We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We always do two turkeys, one on the grill over a wood and charcoal fire, and one stuffed and in the oven. We make sure there is an overabundance of TG food so those who want to have a next-day mini Thanksgiving at home can have one.
Since stuffing is what a TG meal is really all about, I made three varieties this year. I cheated and did it the easy way with those Pepperidge Farm unseasoned croutons. Immoral I know but, dammit, it's supposed to be fun, not work.
So I made three pans of stuffings - one giblet with the livers, one sausage, and one fruit. The fruity one was most popular, I think. I used half of it to stuff the oven bird.
I soaked a bag of quartered dried apricots and a box of currants in white wine for a few hours (had no Bourbon which is recommended, and some raisins would have been good too), chopped up about 2 cups of walnuts. Sauteed a big onion and some celery (some apple chunks would have been good also). Had a lot of chopped fresh parsley, and threw it all into the aluminum pan with the croutons with 2 cups of fresh cranberries.
Then lots of ground pepper, and a tsp each of ground clove, cinnamon, and ginger. Added three eggs. Toss and mix with hands, then add enough warm turkey or chicken broth (with half or a whole stick of melted butter) to make it a little soggy, and toss again.
You might like it. I think I'll do this again for Christmas instead of our usual standing pork rib roast.
Photo is my grilled turkey. Most of the black is the bacon I covered it with. I filled the cavity with all the beer, chicken broth, and honey it could hold, and put the rest in the pan. Had to add more beer as it cooked. Lots of liquid keeps it from drying out. Does bacon go with turkey? Duh. The sauce in that pan was dynamite. I don't know why I bother with a dull oven-baked turkey.
My smoked bird looked almost the same as the pic. Eyebrows were raised until the eating started... then smiles. I simply salted the bird and then offset the coals and wood chunks. No basting... no injections... KISS. 3 batches of coals/wood... about 8 hours. Rave reviews.
No reason for an oven-baked turkey to be boring or dry. My husband brines it and spices the skin with a lot of things plus sage butter. Killer.
Something I love and no one else wants to eat (all mine!) is what I call cranberry Vindaloo: a compote of fresh cranberries and chopped up grapefruit (rind and all) with whatever leftover jars of jam and dried fruit I have around the house, some nuts, a jalapeno pepper, and a few spoonfuls of some Indonesian sambal or another. Better than ice cream. Completely addictive.
I like my stuffing inside the bird. For some reason my wife doesn't so she bakes her stuffing in a pan and serves that to the guests...I serve myself from the bird, and since I am the designated carver I get to do what I want. I think her aversion to stuffing in the bird has something to do with her career in food safety.
We are able to purchase "sage bread" at the local grocery store - baked in-store to boot. It gives added flavour to the stuffing, and is easy to cut up (we just chunk out the centre of the loaf with our hands).