Re: Cooking my First Thanksgiving! HELP!!!!
My never fail turkey cookery - BEWARE, carve this IN THE PAN. The meat on the lower part will all slip off the bone if you try to move it.
Take huge roaster. Take self basting turkey and stuff a stick of butter in it, and then rub butter all over the outside. Add your choice of rub to the outside and apply thickly - basil pesto, OR sun dried tomato, OR lemon herb blend. For "traditional tasting" 1 tbsp salt on the meat over the butter and then add cranberries to the turkey insides (do not overstuff as you need the meat to be the right temperature for safety's sake).
Pop the whole thing in a Reynolds bag. Cook. And cook some more. Either use a temperature gauge or add 20 minutes to when you think it's done; it's almost impossible to overcook/dry out in the bag. Voila. The sucker will be picture perfect golden brown, juicy, and yield a crapton of juice that you can deglaze and make soup stock from.
We do the usual green bean casserole (the french cut green beans, I make my own "cream of mushroom" blend, and top with french's cheddar fried onions. even the kids eat this up!)
And my mom's "Cranberry Crap". 2 cups cranberries, washed and drained; 1/2 cup chopped pecans; 1/2 cup chopped walnuts; 1 cup cranberry sauce (your own or the canned stuff); 1/4 cup brown sugar (the darker the better). Mix well and heat on low/medium until the sugar carmelizes. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Serve alone or on pound cake for dessert.
Mashed potatoes (everyone has their own recipes, I know, I know!) 5 lbs peeled boiled potatoes mashed well (lumpy preferred!); add SALTED butter (Irish butter works the best IMO) about 2/3 pound, and then HEAVY CREAM until the consistency you like. Salt and pepper to taste.
Bread is good - I usually go simple with a sourdough or something that has a "bite" to counter the sweetness of the spreads (rye is good, so is pumperknickel, or dark ale bread). Mix 1 cup butter with 1/4 cup honey for honey butter; mix 1 tbsp "herbs de provence" with 1 cup butter for herb butter. The nice thing about this as opposed to rolls or crescents is that it's an excellent base for the endless turkey sandwhich leftovers.
and my best leftover recipe is to use the cranberry crap and the turkey on a sandwhich. Mmmmm. I can't wait!