Thanksgiving dinner-Guys in the kitchen

Dados1950

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This discussion is thrown out to all the cooking guys in the forum...but the ladies can chime in also..

My wife and I both love to cook.

We host family Thanksgiving dinner every year.

This is her favorite holiday right after Christmas and she insists on "ruling the kitchen" and the menu...few change year to year...same traditions...not really receptive to new recipe ideas.

Do any of you cooking guys out there have the same problem ?

P.S. this "survey" is just for fun...we always have a wonderful meal.....
 

Francesca

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In all honesty, the 24th and the 31st are our traditional classics which my parents and in laws prepare and we all assist ..

The 25th and the 1st change from year to year depending on the wild fresh catch or the freshly hunted game ..

But always, Spanish / Catalan / French Provençal trio ..

We spend from the 22nd of December to the 1st January in our tiny condo up in Cadaquès .. We get to spend time with our twin sons and our 2 grandsons, so it is an amazing time for us ... my parents, my in laws and my daughter in laws ..

Then we travel to Italia on the 2nd and return on the 7th or 8th Janaury ..
 

sidevalve

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Yes and no - we don't have thanksgiving of course but Christmas is just the same [and my birthday is just after Christmas too] - so I just lay back and enjoy it :D [although I do offer words of encouragement and top up the odd wine glass]
 

Elawin

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The three men I have regular contact with (a friend, my son-in-law and his brother) would not be allowed anywhere near any kitchen, unless they were cooking something for themselves. On the other hand, my friend's ex son-in-law was a fantastic cook and used to do all the cooking when he was at home (as well as freezing meals for the family). From what I gather, my friend's daughter either eats out or has takeaways now as she can't cook for love nor money, and her son has school dinners most of the time :laugh: I'm glad I don't go there for Christmas any more.
 
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My extended family usually rotates where we eat Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. The rule there is that the host decides the menu, but guests are welcome to bring additional dishes if they want. The times I've hosted, I've deep fried a turkey. I'd heard about doing this from other people, and I finally did my own for the first time a few years ago. Frying a turkey is terrifying (4 gallons of boiling oil makes be think of a medieval castle defense), but the result is spectacular: the moistest, tastiest turkey any of us had ever eaten.

But, this year, we're all saving the fuss and eating out for a change. It won't taste as good (how could it?) but it'll be much more relaxing.

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ElizabethB

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@The Late Night Gourmet

We used to do the fired turkey thing - originally with pork lard. :hyper: This was in the early 80's. We were injecting turkeys long before injection became popular enough for the kits to be available in stores. We had a huge hypodermic needle from the ranch supply house and pureed savories with EVOO to make a thin paste. Eventually the lard was replaced by peanut oil. I do not remember the last time we actually fried a turkey. Brother-in-law, youngest brother and George all have a "Big Easy" oil less "fryers". It is actually an LPG infrared cooker. It does not cook as fast as actually frying but the end result is the same without the oil or the mess. Golden, crispy skin, wonderfully moist meat including the breast. We use it to cook chicken, pork ribs and a favorite - bone in, pork shoulder roast (Boston Butt). They usually sell for $100. They have been on sale recently for $79. A steal of a deal.

Regarding Thanks Giving. Middle Sister host Thanks Giving. For years the menu never changed. In the last few years we have been making subtle changes. Different salads and salad dressings, Artisan bread instead of brown-and-serve dinner rolls, compound butter instead of plain butter. A traditional dish has been a sweet potato casserole - so sweet it should be served as a dessert. Last year I introduced a savory/sweet sweet potato casserole. A big hit with the gang. I will prepare it again this year. I will post the recipe and pics when I make it.

I am trying to perfect an asparagus/artichoke heart casserole with Gruyere Mornay. I tried it once and it was an epic fail. :cry: The Béchamel was perfect. Added the cheese, turned my back for 30 seconds and the sauce curdled. An expensive Faux Pas.

I always bring my "drunk pork roast". A bone-in pork shoulder roast stuffed with onions, garlic, jalapeno, salt and cayenne. Braised in the oven with an entire bottle of red wine. "Slap Yo Momma" good!

My youngest brother is a very good home cook so he is welcome in the kitchen. Eldest niece's hubby worked as a line :chef: at Brennon's in Houston for years. He also won several local cooking competitions. He is welcome in the kitchen. The rest of the guys try to sneak in to steal a taste. They are loudly chastised, get their hands slapped and run out of the kitchen, usually with a mouth full of whatever they pinched.

I have a couple of nibbles that I plan to bring. I normally do not bring desert but I am thinking of bringing an "Everything Lemon, Lemon Cake". No - I do not make a scratch cake. I use a lemon cake mix, add extra lemon then go "lemon crazy" with the filling, frosting and decorations. I have made it twice. There is a lot involved so I may or may not have time or choose to take the time to make it. We'll see.

I love the holidays. The food is always amazing. The best part is the family. We are loud and boisterous. We tease each other unmercifully. Mother sits back, shakes her head and laughs at her crazy family. Out of nowhere she will pop up and throw in a zinger. :roflmao:.

I have been working on my list. I have the pork roast in the freezer. Plenty of wine in the house. I won't get the ingredients for the casseroles until closer to Thanks Giving. I can make some of the nibbles now. Cake - if I make it will be the day before.
 

Lynne Guinne

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...But, this year, we're all saving the fuss and eating out for a change. It won't taste as good (how could it?) but it'll be much more relaxing....
Where are the legs on that turkey??? *tapping foot*

I would think that Meijer or Kroger grocery stores would offer a full Thanksgiving dinner. Several stores around by us, and several back home south of suburban Cleveland, have full-meal packages. You get your choice between a turkey (12 pounds-ish?) or ham (8-ish pounds?), along with mashed and sweet potatoes, corn, rolls, cranberry relish, a pumpkin pie...and maybe something else. Depending on the store and exactly what their meal deal includes, it runs about $70, give or take $10. I would think something like that would be even more relaxing than going to a restaurant. I'm convinced that at any holiday, a restaurant will up their prices and rush their customers out at the first chance. After a couple less-than-joyful holiday restaurant experiences, I'd just as soon order in.
 

ElizabethB

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Two years ago we rented two lodges at a State Park about an hour away. Each family was responsible for a meal. We all pitched in for Thanks Giving dinner. We had a blast!

The weather was cool enough in the evenings to make sitting around a camp fire comfortable. Walks on the nature trail, hiking through the woods, fishing from the bank on the lake. Lots of laughter.

A group of 10 or 12 young people rented a lodge adjacent to ours. They saw our fire and decided to create their own. We saw them scavenging the woods for dead fall. After a while a couple of the guys came over and asked if we had and starter fluid. Not something we use. We walked over to their camp site and fell over laughing. They had constructed a perfectly symmetrical, 2' x 2' x 2' cube of branches and logs. We helped them dismantle their cube and showed them how to start with tender and sap from a nearby pine tree. Then gave them instructions on how to stack their branches and logs for proper air circulation.

Once the fire was started they all pulled out musical instruments and put on a concert for us.
 
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