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18 November 2007 @ 09:37 pm
I'm attempting a partial Thanksgiving this year.

My friend naughtyflamingo is holding 'un-Thanksgiving' at her place the day before the Big Day, and since this is the first year I'm having Thanksgiving away from home, I thought I'd try and cook some of my family's traditional fare for my friends.

Keep in mind I've never done anything more involved than beef stew. My skill level in cooking is 'beginner'.

I'll be doing two pies (pecan and pumpkin), my mom's cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts in a bechamel cream sauce, and a turkey. I'm not concerned about the pies, sprouts, or cranberries, but I'm terribly nervous about the turkey.

On my mother's advice, I'm using this recipe: The Ultimate Turkey, according to the LA Times

Right now I have a 12-pound bird sitting in my fridge in a bag of salt and spices. As tradition dictates, I've named the bird. She's a turkey hen, and her name is Henrietta.

I often feel my family fails at having traditions, because we lack any sort of cultural heritage. We're white and American through and through. But in working on my very own first Thanksgiving, I'm realizing that we have more traditions than I first thought, and that I'm subconsciously passing them on. The sprouts are one - naming the turkey is another. This is more than just an adventure in cooking to me. This is one of the first opportunities I have to replicate some aspects of one of my family's most important rituals: food.

I will fret over Henrietta's wellbeing for the next three days, right up until that first cut is made. Will the skin be crisp but not burnt? Will she be cooked all the way through? Did I choose the right mix of spices? Did I salt her enough? Will she be too dry, too raw, too salty?

My mother cooked a turkey in an oven without a proper heat regulator, using a fork to prop the door open to obtain the correct temperature. Hopefully I can manage just as well as she did - and I have the benefit of a working oven!
Knight of the Woeful Countenanceorangeyak on November 19th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
So I had this plant last year. I think she died before you met her. Her name was Henrietta.
Wolfie: Banana-shapedmyarmcanfly on November 19th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
Go Henrietta go! We'll try not to forget you Tuesday night XDDDDD

Also, you are not a beginner. I am a beginner. And by that I mean I can boil water and fry rice. You cook tasty foods ^3^
The Weaks Ebdnaughtyflamingo on November 20th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
If you want I can give you recipes for fudge, mac & cheese, mashed tatoes... and I'm going to try and record my experimental glazed turkey with apple, cranberry, walnut stuffing. Maybe if it works out we'll both have recipes to add to our families and future family traditions. ^.^

Also, I'm sucker for family tradition as well.