Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Delayed

Yes, I’m still alive, lol. It’s just been one of those weeks.

I didn’t want to ruin others’ Thanksgiving complaining about how mine went though. After that, sleep and health issues caught up with me for a few days. I’m largely functional now however. 😀

Thanksgiving… As I mentioned before, we were originally scheduled to have at least 12 people. I went out and brought a 23 pound (10.5 kg) turkey so as to have plenty for all. Most canceled with other plans at that last minute, my mom got sick and chased off the rest. Apparently my brother and I were still supposed to brave snow and ice along with her cold or flu though.

I finally had enough of the lack of cooperation on last Wednesday and stopped asking. I told everyone we were postponing Thanksgiving until Saturday or we were canceling altogether. Mom and my brother agreed. Big surprise; the weather and my mom were both better, along with travel conditions. I nagged about re-inviting others, but that didn’t happen. At least I managed to take some control of the insanity though. That was a victory in itself.

When I returned to California after my divorce, I sensed that part of it was a need to resolve things with my dysfunctional family. I think Thanksgiving was the final step there. I realized I may not be able to completely change their insanity, but I can still assert enough control to minimize it’s impact on me. So, I may not have been able to make my mom re-invite people or get the ideal final Thanksgiving in California that I wanted, BUT I was able to refuse to drive in a snow storm to a sick person’s house for a holiday that nobody was attending. There’s balance in that, and finding balance is what life is all about.

The cooking was split up. I did the turkey, dressing and gravy. Mom handled the rest. I slow smoked the turkey and the result speaks for itself:

Now for new followers (welcome BTW. 🙂 ), who are not familiar with slow cooking via a wood smoker, that pink color is not a sign of raw meat. It’s a result of the smoke flavoring penetrating the meat. With poultry though, it’s always important to verify the meat is done via a thermometer when smoking.

My only disappointment was that since I only low smoked, the skin on the turkey never got crispy and cooked with a kind of rubbery texture. Last year, I did a half slow smoke and half normal 350 degree F (or 177 C) cook. Not as much smoke flavor, but the skin was golden and crispy.

Fun fact: That meat fork and the platter belonged to my great grandmother originally. 🙂

It’s a toss up which route I’ll go next year. The smoke flavor on the turkey this year is amazing. The drawback is the same issue with briskets; an insanely long cook time. The standard formula is 1/2 an hour per pound of turkey. So for this bird, that meant a 12 hour, all night cook. That after brining it for a day. Something I should do another article on. 🙂

As it was, the turkey finished at 11 hours. Wrapping it in foil and keeping it in a insulated “cooler” kept it warm till meal time though. That’s an old Southern trick for keeping a brisket warm and fresh till meal time

This is the actual cooler we own too 🙂

Now, since there were only four of us and we ate at the smaller kitchen table (as opposed to the dining room), the food stayed on the counter for space reasons. Here’s the final spread though:

Working clockwise from the top, we have green beans, sweet potatoes, chickpea (garbanzo bean) salad, cheesy mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy, and the turkey of course, lol.