First Thanksgiving 2014

For the first time in a very long time, we were able to spend an entire day with my parents and my brother and his family.  And it was AWESOME!  We chose to celebrate Thanksgiving a bit early to make sure that we’d have plenty of time for cooking, eating, and enjoying each other without having to watch the clock or save room for more turkey at someone else’s house later on.  We chose the “divide and conquer” method for purchasing and preparing food, which also made for a stress-free experience.

And for the first time ever I COOKED THE TURKEY!

Apparently, people are as divided about turkey-cooking methods as they are about public school vs. homeschool, or gun control, or vaccinations.  Who knew?!  So I kinda just shrugged my shoulders and went for it.  I figured the worst thing that could happen is that it totally sucked, in which case we could run to the store and pick up a couple of rotisserie chickens instead… and since wasn’t actually Thanksgiving Day, the stores would be open and the shelves would be full.  Bonus!

I spent a couple weeks searching Pinterest for recipes that were simple but seemed flavorful, and finally settled on this one.

turkeycarrotsWe knew we’d have six adults and four kids, but Ryan talked me into getting a 20-pound turkey so we could have plenty of leftovers.  I didn’t think too much of it until I realized (with two nights to spare) that it would take significantly longer to bake than a 14-pounder.  To avoid ringing my parents’ doorbell at 7am, I prepped the turkey the night before and left it in their fridge.  Mom was kind enough to pop it in the oven for me, and after an early-morning gym session and a shower, I headed out to take over basting duties.

The kids watched movies… and I basted.  The kids played games… and I basted.  The kids ate snacks… and I basted.

IMG_7873Turns out, we didn’t need to call an audible.  That recipe was definitely simple.  And it created a beautifully browned skinned turkey with plenty of flavor.

IMG_7875 The only goofy thing was that it cooked super fast.  By the time we got around to sticking the thermometer in (around the 3 1/2 hour mark) it was already overdue to come out and rest.  We figured there had to be a mistake – maybe we were inserting the thermometer incorrectly.  Or maybe the thermometer was faulty.  So we left it in a bit longer just in case.  Besides, we needed extra time because we hadn’t gotten started on the potatoes and other sides yet!  So other than being a smidge dry from spending extra time in the oven, it was pretty good!  I’d use this recipe again (which is a good thing considering we have enough leftovers to last us a week!).

Turkey Coma

Turkey Coma

Now that I know it’s not so scary, I’m kinda motivated to experiment with different seasonings and techniques to see what I can come up with for next year.

Next stop: Second Thanksgiving.  Stay tuned!

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