The Earth has circled the sun another time. So we find ourselves once again at the Thanksgiving table. Looking back on the year we have plenty to give thanks for, both kids are in college, Terry's mother is still with us
gaining valuable time against terminal lung cancer. So much so that she will be traveling to Colorado for Christmas this year. Something we would not have thought possible one year ago. So I plan to take you along on the Thanksgiving dinner with us. It will be Terry, the kids and I for dinner
this year. So we begin the preparation for our Thanksgiving Dinner 2007. Turkey out is the first order of business, while it is resting a little preparation of the mise en place is underway. Bread was tore up the night before. Onions, celery and various other prep that can take place a day early is completed. All the pies are baked the day prior to the dinner. Of course plenty of wine have been picked out and stored for the occasion. Picked up a couple bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau by George DuBoeuf. I
normally enjoy this wine, this year I don't even think it can be used to make salad dressing. Blech!!!!!!!!! Oh well kind of hard to follow up last years offering, with the weather being off and the harvest not going smoothly, lucky for us there are thousands of other wines to choose from for the occasion! So we start into the work. Rolls need to rise and be baked.

[Image: yeastrolls.jpg]

[Image: stufbread.jpg]

Prep is made faster, easier and efficient by utilizing the machines I have in the kitchen. I started years ago with an Oster kitchen center, when it finally gave up the ghost I moved on to the KA mixer. But I realized the chopper fit my Osterizer beehive blender. So I started collecting them so
I would have a few on hand. Combine that with my Cuisine Art prep 11 and the Chef's Chopper and I have plenty of "mechanical hands" to help out.

[Image: chopper.jpg]

Taters need to get to boiling, Stuffing needs to be combined and readied for the bird. The bird needs washed and stuffed and seasoned and place in the oven for its conversion to eatable food.

[Image: taters.jpg]

[Image: mirepoix.jpg]

[Image: stuffmix.jpg]

Prepping the bird will fall onto me, as the cougar and daughter (my wife and Rae) get the table ready. On my way home I stopped and picked up the center piece. I think you will all agree another homerun for Gaye Adams our florist and owner of Rosewood Floral in Grand Junction, Colorado!

[Image: centerpiece.jpg]

During prep this year I decided to document one of my pet peeves about turkey and the industries need to sell you water. While I understand at this time of the year turkey is fairly cheap in North America, it still pisses me off that the packing plants put so much water into the birds. They claim it is part of the packing process, they are full of crap IMACO! I took two of these out of my bird.

[Image: money.jpg]

That equals $1.59 I was presented with to run down the drain.  I did take the time to file a complaint at their website. I really think it is uncalled for to sell people water at the per pound price. And it is obvious that this was put in to add one more pound to the weight. But
enough of the chef rantings on with the feast! While I work on the bird, the ladies start in on the table preparation. They open the bow hutch and remove the depression era glass plates and glasses.

[Image: tablecougars.jpg]

Polishing as they remove the pieces required to set the table for Thanksgiving Dinner!

[Image: raeglass.jpg]

[Image: glass.jpg]

The continue to jabber on and put the table together until the task at hand is completed.

[Image: table.jpg]

[Image: table2.jpg]

That should work nicely for dinner! Turkey prep includes the giblets and all that comes with making the gravy from them.

[Image: giblet.jpg]

[Image: giblets.jpg]

While they are simmering and rendering I have to start on the seasoning of the bird and of course stuffing the thing.

[Image: seasonturk.jpg]

Then it is into the oven for bird and let heat do its magic!

[Image: oventurk.jpg]

While the bird is in, wine is poured and consumed. And the various side dishes are cooked and finished. Today we are having Penna. Dutch potato filling, Sage bread stuffing, candied yams, steamed green beans, yeast rolls, gravy and roasted turkey. Have to sweat out some onion and celery, add that to a little of the sage bread and use it folded into the tater mash to create the potato filling.

[Image: taterfilling.jpg]

Then it gets folded into the mashers. This, plus some eggs really creates a unique dish. Have to baste and temp check to stay on top of the bird roasting.

[Image: temp.jpg]

After that a short side show to skin, chop, debone and prepare the giblet gravy. You will notice a couple wing tips in there as well. I gave up long ago on the roasting of the wing tips. They always turned to shoe leather unless I spent time putting foil on them, etc., etc. And for what?
Two little strips of meat, so I just whack the two tips off and throw them in with the giblets. They have enough fat in them to add a little Umami to finished gravy.

[Image: gibletdne.jpg]

[Image: olf.jpg]

[Image: neck.jpg]

Finally the bird hits temperature and the show is Game On!

[Image: tempprobe.jpg]

Place setting are ready.

[Image: placeset.jpg]

Son gets a little over the top, not into the wine, but a definite sugar buzz of some sort going on here! Napkin rings, who would have thunk it!

[Image: diviant.jpg]

[Image: tablefood.jpg]

Then as you probably noticed the entire thing is consumed and it is over in what seems like a few minutes. At least compared to all the prep it seems like it just finishes in a snap. But there is still work to do as the Turkey Carcass is about to have a second life....................

[Image: carcass.jpg]

But then the carcass is a totally different blog.........

'til we talk again, enjoy the holidays, they can be as special as you want to make them!

Chef Bob Ballantyne
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering
Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
Chef de Cuisine
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering

USMC Sgt 1979-1985
Thanksgiving Dinner..... Grand Junction, Colorado

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)