A Chateau Steelypips Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving advice from Making Light got here too late to do us any good, but we had a fine first Thanksgiving anyway. My parents, sister, grandmother, and one of my great-aunts came up from New York, and Kate's parents came up from Boston, so we packed nine people into our smallish house, along with more food than we really needed.

But then, Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday: built around excess. What other country would come up with a holiday whose principal observation is gorging to excess, and then watching football on tv? So the turkey was a little too big-- that just means more leftovers, and leftovers are one of the best parts of turkey dinners. Kate thinks I'm a freak, but I'm weirdly psyched to have a full dish of stuffing that never even made it into the oven-- I'm going to cook it up tomorrow, and it will be hot and fresh, and practically a meal unto itself. Yay, stuffing.

For those who care, the menu at Chateau Steelypips on Thursday:

  • One very large (20-lb) "Animal Friendly" turkey, brined overnight and roasted in a bag (just over three hours at 350F). It's probably a good thing that I don't usually buy turkey, as I suspect that we paid significantly more for this than we wouldv'e for a Butterball turkey, but it came out really well, if I do say so myself.
  • Bread stuffing, following my mother's recipe, which basically involves buying a box of Bell's stuffing mix, and adding a few extra things to it. Mmmm.... Stuffing....
  • Quebecois meat pie, a recipe from Kate's family.
  • Mashed potatoes with cheese and sour cream and onions mixed in. I don't like ordinary mashed potatoes, but these are really good.
  • Gravy out of a can. I don't eat the stuff, and I don't know how to make it, and I wasn't sure what effect the brining would have on the turkey drippings, so we decided to punt.
  • Steamed green beans.
  • Two different kinds of cranberry sauce, one from a can, and one from a jar. The jar variety was a big hit, but I don't eat it, so I really couldn't tell you anything about it.
  • Mashed sweet potatoes and mashed turnips, which are traditional on my mother's side of the family.
  • Slightly burned Pillsbury crescent rolls, as is traditional on my side of the family.
  • A sort of bean salad kind of thing involving edamame, tomatoes, black beans, and some other stuff, for my vegetarian sister.

And, of course, the all-important desserts:

  • Kate's mother's rum cake, the recipe for which can be found in dozens of places on the Internet.
  • My mother's pumpkin pie.
  • My mother's apple pie, which is the absolute Best Dessert Ever. And there's half a pie left over in the fridge downstairs. Mmmmm.... Apple pie....

The only sour note came from the NFL, who served up some really putrid football games. But that's ok, as I fell asleep on the couch pretty much as soon as our parents left.

The turkey carcass is in a cooler in the garage, waiting to be turned into soup tomorrow, but I decided I didn't feel like cooking today, so it was turkey sandwiches (with stuffing) for lunch, and straight leftovers for dinner. And I'm good with that.

For those readers who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope your holiday was good, and for those who don't, well, you don't know what you're missing.

I'm going to go eat some stuffing, now.


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Your grandmother's shrimp cocktail as an appetizer, and squash, the kind you get frozen in trays, with some butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg mixed in (we usually do brown sugar too, but I'd forgotten all about it until it was time to serve dinner and we didn't have any thawed).

We can do without the meat pie and the non-crescent-roll bread next year.

I am jealous. We will be out of stuffing after today.

By Brad Holden (not verified) on 24 Nov 2006 #permalink

We vote for meat pie to stay on the menu. Thanks for next year's invitation.

By Folks from Lisle (not verified) on 24 Nov 2006 #permalink

Well, the meat pie was unnecessary from the point of view of having enough food on the table. But I hope that next year, onions and garlic will not give me trouble--then it'll be a no-brainer to keep the meat pie on the menu, as frankly I like it better than turkey. Or stuffing.

Also, for my own future reference, the raved-about cranberry sauce is Dickinson's Premium Cranberry Relish.

Can we got a little detail on the Quebecois meat pie? Does it involve cheese, perchance?