Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I’m so excited that it is finally here. Thanksgiving is obviously about giving thanks but my favorite parts of Thanksgiving are definitely the food and football on Thanksgiving. I love cooking and one of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is being able to help out in the kitchen with my mom making all of the dinner dishes.
I remember as a kid watching a food network show around Thanksgiving and the chef told everyone about a trick you can do with the skin of your turkey where you pull it back a little bit and put butter in between the skin and the breast meat to help keep the white meat moist. Feel free to use that trick, especially since I have been using that trick ever since I saw it on TV so many years ago.
My favorite Thanksgiving dish is green bean casserole. It seems like an odd one to pick, especially since it’s a vegetable dish but that is definitely my favorite dish at Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t much that I don’t like at Thanksgiving, but I am disappointed if I go somewhere for Thanksgiving dinner and there is not a good green bean casserole.
I always make homemade gravy for Thanksgiving dinner and it is actually a lot easier than it seems. The hardest part is getting the juices from the turkey and straining all of the little bits and pieces of food out of the juices.
Now the easiest way to have plenty of turkey juice is to cook your turkey in a bag, this also helps keep the bird from drying out and if you use a bag that means nobody has to open the over door every so often to baste the turkey. Two birds, one stone. Plenty of juice for gravy, and easier on the cooks. Once you have your turkey juices you’ll want to melt butter in a sauce pan and allow the butter to brown a bit, the more you let it brown the darker your gravy will get.
Once you’re happy with the color of the butter stir in flour until the pan has a sand like texture. At this point you slowly add your turkey juice stirring constantly so that there are no lumps in your gravy, and if you’re worried that you won’t have enough liquid, add chicken stock to supplement. Once you have all the liquid in the pan you let the gravy simmer until it thickens to your desired thickness. A neat little trick that my mom taught me is that if the gravy isn’t dark enough you can add some Worcestershire sauce to make it darker and it adds a nice flavor punch.
Finally, we get to the dessert part of Thanksgiving and my favorite part about Thanksgiving dessert is pie! I love pie and my favorites at Thanksgiving are pumpkin, obviously, apple, this is America…duh, and chocolate pecan. If you have never had a chocolate pecan pie, my goodness you have not lived! Needless to say I’m pretty fired up about Thanksgiving, but my biggest gripe is with the University of North Dakota. I have always been so angry that the schedule at UND come Thanksgiving is only two days off. TWO! I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw that and my first year I hoped that it was poor scheduling, but it turns out that UND has perennial bad scheduling for Thanksgiving. If I was president for a day at UND I would definitely make Thanksgiving at least 3 days off, maybe even the whole week. I mean what’s the point? People are going home when they feel like it anyways and nobody wants to be there including the professors so let’s give the people what they want.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and let me know what your favorite parts of Thanksgiving are!