holidays and recipes: feels like the first time

Alton Brown Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe  Food Photography

Being away from home, it always makes it bearable being so far from family if I do the usual things I took for granted while growing up when I was back home. The most poignant times are when I celebrate the traditional festivities such as Thanksgiving. It makes me feel less displaced and more like I’m still on a journey towards finding my true self. My simple logic that puts my mind at ease is that wherever I find myself in the world, I can always make a home for myself as long as I am secure about what I want from life and that I am proud of what I have accomplished.

Anyhoo, back to the turkey… It’s been quite awhile since I prepared my own Thanksgiving feast. This was actually only my second turkey that I ever made, with the exception of doing a deconstructed turkey photo shoot (which I didn’t cook but photographed). It made me feel like it was my first time. I was nervous about the outcome, lest the bird became a failure, reducing all my fruitless attempts to nothing but a lousy memory. Hence, referring to myself as a birdbrain whenever I see a turkey.

Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, Apple Pie and Mount Blanc Food Photography

Thanksgiving has always been a family affair, and it’s been ages since my husband and I together had a chance to spend some time with family and friends from back home on Thanksgiving. I can’t compare having dinner out with family and friends to celebrate the occasion. It actually defeats the purpose. Thanksgiving is supposed to be celebrated amongst family and friends at home where you relax as much as you can, unbutton your trousers and just plop down on the sofa and listen to your relatives reminisce or debate about anything and everything they can think of.

Alton Brown Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe  Food Photography

Thanksgiving is thought of primarily as an American celebration, when in fact, just like Christmas, it’s a universal occasion. Everyone, after all, has something to be thankful for and that’s the true essence of Thanksgiving: giving thanks for all the good things that happened to you the whole year. That is precisely why it was about time to cook our own Thanksgiving and start a new tradition. I consulted with Mom and my friend Camille. I used Alton Brown’s brining method and ordered the Turkey from France, a smallish bird about 6 pounds. I was fearful if I went full size it might not have fit into the oven. I was very tempted to take out my Crème brûlée torch that I couldn’t find and give the legs a bit of a tan, but I was exhausted from the three day cook-off and just wanted to sit down and grub. I used a lamb, maple sausage, baguette stuffing, that was fairly easy but took a lot of prep work.

There’s always a first time for everything and it’s never too late for a first time for anything. Needless to say, my turkey was a resounding success!

Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, Apple Pie and Mount Blanc Food Photography

No Left Over Maple Lamb Sausage Stuffing
(serves 6)

(Leave cut and a cubed baguette over night or if you are in a hurry use the oven to crisp them)

1 package of maple sausage links (raw and removed from their casing if possible but not necessary)
1 package of lamb sausage
1 stalk of celery
6 small cubes of Knorr Chicken Stock (adjust to taste)
1 Pinch of Thyme
1 Pinch of Sage
1 Onion
1 Stick of butter
2 2ggs

Directions: Sautee everything for the exception of the egg and bread, you’ll want to add a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. After the sausage has cooked and veggies have caramelized, you’ll add the mixture to the bowl of bread cubes. You’ll then add 2 eggs, mix, and add the chicken stock until the mixture is damp but not soggy. Bake for 45 minutes at 180c covered in foil, unwrap the foil to allow the top to crisp, about 20 minutes more at 210c.

  • rss
  • flickr
  • twitter
  • facebook

8 comments

  • December 5, 2011 at 11:52 am //

    Your turkey looks beautiful. Congrats on your 2nd attempt. :)

  • December 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm //

    Turkey looks perfect! And such lovely presentation! :)

  • December 5, 2011 at 11:32 pm //

    Wow, everything looks absolutely gorgeous!
    I have to say, lamb sausage in the stuffing sounds extra delicious – I’ll have to try that some time in the future :)

  • December 6, 2011 at 10:51 am //

    The turkey looks awesome, congratulations! And as always, beautiful photos!

  • December 6, 2011 at 11:12 am //

    delicious looking dishes lovely post

  • December 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm //

    Beautiful photos and recipe!

  • December 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm //

    Looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at foodepix.com.

  • August 29, 2012 at 9:54 am //

    We enjoyed hanvig you guys over, but I’m afraid the conservative turkey may have been wasted on you. You didn’t even ASK about the anti-christ sign, and I was all prepared to reveal to you who he is. (And no, it’s not the obvious guess Obama. That guy’s got the policy prescriptions and evil intentions, sure. But on the smarts front? Let’s just say the Anti-christ is not going to be reduced to stuttering incoherence if his teleprompter ever goes down.) And no, now it’s too late I’m not telling. But you should have voted for Marco, and you should not be watching Beck. That part was a joke.