Thanksgiving is all about being grateful…and a fabulous feast
For so many of us, Thanksgiving is about getting out of town, being surrounded with family and friends while cooking up a storm.
Yes, it’s stressful for some, relaxing for others. At the end of the day, it’s all about the food but remember to make a silent ‘thank you’ for all the abundant food we have on our lives. (I like to extend this thought to being grateful for the many things that make up my life.)
The obvious choice for the weekend is turkey. You can have it all weekend if you want to by purchasing a larger one than you need for your feast and carry it through the rest of your meals…cranberry, stuffing and turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, a pot pie. I never get tired of this — one day I will write that book ‘101 ways to Eat Your Leftover Turkey!
One thing we all crave is more time. Here is my tip to save you some time looking over that turkey in the oven – brine it! Not only does it make your turkey taste better, it allows you to play outside, go to the spa or just simply relax. You’re welcome!
HOW TO BRINE A TURKEY
Brining a turkey enhances the flavour of this meat. Not really necessary with an organic bird but a less noble bird will benefit with a 24-hour brine. 275g salt. Dissolve the salt in 15 litres of water. Put the turkey into a clean, stainless steel saucepan, plastic bucket, bin or cooler. Cover with the brine and a lid for 24 hours. If you want to speed up the process, double the salt and brine the bird for 10 hours.
DRAIN, DRY, STUFF & ROAST.
Remember that your turkey is the highlight of this meal. You do not want to over or under cook it.
TIPS TO ROASTING THE PERFECT TURKEY
15 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes
Brush with melted butters and season with salt and pepper
Cover loosely with greaseproof paper and then roast
When the turkey is done, the juices should run clear
To test, prick the thickest base of the thigh and examine juices.
Remove turkey to carving dish, keep warm and allow it to rest while you make the gravy
Step away from using cranberry sauce in the can and try to make your own. I often find that this recipe is the ‘show-stopper’ of our meal at home.
SPICED CRANBERRY ORANGE SAUCE
1 lb of white sugar
Zest and juice of one organic orange
4 fl oz of white wine vinegar
A half stick of cinnamon
1 star anise
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 chilli, split and seeded
1 lb cranberries
Lemon juice to taste
Put sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, ginger and chilli on a stainless steel saucepan with 8 fl. oz of water
Bring to a boil
Add the cranberries, bring back to a boil and simmer very gently until all berries burst
Lift out the hard spices with a slotted spoon
Add orange zest and juice
Add a little lemon juice to taste. Serve hot or cold
At the end of day, if you are not in the mood to cook up this meal, give us at call at From Scratch. We have pre-made turkey dinners where you can take all the credit.
So enjoy your weekend, remember to give thanks and most of all, be grateful for the wonderful food you have on your table this weekend!
Lara McCormack is one of the owners of From Scratch – A Mountain Kitchen in Fairmont Hot Springs where one can savour great seasonal food, sip from a selection of beverages including B.C. wines and enjoy the views of our gorgeous valley.