The Feast Itself
Thanksgiving this year wasn't too frenetic, since only the four of us were at our house for the holiday. But some effort was needed to convert this 20-lb. raw bird...
... into a golden-brown bird ready to be eaten for Thanksgiving dinner, and again as part of the meal on Friday night, and again on Sunday as part of a soup, and again today as part of my lunch -- turkey leg, Henry VIII style, which I can do when no one else is around.
On Wednesday night, I decided that brining the turkey would be just the thing to prevent dry white meat on Thanksgiving, but it took a while to come up with a container large enough for the job. Finally I settled on a cooler we bought years ago to take on long trips, but which had actually seen few trips. Now it's found its calling as a vessel for saltwater and raw turkey.
The rest of the menu was almost too conventional for words: mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green salad, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, sparkling white grape juice. I couldn't even be bothered to open a bottle of wine this year. I did open a jar of green olives, however. It's not Thanksgiving without olives on the table. No one else ate any.
We mashed our own potatoes but didn't put as much effort into the stuffing. It wasn't cooked inside the bird. That always seemed like too much trouble. Instead, Lilly made it from a box. But it's good. Stuffing mix has improved since the early days of such products, at least in this case. So I can recommend Trader Joe's Cornbread Stuffing Mix if it's stuffing you want, but aren't enough of a purist to want to go to the trouble of making it yourself.