Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

After reading many of your blogs, I realized that doing everything possible prior to Thanksgiving Day made a lot of sense, even some finished dishes.

I made the gravy using Debby’s method from A Feast For The Eyes – check her blog for the recipe and lots of photos.  I made the stock per her recipe then made up a double recipe of delicious gravy.

I made the turkey brine using a recipe from Chris at Nibble Me This, but omitted the final two ingredients. I fried up bacon for several dishes and whipped up some Alfredo Sauce for the Brussels sprouts hash.

Eric, Ann, Matthew, and Sophia came in late Tuesday and Bev decided to start off Wed. by making up a batch of pepperoni rolls with the aid of the grandkids.

Then with help from Eric, we prepped the turkey and added it to the brine, made up the herbed butter and turkey baste, mixed up the crock pot dressing except for the dried bread, chopped up extra fresh herbs, and made the roasted vegetable sauce.  Bev made up the rolls and we had all but a few things ready to go.

When we got this done, my buddy Joe came over, and we did as much damage as we could to the 10 dozen oysters Eric brought with him from Maryland.  After some Oysters Rockefeller for Bev and Ann, us guys had a raw tasting of the four varieties we had: Blue Points, Chincoteague, Sewansescott, and Maryland.  After three rounds, I rated the Blue Points first and the Maryland’s last with the other two in the middle but the Chincoteague’s were very salty.  Even though there was one ranked fourth, I have to say they were all plenty good raw or made into more Rockefellers.

For Thanksgiving morning, we only had a few chores to do.  First was to rinse and dry the brined bird, add the herb butter under the skin then pop it in the 250* smoker for about 4 hours.

Then we cut up the turnips, sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, winter squash, and parsnips for roasted root vegetables using the recipe from Drick’s Rambling Café.  We cubed sweet potatoes and sliced Brussels sprouts for the hash using the same recipe as previously - I’d never seen them in the store on the stock like this so I had to buy one.

Finally, I added the bread to the other dressing ingredients and started them in the crock pot for the four cook on low.

Friend, Ashley, brought the salad, and SIL, Pat brought the mashed potatoes using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe and we kept them warm in a crock pot.  We served buffet style and this is my plate.

We finished the meal off with homemade pumpkin pies provided by daughter, Wende.

I liked everything we had and others seemed to enjoy the meal as well – even Wende liked the hash and she doesn’t care for Brussels sprouts.  The only things I’d change was to reduce the Crasins in the dressing from two cups to one as it was a little sweet for my taste and orient the turkey in the smoker so that the dark meat was closest to the heat as, while the breast was meat was perfect, the dark could have cooked a little more.  Please click on the various links for recipes and the pictures I failed to take.

I’ve posted a couple of recipes below so I’ll have them on my blog.

Photos best if enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


11/26 - 11/28/13 meal date

Slow Cooker Chicken Stuffing  – Double recipe shown below

6 oz pkg     Cornbread stuffing mix
6 oz pkg     Regular stuffing mix
2 whole      Chickens, cooked, boned, and chopped (we used rotisserie birds)
2 large       Onion, chopped
2 cups        Celery, chopped
6 ea            Eggs, beaten
2 (10 oz)    Cream of mushroom soup
4 cups        Chicken broth
1 T              Poultry seasoning
1 cup          Dried cranberries (reduced from 2 cups) - optional
1 tsp           Salt
½ tsp          Pepper
4 tbsp         Butter, cut into small pieces

Grease a 6 quart slow cooker (for the double recipe)
Combine first 12 ingredients, transfer to slow cooker and top with butter.
Cook covered on high for 1 hour & low for 3 hours – do not remove lid.

Turkey Herb Butter

1 stick butter, room temperature,
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2/3 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
Mix butter and all minced herbs in small bowl; season herb butter with pepper.

Starting at neck end, slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Rub 4 tablespoons herb butter over breast meat under skin.  Repeat for thighs and legs.


  1. What a feast. My favorite part would have been the oysters and the smoked turkey with plenty of gravy. Everyone can fight over the rest :)

  2. Larry, My favorite would have been those pepperoni rolls! Yum! Sounds like a great time was had by all...with great food to boot! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  3. I really must try those pepperoni rolls. ohmy! I made a turkey breast for Bob and I the Sunday before we drove to Kansas. We loved it. I may never do a whole Turkey again.

  4. Looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The rolls look amazing but that smoked turkey is really a thing of beauty. I love that you had so much help in the kitchen. Everybody shared the load and that is what family is all about.

  5. Your Thanksgiving meal rocked! You prepped before and kept the stress low too. I can't shake that with a stick.

    Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

  6. Looks and sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving meal!! And I think doing things as far in advance as possible is definitely the way to go too! No sense doing it all in one day :)

  7. What a fine looking meal! I really need to try spatchcocking my turkey next year. What a beautiful looking bird.

  8. No bourbon? How can you skip the bourbon? Even if you don't put it in the brine, at least apply liberally to the cook, ha ha.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments