Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Very First Turkey!

This year Steven and I decided that we wanted to start our own tradition of having our own Thanksgiving dinner. That way when we have kids, no matter what way we are getting tugged and pulled, we will be able to have our own time with our family. We decided that we will make our own Thanksgiving dinner and decorate the house for Christmas today. The past week I was looking all over the internet for recipes for a great turkey soak. I found two that sounded delicious so I combined them to make my own. I have to mention how much my mother-in-law helped me! We spent Thanksgiving with them this year and I was able to learn all of her tricks. Honestly, that is what helped the most!

So here is what I did... I started on Saturday afternoon so that it would have plenty of time to soak.
First I cleaned out the middle of the turkey with cold water. I threw away the neck and the heart.
Then I grabbed my 4 gallon bucket and filled it with water (I didn't have a pan big enough). I threw a bunch of sea salt in and let it dissolve a little bit before I put the turkey in.

Then I mixed:

1 Tbs. dried rosemary
2 tsp. ground sage
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper

I rubbed in all over every cavity of the turkey. Then I cut lemon wedges, onion wedges, and tangerine wedges (because I didn't have oranges). I squeezed the juice over the turkey and rubbed in the onion. I put the turkey in the water and I also threw in all the wedges.

Today I pulled the turkey out of the soak. I melted butter and combined: garlic salt, pepper, and paprika. I basted the turkey with the butter then sprinkled the mixture all over the turkey.

I used the bag method to cook the turkey. One key thing to remember about using the bag is that you need to put about a tablespoon of flour in the bag and mix it all around. That way the turkey won't stick to the bag. 

I cooked the turkey according to the directions on the turkey packaging. 

It turned out so yummy! The meat was really tender with good flavor. I used the juice from the turkey to make the gravy. I did the gravy the traditional way. The juice gave such good flavor though that I didn't even have to add any salt or pepper to the gravy.

Here's another fun idea...
Steven came up with this genius idea. We love those chocolate oranges that you can get around Christmas so last year we decided to try to put them in hot chocolate.

We make hot chocolate in our hot chocolate maker then while it's hot, we put chocolate orange pieces in it and let them melt. It is delicious!

Here is our first very own Thanksgiving dinner!

After dinner we decorated the house for Christmas.

We had such a great Thanksgiving weekend and we have so much to be grateful for! 

We hope you all had an equally great Thanksgiving!


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