Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008.3--Quick Turkey Gravy (p. 547) and Italian Bread Stuffing (p. 533)

The final Thanksgiving blog. Why did I break the blog into pieces? I figured it would be considerably easier to read rather than in one novella sized post.

I've never made gravy before, and, strangely, it was the part of the meal I was most nervous about. People are always talking about lumpy or tasteless gravy...I love gravy and wanted it to be perfect (my Aunt Charlotte makes a spectacular gravy and I would love to be able to make a similar one).

I decided on the Quick Turkey Gravy (p. 547). There were a lot of drippings in the pan. Four cups of chicken stock were added to the stock and the drippings were s

The stock/pan drippings was then boiled down until it is the correct consistency.

A little bit of water and cornstarch are mixed together (my grandmother [who grew up in the Depression] used to make a mix JUST like this for me to use as glue when I was a child).

The cornstarch is then slowly whisked into the pan and it's simmered for about a minute. Then it's poured into the gravy boat...

How was it? Perfect! No lumps at all. It took mom quite a while to try to skim the fat off of the top but she did a great job. It was slightly salty, I imagine from the pan juices of the salt-brined turkey, but still really good. And it heated up perfectly (I ate it for the next week!).

I don't like stuffing the turkey, so I make the stuffing in a dish. This year, I chose Italian Bread Stuffing (p. 533). The first step is to cook some onion and garlic in butter for about five minutes. You add that to a bowl.

The breadcrumbs are added...

Then bread crumbs, (a LOT of) Parmesan, an egg, some parsley, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper are added.

The stuffing is then moisened with some chicken stock and poured into a dish.

When I finished the first batch there was almost no stuffing! Honestly, there was about two cups of stuffing--not near enough for people who love stuffing! So I tripled the recipe. And the stuffing was attractive when it came out of the oven.

Apparently tripling the recipe was a mistake.

The stuffing was attractive. And it was salty. Strike that--it was SALTY. Almost inedibly salty. I figure that when tripling the recipe, the enormous amount of Parmesan cheese (a cup and a half) was WAY too much for the stuffing. This recipe is struck off of the list for future years although I would love to know if anyone else have made this recipe and had better luck...

The final table (mostly). It was extremely difficult to fit everything on the table! I also made TJOC's blue cheese dressing, which I've made before. It was still delicious and easy! So delicious, in fact, that mom refused to give it up and let us take it home :) As you can see in the picture, the salad came out of a bag.

I find this picture amazing because it's of my mom but if you didn't know that, you'd think it was me! I've never thought that my mother and I looked particularly similar but this picture would say otherwise. She's washing dishes...and there were a TON of dishes to wash.

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