Monday, October 11, 2010

Gobble, Gobble: Turkey day Tips


I think this year may truly have been a relatively stress free Turkey day. We enjoyed a nice lunch out at a restaurant yesterday with Hubby's parents and today it is just the three of us.  Being a teensy bit nostalgic, I still wanted turkey with all the trimmings.  I even ordered a fresh turkey from same place Mom used to (I am sure she would be proud!).  We will have some fantastic leftovers this week, some to freeze for later and I will even make some turkey stock!

Today's menu included turkey, mashed potatoes, bread stuffing, bacony brussels sprouts, buns, scurly, and gravy.  We haven't had dessert yet as we are waiting for our tummies to recover. For those who don't know, scurly is sort of a 'poor  man's haggis'.  It is a classic Scottish style oatmeal based stuffing that family members crave around this time of year.  It is probably the most unhealthy stuffing in the world which is why we only have it once a year! When we are ready it will be the pumpkin spice cupcakes and the pumpkin tarts I made yesterday!

Turkey with all the trimmings is a big order no matter how many people you cook for when you have a tiny kitchen.  One of my favourite tricks (tips) for making more stove top space is to use crock pots.  I make a bread dressing in one of the crockpots and mashed potatoes in the other!  There have been years where I have had everyone bring their crock pot over early and made good use of them.

Tasty stress free turkey day helpers starring:   CROCKPOTS!!!!!!

Crockpots are useful and lend to a stress free holiday meal because:
  • Crockpots won't boil over
  • There is no need to keep a close watch on the stove
  • It frees up some time for visiting or relaxing
  • It is just plain easy!

To make mashed potatoes a la crock pot:
  •  Put a kettle of water on to boil
  • Scrub potatoes
  • Cut into 1 inch cubes (smaller cubes will cook quicker)
  • Leave the skin on....it is tasty, healthier, and easier than peeling!
  • Place potatoes in crock pot
  • Add boiling water to cover the potatoes - using the hot water from the kettle helps save the time it would take for the crock pot to heat that much water.
  • Turn crock pot on to high
Potatoes should cook in about 4 hours
  • Drain potaoes and mash with butter and cream (or whatever other things you like to add!) 

Bread stuffing in the crockpot:
  • I like to buy a loaf or two of french bread or multigrain from the local bakery.
  • cube or tear the bread into large bite size pieces
  • place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees F until toasty (about 10 minutes)
  • place toasty bread cubes in crock pot
Saute in a pan until translucent:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup butter (this depends on your personal tastes)
  • 2 tsps poultry seasoning (or to taste)
  • pinch salt and pepper
(if you use 2 loaves of bread, double the amounts for the other ingredients as well!)
    Once translucent and bubbly add:
    • 2 cups turkey or chicken stock (if you have already boiled the neck and pieces to make a broth, use it)
    Carefully pour this mixture over the toasted bread pieces and mix thouroghly.  You may want to adjust the amount of liquid, depending on how wet or dry you like your stuffing.  Today when I checked the crockpot, it was dry so I added some more hot turkey stock.

     Brussels Sprouts really are better with bacon (Even my 14 year old son eats brussels sprouts!)
    • Wash, trim, and cut in half fresh brussels sprouts
    • Chop 5 slices of bacon
    • slice 1/2 onion
    • Toss together on a baking sheet with 1 or 2 tbsp oil
    • Separate bacon pieces and onions while mixing with your hand to coat the brussels sprouts
    • Bake in 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and brussels sprouts are golden and carmelized.

    I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have been able to spend it with loved ones and remembering those who can't be with us. Enjoy your turkey comas!

    1 comment:

    1. Roasted brussels sprouts are my favourite. Seriously, I could eat (and sheepishly admit that I have) just roasted brussels sprouts as a main course for dinner. I do mine in a cast iron pan but it's essentially the same recipe as yours (oooo.. except with a pinch of minced garlic).

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