For Your Amusement

This year's Thankgiving plan is pretty well set (actually, it's underway as the turkey is already thawing in the fridge). For your amusement at my freakish expense, voila!

Thanksgiving 2009


Brined turkey

Crockpot stuffing

Mashed potatoes


PW’s sweet potatoes*

Pickled beets

Olives & pickles

Carrots and celery

PW’s Green beans

Cranberry muffins

PW’s roasted acorn squash


Cranberry coffee cake



Shred and dry bread


Bake pumpkin pie and pecan pie

Make sweet potatoes

Make cranberry coffee cake


Begin brining turkey

Thursday Night

Turkey to fridge

9:00 a.m.

Stuffing prep

9:30 a.m.

Stuffing in crock pot (go easy on liquid, add as needed)

10:15 a.m.

Turn crock pot temperature down to low

11:00 p.m.

Turkey prep

By 11:30 p.m.

Turkey in oven (turkey lifter)

Set table

By 2:00 p.m.

Potatoes on stove, Squash into oven

2:00 p.m.

Prep sweet potatoes

By 2:15 p.m.

Sweet potatoes into oven

2:15 p.m.

Prep and cook green beans

2:30 p.m.

Mash and finish potatoes, smear squash

2:50 p.m.

Microwave beets, brown rolls

3:00 p.m.

Make gravy

3:00 p.m.

Beverages out, kettle on


Crockpot Stuffing

Melt 1 cup butter over medium heat. Cook 2 cups chopped onion, 2 cups chopped celery, 12 oz sliced mushrooms, and ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley. Spoon cooked veggies over 12 cups dry bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Season with 1 tsp poultry seasoning, 1 ½ tsps sage, 1 tsp thyme, ½ tsp marjoram, salt and pepper. Pour in enough chicken broth to moisten (up to 4 ½ cups) and add 2 beaten eggs. Transfer to crockpot. 45 mins on high then low for 4-8 hours.

PW’s Sweet Potatoes

Butter a 2-qt casserole dish. Combine 4 medium cooked and cubed sweet potatoes, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 tsp salt. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup chopped pecans, ½ cup flour, ¾ stick butter. Spread potato mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake at 400˚ for 30 minutes.

PW’s Green Beans

Snap ends of 1 lb green beans. Melt 1 tbl olive oil and 1 tbl butter over medium-low. Add 1 cup chopped onion and 2 gloves minced garlic. Cook for a minute. Add green beans and cook until bright green. Add ½ cup chopped red bell pepper, 1 cup chicken broth, salt, pepper. Turn to low and cover, cracked a bit. Cook 20-30 mins until liquid evaporates. Add more broth if needed, but let it caramelize a bit at the end.

PW’s Roasted Acorn Squash

Cut 2 acorn squash into 8 wedges, each. Place in baking dish and drizzle with 4 dashes olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and roast at 350˚ for 20 minutes. Combine 1 stick butter, ½ cup brown sugar, 2 tbl minced fresh rosemary into paste. Smear on squash. Bake add’l 30 minutes, basting halfway.

Incredible Pecan Pie

Prepared pie crust into pan. Mix 3 beaten eggs, ¾ cup light corn syrup, 2 tbl dark corn syrup, ¾ cup brown sugar, 3 tbl butter melted, ½ cup finely crushed pecans. Spread 1 cup quartered pecans on bottom of pie crust. Pour syrup into crust. Spread pecan halves over top. Bake at 350˚ for one hour.

Alton Brown’s Roasted Turkey

Combine brine, water and ice. Place thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. Fully immerse, cover, and chill, turning once half way through brining. 500˚. Remove bird from brine, rinse in and out with cold water. Discard brine. Place on roasting rack inside half sheet pan and pat dry. Microwave 1 red sliced apple, ½ sliced onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup water 5 mins. Add to turkey's cavity with 4 sprigs rosemary and 6 sage leaves. Tuck wings underneath the bird. Coat skin liberally w canola oil. Shape double foil triangle to breast area. Remove foil. Lowest level of oven at 500˚ for 30 mins. Insert probe into thickest part of the breast and reduce oven to 350˚. Foil breast area. Set alarm to 161˚. 14-16 pound bird requires a total of 2 to 2 ½ hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for at least 15 mins.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Wrap outside of 9 inch springform pan with foil to prevent leaking. Sift together 1 ½ c flour, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, 1 tsp soda, ½ tsp cinnamon. In saucepan over medium heat, combine 2/3 c brown sugar and 1/3 c butter. Boil, then pour into bottom of pan. Sprinkle with 1 2/3 c cranberries and ½ c chopped toasted pecans. Cream together ½ c butter and ¾ c sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs one at a time, stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with 1 c sour cream. Pour into pan. 350˚ for 60 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Serve warm.

*PW is Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, many of whose recipes I quite enjoy (well on decadent holiday-type occasions in particular, she's quite liberal in her use of sugar, butter, etc).

For comparison, I posted last year's plan here. Looks familiar, doesn't it? I'm a big fan of cut-and-paste and not-reinventing-the-wheel.

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