Tonight’s dinner – white and dark turkey, whole cranberry sauce, and Gournay cheese with garlic and herbs on toasted sourdough, accompanied by a glass of cider – was almost as good as last night’s. A tad bit less effort, too.
I’ll try warmed turkey, stuffing, and gravy in the next sandwich
The gravy definitely improved the problematic mash (see below)
Good results yesterday: Five wins, one tie, one loss.
Best turkey I’ve roasted, tying with two I’ve done in recent weeks
Best gravy I’ve made
Best cornbread, bacon, and sage stuffing – we winged it, combining recipes of Julia Child and Martha Stewart, modifying to suit us
The slow-roasted sweet potatoes worked nicely – we added maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and pepper only; no need for butter
Best banana cream pie, made more subtle and luxurious by decreasing the sweetness slightly and adding a half-teaspoon more than the usual two teaspoons of banana extract (the real stuff)
Neutral: The peas with mint and finely shredded wilted lettuce were good, but I missed my usual butternut squash with nutmeg and white pepper and will restore it at Christmas.
Loss: I cannot recommend slow-roasted potatoes for making mashed; there was a graininess that refused to be riced away and the taste was not right. To be honest, if there had been a store open yesterday where I could get a half-dozen potatoes, I would have tossed the lot and started again. Back to the usual boiling or steaming next time for silky smooth and pure potato-flavoured mash.
It must be said that six days off is enough to make me happy even without a holiday.
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Thanksgiving dinner this year was a tasty Bell & Evans turkey with roasting pan instant stock that made a perfect quart of deeply flavourful gravy, mash, some Trader Joe’s corn (frozen but pretty good), light and fluffy freshly-baked Parker House rolls, and just for me, butternut squash with white pepper and nutmeg.
In past years Market Basket has stocked a few Bell & Evans turkeys, but this year they had quite a large selection priced at a little more than twice the price per pound of, say, a Butterball bird. That might sound expensive, but Bell & Evans birds are miles above others in terms of flavour, texture, and a complete lack of injected saline solution. At other shops, they’re most often priced at 3-4 times the Butterball price per pound.
The next time I cook butternut squash, I’m going to try roasting or steaming them. Boiling infuses far too much water into the porous flesh, which forces you to cook down the mashed result for 20-25 minutes on a medium heat to get it to an unwatery state where its flavour is properly highlighted. Two whole foot-long gourds produce just 3 cups/.7 litres of delicious cooked squash in the end.
The first leftover dish, an hour ago, was a turkey sandwich on lightly toasted sourdough with jellied cranberry sauce and herb & garlic boursin cheese:
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I’ll likely be making turkey noodle soup with most of the remaining bird, but more sandwiches are definitely in my future.