Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

Well, I've recovered enough to sit for short periods at a time, hence this post. I also got myself pulled together enough to cook Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. It was stunningly delicious. Oh, and my plans to use a Roaster Chicken vs. a Turkey went poof when I found out that by spending $25 at a store, which I was already doing, I could get a 10-pound "Butterball" turkey for $8! Cheaper than the Roaster would have been!

I made the entire bag of the wonderful Pepperidge Farms cubed stuffing. Obviously it was more than the bird could hold, so I buttered an aluminum "throw-away" loaf pan and put the balance of the dressing in it. I dotted it with butter and covered it with foil and set it aside. In searching for turkey tips on the net, I found one important piece of kitchen info:  put the extra dressing in the oven one half hour before the turkey will be done. Sounds so simple, so elementary but when I was married I could never figure out how Mr. Cook could totally dry out the the casserole filled with the extra dressing. Duh. He put it in as long as the bird. Four or more hours are not neccessary to heat the extra dressing. I was so tickled. My extra dressing came out beautifully though not quite as moist as the stuff in the turkey. The turkey took exactly as long as the directions predicted, three and one half hours.

One can tell one doesn't cook much that's complicated because just after putting the turkey in the oven, it suddenly dawned on me that I needed to baste it with something. So I put half a stick of butter in a small pan plus 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme and oregano. To that I added some kosher salt and about half a teaspoon of dried sage (with the parking lot fall on Wednesday, all thoughts of fresh herbs went out the window). I basted the bird with this about every 20 minutes or so and it came out a stunningly bronzed bird. Gorgeous and yummy!

I toyed with the idea of making a side dish and gravy to go along with the turkey and dressing but decided that all I really, really wanted was the bird and stuffing. I saved the drippings from the pan so today or tomorrow, I'll make gravy and mashed potatoes with fresh green beans to accompany the turkey. After that I'll slice some to freeze for sandwiches. Thanksgiving turkey on bread with catsup is my favorite sandwich on earth. Well, it may tie with turkey on a dinner roll with mayo and topped with fresh basil leaves. The balance will go into a casserole. I found several good ones on food blogs. Then the bones will turn into turkey stock for soup.

Sounding pretty energetic aren't I? The casserole recipe I'm thinking of is from Kalyn's Kitchen and is titled "Brown Rice Casserole Recipe with Leftover Turkey (or chicken), Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese and Thyme". Does that not sound wonderfully delicious? Kalyn's Kitchen is a lovely blog with recipes that work with the South Beach Diet (she's not affiliated, just has great recipes) which is the only diet that ever worked for me and at this point is just the way I eat most of the time. Anyway, check out her blog! Oh, and she has a recipe for turkey breast in a crock pot that I just may have to try. I'd hoped to email her to ask permission to use the photo of her casserole, but the email bounced back, so to be sure and check the casserole recipe link for the photo.

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