Mom was with me all day yesterday. I could hear her in my head, asking why I was stuffing the turkey with apples, onions, carrots, and garlic instead of stuffing. She was with me all week when I was cooking, telling me she didn’t realize all the work I put into baking all the pies for Thanksgiving. (The apple pie cheesecake won again as having the least amount left, with the apple crumb coming in second, the sweet potato & the pumpkin tying for third, and the chocolate pecan coming in last.)
As I put the turkey in my one and only roasting pan, I realized that either the turkey had to shrink, or the roasting pan had to get bigger – so I went to the store, and saw lots of other people doing the same thing as me.
The turkey did come out beautifully. If you want a good turkey recipe:
1 pint water in the roasting pan for smaller birds, 1 quart water for larger birds, cover the turkey with foil, and remove 30 minutes before turkey finishes cooking to allow for browning.
450 F for the first hour
350 F – 10 minutes for every pound of turkey, plus 30 minutes if you stuff the bird
baste the turkey every 25-30 minutes while in the oven, and every 5 minutes out of the oven while carving before it gets to the table
I stuffed it with 1 yellow onion cut in quarters, 1 Fuji apple cut in quarters, 3-4 garlic cloves, and 2-3 carrots peeled & broken in half.
I coated the bird on top and under the skin where I could reach with:
1 stick of melted unsalted butter mixed with several tablespoons olive oil, garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, white pepper, and a bit of sea salt.
Thanksgiving was always a Mom holiday. Having my aunt there really helped. (She brought the Chanukah latkes.) It’s been lovely to see more of her in the last few months. My brother’s fiance and her daughter split some of the cooking with me, which made it very doable, and quite yummy. We had a good group for Thanksgiving. We are so very blessed.
And, I have a fun bit – I got to use my china and my crystal, and more of the extra bits of pretty stuff we have been given, or accidentally collected over the years. I like pretty things to be useful, or I tend to feel it’s a waste having them just to take up space.
My pottery instructor told the class last year that we could make two kinds of objects – lovely & decorative (she said think museum) or useful (think walmart) – she confessed she tended to make useful items – (although I have seen more of her work, and I would say she does both types of items beautifully). Mom and I made useful items that were pretty – things we could actually use, like platters.
Our memories, our experiences help to shape us to become who and what we are. We build on them like blocks to mold our thinking, to select our paths, to bring us to today, to lead us to tomorrow.
May G-d be with you, now and always.