Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Day!

I woke up to go to the bathroom at 3:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning and the entire room was lit by the full moon shining through the mini blinds. I got up for real around 5:30. Everyone else was still sleeping, so I took the opportunity to shave, shower and get dressed. I finally went downstairs to find them all up. I made a cup of coffee and watched the morning news.

Now, as long time readers know, my job down here is sous chef. But, I learned that most of the prep work had been done in the days preceding today, when I offered to help! :(

Eventually, Jake put the turkey breast in the oven. It was in the fridge, with herb butter already under the skin and on top. It had sat overnight in the fridge to let the skin dry out.

The gravy was done, made with homemade turkey stock and in the fridge, ready to reheat. The dressing was already mixed and in an aluminum foil pan, ready to bake. The the main dessert was also done: sweet potato cheese cake with homemade whipped cream.

My ears picked up when Carla said she was going to roast some Brussel sprouts with bacon. So, I offered to trim and half them. Carla said that was already don Sigh...

Jake made the mashed potatoes. No gourmet crap (garlic, cream cheese, etc.) Just good old-fashioned russet potatoes, mashed with butter and milk.

The turkey finally done and resting.

Jake baked some puff pastry layers for the second dessert. The homemade apple pile filling was already in the fridge as well. He also baked some dinner rolls.

In the end, I got to do one little thing. I lined a half sheet pan with foil, tossed the trimmed and halved Brussel sprouts with some melted bacon grease and olive oil, then seasoned them with salt and pepper. I put them all cut side down on the half sheet ray and sprinkled some bacon lardons around to cook with the sprouts.

They went into the oven to cook with the dressing. When they had a nice char on the edges, we pulled them and I flipped them over. The dressing and the Brussel sprouts swapped racks and went back in to finish cooking.

The gravy and mashed potatoes were reheated in the microwave while the dinner rolls reheated in the oven. The chitlins were reheated on the stovetop. Jake carved the turkey breast in my favorite way: cut the whole breast off and then cut slices through it (so each slice has some of the skin).

Finally, everything was on the counter, so we could build our plates. 
The beautiful turkey breast, resting

Carla's special dressing

Jellied cranberry sauce (the kind Jake prefers)

Sliced turkey meat

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with bacon
Mashed potatoes

Gravy, made from homemade turkey stock

Dinner rolls

Part of the spread on the counter

My (first) plate

Carla's sweet potato cheesecake. with homemade shipped cream

Jake's riff on deconstructed apple pie

We all had a glass of Pinot Noir wine and water to drink.

Dinner was fantastic!!!

I made the mistake of going back for seconds on the turkey, mashed potatoes and dressing (with gravy, of course) and had to wait to eat my sweet potato cheese cake. I was too full, dammit!!!

Jake started cleanup the moment we were done (he’s like that). He refused any help (he doesn’t like it), so Carla and I waddled over to the couch to veg a bit.

When I could move again, I went back into the kitchen and found everything put away, the counters cleaned and disinfected and the dishwasher running.

Sidebar: I need somebody like Jake at my house!!!

After a while, I had to try the cheese cake. So, I made a cup of coffee and topped a slice with the whipped cream. OMG! Fantastic!!!

Sidebar: Originally, she was going to make pumpkin cheese cake, but decided to tweak the recipe using sweet potatoes. Excellent choice!

We watched some TV and talked.

Then we started watching a movie called “Inside Out.” It is an animated Disney PIXAR movie that I thought was for kids but it was a bit dark for small children. However, it was fascinating.

Spoiler Alert: For once, a movie Carla chose where nobody died in the end. LOL!

Then Jake brought out the second dessert. It was a mound of layers of puff pastry, with the center scooped out. The center was replaced with vanilla ice cream, and the apple pie filling piled around the outside. Outstanding!  

Then we watched the Quentin Tarantino movie, Jackie Brown.

It was after 8:30 p.m. and Jake had to work on Friday. We were all bushed, so we went to bed. I read in bed for an hour or so and then crashed.


  1. Looks yummy
    Happy Thanksgiving to the SC family!

  2. Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, as well.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to my MI family!!!