Sunday, November 14, 2010

cooking on a gloomy november sunday

On Sundays, I like to have the radio on MPR so I can listen to A Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me while I cook. Today, I baked muffins that I like to take to work for a morning snack and cottage cheese pancakes. Both recipes are staples in my kitchen. Since my surgery, I don't eat much bread or white flour so I make both of these recipes with oatmeal, almond flour, and other healthy things. Very dense, no sweeteners, and lots of protein.

We made it to Patrick's last night and the crowd wasn't too unruly until about midnight. Then, what has been called the meet-up crowd, came stumbling in. Kids who have been at house parties and only come to the bar to hook up. They made dancing difficult, believe me. We enjoyed the band, the limerick contest, and the leprechaun look-alike contest. Such silliness.

I worked on the Thanksgiving plan this morning. All is done. The menu printed and put on the front of the binder, the to-do list, the grocery list. I got out the table linens yesterday, the silverware, and the extra wine glasses. Tomorrow, I'll mail the invitations to the friends and family who come. What a concept...mailing an invitation printed on paper. So much is done electronically now.

I'm making Alton Brown's Good Eats Meatloaf for dinner. Sounds like a good meal for a cold November night.  We have a movie to watch but it's been around for a month and we never seem to make time to watch it.

We're having our cable disconnected tomorrow. Regis had to run the gantlet at Mediacom to get that arranged because they just couldn't believe that we don't want to watch television.

Just checked my blog to see what I was doing two years ago in November. Here are the notes Regis wrote regarding the turkey. I think I'll write my annual "what I'm thankful for" blog post tonight. If we don't watch the movie, that is.

The Brined Bomber (2010 bought at 18.5 turkey. A little too big for the roaster.)
Turkey was thawed over a period of several days on the porch in a soft sided cooler. Air temperature on the porch was about 45 max during the daytime on the porch and near freezing at night. Turkey was moved to a cooler full of water and ice cubes where it remained for about 12 additional hours.
The Brining
Basic recipe for the 21 lb bird was 3 gallons of water, 1.5 C salt, and 1.5 C brown sugar. Also added to the plan were quartered oranges and onions. Spices were rosemary and thyme. The turkey was placed in a plastic bag into the cooler along with the solution. It sat on the porch for an additional 12 hours.
The Cookery
Turkey was removed from the brine, rinsed, and the cavity stuffed loosely with apples, oranges, onions, more spices, and garlic. It was salt and peppered and liberally coated with olive oil.
The bird was set breast side down on a V shaped rack and cooked in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour. It was then flipped over, the breast covered with foil, basted with chicken stock, and the oven was reduced to 350 degrees for an additional 3 hours and 20 minutes. It was basted with broth every hour. The breast was 165 to 170 when it came out and the thigh was 175.

We put the turkey in at 11:45 and he was done in 2 and 3/4 hours. A little faster than we planned on but the meat was so moist and delicious.

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