Tackling the Turkey

Don’t I look confident? It is all a facade.

When my children were younger, I would get nervous just thinking about Thanksgiving. Roasting that humongous bird was intimidating. All those years of my own mother making the perfect feast loomed over my head and I feared that I would make the dreaded – dried out turkey.

One year I accomplished the opposite. I stuffed the bird. I know and in high altitude of 5280 feet above sea level. I don’t think it was cooked all the way through. I was horrified to find out that my mother-in-law, who never complains, was up in the night.

Then there was the first time we celebrated Thanksgiving in the mountains. I was caught unprepared in more ways than one. I didn’t have the right pots, so I steamed vegetables in cake and iron frying pans. I warmed the biscuits in bread pans. Hey. I have always been a MacGiver-type. I hadn’t accounted for the super high altitude of 10,500 feet so although the water was rolling, the potatoes were firm after an hour of boiling. After watching two sappy Christmas movies, we finally sat down to dinner at 9:00. My sister was by my side and we giggled throughout the turkey madness. My husband Danny kept the kids entertained. It was a feast to remember. At least we had silverware…

Now I roast that gargantuan sucker with panache. I wrote down my mother’s recipe long ago, but I will call her in the morning and ask for it again like every year. I’ll mix up the stuffing with the cooked giblets and bake it in a separate casserole. Then when the electronic thermometer beeps (I said panache and I won’t ever take chances on a rare bird again), signaling that the turkey is done, I’ll pour the drippings through a fat separator. Then, I’ll drizzle some of the juice over the stuffing. No one will know that the bird wasn’t stuffed.

This year I’ll make a list of all of my sides. Yep. I go overboard. Last year, I found the sweet potatoes in the microwave on Friday. I knew there was something else.

We’ll try to pack a lot into our day and enjoy our kids and my sister’s visit. I am hoping we will take a walk and enjoy the sunshine since Thanksgiving is almost a week early and the temperatures are still in the 60’s. We’ll watch old family videos and a football game or two.

This Thursday will be the 23rd time I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner. After all these years, I will relax and enjoy it. There will be no Black Friday shopping for me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Roxy thought my Thanksgiving turkey was delish!

Have you ever been intimidated by cooking?

For safe turkey roasting tips, click here.

97 thoughts on “Tackling the Turkey

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    1. My wheelhouse huh?? It is!!! I do love when the family is together, especially since both of our kids have ridiculous schedules.
      Have a fabulous Thanksgiving with your family Cayman!


  1. Happy thanks giving to you and your family Susie, you look lovely in that pic.
    oh i am always in a panic mode when i am cooking for guests, it always turns out great but I just dont have the confidence ..over the years i have accepted that this lack of confidence is what makes my food good 😆


    1. I think most cooks go through that. I am finding out that I am a little ADD so the distraction in the kitchen causes all kinds of creative cooking! I hope that you had a fabulous Thanksgiving too! 🙂


  2. We’re having our Thanksgiving with just our family this year. Deciding on a brine and all that since I can’t use my smoker where I live, which makes an awesome bird.

    Looking forward to chilling while the bird cooks, my wife makes pies, the kids help, and we get a feast that’s larger than our small family.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Susie!


    1. Thanks! I am sad to report however that this year it was the carrots that never made it to the table. They were hidden once again in the microwave. I think I make too many side dishes!
      If I would only make a list!
      I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


            1. We did! And then I had to make another dessert for a tailgate for a football game. I did go out for a run/walk and need to do another! It is that time of year!

              Don’t forget to come by and leave a link to your blog today!


  3. Yay! Sounds like you have this Thanksgiving thing down! 🙂

    No Black Friday for us either! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Nana’s and a lazy Friday enjoying one another’s company and leftovers! I did a little shopping today at Bath and Body Works.. stuff to make my honey smell nice… shhh! Don’t tell her! 🙂


  4. We in the UK only have turkey at xmas thank goodness. 2 years ago I agreed to a joint xmas dinner with the sister in law and family – 2 hardened cooks with 2 entirely different visions of xmas dinner perfection in one kitchen feeding 12 including 2 vegitarians and a serious disparity on the importance of giblets in the cooking process. This year I’m going back to the tried and trusted 6 points of xmas dining perfection.
    1 A turkey cooked upside down with a side order of baked ham.
    2 just the one kind of stuffing.
    3. lashings of bread sauce
    4 oodles of giblet gravy.
    5 at least 4 puddings to choose from.
    6 a couple of glasses of wine for the chef resulting in a slightly squiffy giggling fit when serving. ( I only drink at xmas)
    Best of all just me, my 2 kids and my new man – Cant wait.

    2 major dining events so close together – you mad impetuous fools !

    Happy Thanksgiving


          1. will be for a couple of weeks. also yesterday, big sale at my supermarket. a 10 pound boneless beef loin for .99 a pound. amazing giant slab of pork for only $10. can’t wait to make pulled pork with that, grill some, fry some. talk about a feast.


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