat you get from cooking the turkey the night before can be used to make the gravy (Incidentally, you can separate the fat from the juice by putting a couple of ice cubes into the juice as it cools, the fat pools around the ice cube and its far easier to remove).

As I said before, cooking the turkey the night before takes away a huge amount of stress from holiday cooking. If you have a lot of dishes to prepare the day, you don't want to be checking the turkey every thirty minutes to baste it. And unless someone has dual ovens in their kitchen, the turkey takes up a huge amount of space for what is just one part of the meal.

That said, the last couple of years, I've gotten a boned and rolled turkey for christmas (seriously, all meat, no carcass and it takes up a third of the space).
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Papersatan

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #22 on: 23 Nov 2012, 20:04 »

I don't think I understand your gravy making procedure.  The fat is the part of the dripping that I want, it forms the roux which thickens the gravy.

I take the turkey out of the roasting pan and put it on a cutting board to cool a bit.  In this time anything that needs finished in the oven or reheated goes into the oven. Roasting pan sits on two burners of the stove I remove some of the fat if there is too much, and then add flour to make a roux.  Heat that while scraping up any bits that may be stuck in the pan, when it is thick enough, add liquid to make the gravy, remove to a serving dish.  Slice the cool enough to handle turkey, then remove the sides from the oven.

I mean, if it works for you, that's all that matters, but I'm not sure that re-heating the turkey would be any easier for me than cooking/re-heating other sides at the last minute.   Most sides I would bake take less than 30 min to cook, and there is plenty time for them while I make gravy and slice the meat. 

Bread gets made the day before or passed on to someone else.  Pie either gets made ahead, or baked while we eat.
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TheEvilDog

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #23 on: 23 Nov 2012, 20:17 »

Sorry, full of cold medicine so I haven't been exactly clear all day. What I meant was I get rid of the grease, not the fat.

What we do is take the drippings and leave in a separate bowl and put a couple of ice cubes into the bowl. The grease gathers around the ice cube and solidifies, allowing the worst of it to be removed. What's left is a clear jelly (I can't think of the proper term), which is used as the base for the gravy and in the potato stuffing or roast potatoes. The jelly is melted in hot water and cornflour is added to thicken it while it reduces. It was my grandmother's recipe and passed it on to my sister.

In my case, while we do have a fairly large kitchen, three people making whatever tend to bump into each other and while Christmas might be a time for family, no one wants to hears "Get your bloody ass out of the way!" preparing dinner  :-D
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #24 on: 23 Nov 2012, 20:26 »

Is turkey for Christmas just a UK thing?

Everyone's seen the viral video about using an iPad in the kitchen?
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Bluesummers

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #25 on: 23 Nov 2012, 22:37 »

I don't think turkey for Christmas is solely UK, but since it's a social mandate to have turkey for Thanksgiving here in the US, most people tend to choose some other protein for Christmas:
  • Chicken (It's like a miniature turkey, stop being boring)
  • Ham/Pot Roast (It puts the honey-glaze on its skin or else it gets the baster again!)
  • Duck (Bless you for branching out, but God help you if you make it wrong)
  • Fish (You must be Italian, I assume)
  • Beef Brisket (You must be Jewish, I assume...extra points for being festive anyway)
  • Peanut Butter (You must be five years old, I assume)
  • Tofu (Put it back. No, we're not getting it, I don't care if it's on sale)
Just kidding, vegans. I partake of the curd every now and again, don't fret.
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Jace

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #26 on: 24 Nov 2012, 00:11 »

In my family, my mother and sister were not huge fans of ham or turkey, so for xmas we always had lasagna, except I didn't like cheese, so my mom would leave the extra and broken noodles off to the side and I just had the noodles with sauce.
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BeoPuppy

Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #27 on: 24 Nov 2012, 01:43 »

Christmas with the parents used to consist of first day boerenkool, second day snert. I realise this will make zero sense to all non-dutch speaking people. But that is sort of the point.

Oh, and if mum felt adventurous she'd swap the meals between the days.
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #28 on: 24 Nov 2012, 02:55 »

Christmas eve we have a BYO party between the evening and midnight services at our church (we live closest, it saves the choir and other oficiants the trouble of going home for a ew hours, especially in bad weather).  We bake a ham, and everyone brings fantastic stuff. 

Then christmas day is a pyjama day.  No one's allowed to dress.  We have a small turkey and pies again. 


I put on three pounds since Wednesday.  Dammit!!
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #29 on: 24 Nov 2012, 07:00 »

I had smoked wild turkey, since they roam about Florida
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #30 on: 24 Nov 2012, 10:16 »


What we do is take the drippings and leave in a separate bowl and put a couple of ice cubes into the bowl. The grease gathers around the ice cube and solidifies, allowing the worst of it to be removed. What's left is a clear jelly (I can't think of the proper term), which is used as the base for the gravy and in the potato stuffing or roast potatoes. The jelly is melted in hot water and cornflour is added to thicken it while it reduces. It was my grandmother's recipe and passed it on to my sister.


And there is the crux of our difference; you make a cornstarch gravy and not a flour one.  Which one is made seems to be a matter of tradition, though I also am allergic to cornstarch, so even if I were not raised on flour gravy, I would be making it. 

We don't have a traditional Christmas dinner.  We have a family dinner every year on Christmas eve, but what is served changes.  Sometimes lamb, a lot of times roast beef, but sometimes a pork roast or a brisket.  We used to have a Christmas day dinner with my mother's side of the family, and I think we had ham every year, but it has been so long I can't recall.
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #31 on: 24 Nov 2012, 10:24 »

Because I've been vegetarian all my life, and my parents both are as well, I've always had something other than turkey for Christmas. It varies, but I think this year it will probably either be some kind of pie (mushroom, perhaps) or a filled Quorn fillet with all the trappings that usually go with turkey. It'll be the first time I've cooked Christmas dinner, I'm a bit nervous...
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #32 on: 24 Nov 2012, 13:46 »

unlike thanksgivings of the past I did not over stuff.

My parents came down from maine and I got to have thanksgiving with my uncle and my sister's family.  Got to hang out with my cousins and niece and nephew.  Drank with my cousins while having some fun conversation (something I havnt done in a while).  Watched the football games (Im sorry to you NYJ fans but the NE defense ended the game for you all).  Drove my drunk parents to my place where they crashed for the night (much to my sister's chagrin).

it was the best time ive had in awhile.
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #33 on: 24 Nov 2012, 16:08 »

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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #34 on: 24 Nov 2012, 20:49 »

For vegetarian holiday dinners we have often made a broccoli-chicken braid using soy chicken patties, or just a substantial casserole like the lentil one or lasagna. We get pretty into the side dishes, though, so it's not a big deal. The broccoli braid is nice because it's pretty and provides some of the centerpiece effect that I guess people usually get from the turkey.
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Re: Enjoy your turkey!
« Reply #35 on: 24 Nov 2012, 22:44 »

Our turkey, while beautiful, never makes it to the table as a centerpiece.  It gets admired while resting in the kitchen, then carved onto two platters (light and dark), which are then placed on the buffet with the potatoes, beans, baked corn, candied yams and stuffing.  All that's on the table are two dishes of cranberry sauce and three gravy boats...

And a bottle or two of wine. 
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