The countdown to turkey day is on around here. The grocery shopping was completed yesterday. The house is clean. The recipes are pulled out and ready to go. And tomorrow the cooking begins. This is my fifth year hosting Thanksgiving so I’ve at this point I have a pretty good routine down. That doesn’t mean I’ve figure out how to manage that chaotic half hour before dinner is served, but other than that things run pretty smooth.
This year will bring our biggest headcount yet! Our guest list includes my mom and her husband, my dad, my sister April and her boyfriend, my stepbrother, J’s sister and her four kids and his mom. In case you weren’t keeping track, that’s 14 people! Did I mention we live in a townhouse??? Honestly though, I’m excited for it. I firmly believe that the best memories are made while tripping over one another. I have some things up my sleeve for the kids so that they won’t be bored out of their minds, although really all they need to stay entertained is uncle Justin.
For the second year in a row I dry brined our (17.7 lb!) turkey. I will never go back to wet brining! Dry brining is so much easier, less messy, and you don’t end up with the spongy textured meat that you do with the wet brine. This year we added lemon zest and rosemary to the salt to add extra flavor. After extensive deliberation, I decided on the Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus by Giada over at FoodNetwork. J wanted to help out with the turkey this year so he’s going to make a seasoning mix instead of using herbes de provence but otherwise we’ll be sticking to the recipe. I like to try something different with the turkey each year, keep things interesting, especially since most of my other recipes stay the same last year. I make sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing in the slow cooker (so good and easy) and cranberry chutney (made it for the first time last year and it was a hit so it made it onto the permanent list). And of course we have dessert, which will be apple crisp and pumpkin bars. I decided to go with pumpkin bars instead of pie because it’ll be a bit more kid friendly. Several members of my family are also bringing things so there will be lots of deliciousness to be had. Hmmm… I’m beginning to feel very hungry…
So, that’s what’s happening around here. Busy, busy but lots of fun. Now I need to start gorging myself so I can stretch my stomach out. I need to be able to fit lots of goodies in there in two days!!!