Having guests for Thanksgiving also means a TURKEY! Oh goodness if any of you have experienced a Rachel meal you know that it usually tastes fine but that's only because I doctor it up with salt or salad dressing or chocolate. Just ask Ricky and Krista about the flourless cake. David called it chocolate scrambled eggs (but dust some more sugar and cocoa and it really wasn't that bad- or maybe Krista was just saying that b/c she's a good friend). I have potential, really I do. I love reading cookbooks and I really enjoy cooking. I just need the motivation to follow a recipe! So here it is, my motivation... Mike and Diane, my in-laws! They are the most fabulous people so I could really mess up big time and they would eat it and smile and be ever so sweet. But I'd like to do a good job for them. I'd like to serve a legit turkey. I'd like our home to seem warm and kind of festive; after all, it is Thanksgiving!
My dilemma is that I don't have any experience making a turkey and I don't even have the tools to get the job done. Am I supposed to do it for the first time ever on Thanksgiving, no trial run and give my guests something I've never made before? But who wants to eat a trial run turkey and then another one a couple weeks later?! That's out. Do I serve the traditional Thanksgiving sides like potatoes and stuffing or do I take on my own twist of them? I know my in-laws will be happy with whatever I serve them, but this is my first time hosting Thanksgiving so I want it to be special and yummy.
I called David while he was on the road and asked him if he'd ever made a turkey. Of course he hadn't, I don't know why I even asked. :) He suggested we smoke the turkey on our Traeger grill. Great idea! That frees up the oven for other stuff! He said we should get a 14 pound turkey. Don't know where that number came from but it was spot on b/c all the recipes I looked at were for birds 12-15 pounds.
Last weekend we went over to some friends' house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was Thanksgiving in October! Maggie made a huge 26 pound turkey and it was fabulous. We all brought sides and drank wine and shared the evening together just chatting in the company of good friends and good food. She said that it was fairly easy to make, her tip was to take the bird out of the freezer 3 days before cooking it so that it has enough time to defrost. I'm so glad she told me that. I probably wouldn't have even thought to do that.
I have about a month to prepare, so I have plenty of time to figure out what to do. I bought the rosting pan and the thermometer today. :) I love the holidays. It means warmth and family and people and excitement to me. Woo hoo for turkeys and the excuse to be with people we love!
My dining table. It must be ready for Turkey next month! :)