my thanksgiving line up

i don’t have a large family to cook for on thanksgiving. and most of the extended portion live far away. nope, it’s just the three of us and a couple of grandparents. sometimes a nephew shows up. it’s super chill in the cooking department so i love trying new things. but i’m not in the kitchen cooking more than i need to. i mean leftovers are great but i don’t want to be eating them for an entire week.

here’s my menu:

my mom is making the biscuits and the cake. she makes great everything but baking is her sweet spot (no pun intended). i’ve made the cake before and it’s better than any pumpkin pie.

i make a new turkey recipe each year bc nothing blows me away or is “foolproof” or a “winner every time”. ovens vary. skills vary. also some bloggers honestly can’t be trusted as “chefs”. i’m no chef but i have been cooking for a looooong time and consider myself pretty fucking savvy in the kitchen. yes, i burn shit but that’s bc i drink too much wine and forget i’m cooking. but if i have my game face on i can pretty much cook anything well. i can also read a recipe and find the flaws before i set out to cook it. with that i can almost guarantee that tieghan’s herb and butter roasted turkey is a winner. the butter-soaked cheesecloth draped over the bird for the entire cooking time kind of makes it a sure thing. a couple of things i question within the recipe:

#1. she suggests cooking the bird for 45 minutes in a 450 degree oven. i’m not so sure about this. that’s hot. and 45 minutes is a long time. now, the real issue with a dry bird is never whether or not it’s brined or injected with all the things it’s HOW HOT IS YOUR FUCKING OVEN AND DO YOU ACTUALLY KNOW IF YOUR OVEN IS ACCURATE? seriously get an oven thermometer and you absolutely cannot cook a large bird without an meat thermometer. these 2 things alone can ensure your best turkey ever.

#2. ok so the other thing is the time. while she does turn down the heat after 45 minutes to 350 she also says to cook the bird an additional 2-3 hours. now, i’m not saying she’s wrong. i think for her it’s right bc she knows her oven and she used a pretty large bird (14-16 lbs). what i’m saying is if your bird is on the smaller side (10-12 lbs) you’re going to want to cook it a lot less than 3 hours. even at 350. that said….GET A THERMOMETER. that truly is the secret. i like to take the bird out at 160 degrees and let it rest for about 20 minutes or more.

make ahead white wine gravy also from tieghan. this is basically the same gravy that’s served with the herb butter turkey you just make the majority of it in advance adding the drippings from the roasted bird to finish. i like anything that i can make ahead. if you can make it ahead, do it! trust.

i have not made this angel corn. i had never even heard of it. i think it’s basically a corn casserole. but when i saw it and then read the recipe it was a must try. nutmeg, butter, cream, ritz crackers, chives….yes please.

braised leeks. another one i’ve never tried. it sounds so luxurious. and who doesn’t love a leek?! such a gentle onion flavor. plus i think the leftovers of these could go a long way in the possibility department. on a toast topped with a fried egg? chopped in a salad? in a turkey pot pie? you feel me?

this one bowl pumpkin sheet cake couldn’t be easier to put together (one bowl and a sheet pan) and it’s really delicious. also the frosting is literally dumped on top and spread like a 5 year old did it. so. like. get your 5 year old to do it.

so yeah. no green bean casserole. no stuffing bc biscuits. no salad. and i’m fine with it.