This year has been filled with firsts– some that I have welcomed with open arms and others that I have tried to ignore. One of these that I wanted to avoid all together was splitting up holidays. Since our families live 3 hours away from each other, we had to make a decision or we would have spent the holiday on the interstate.
The Thanksgiving decision was made really quickly when my family decided to spend it at the beach, but we still wanted to celebrate with Ryan’s family. I offered to cook an early Thanksgiving Dinner at our new house (this was a great thought until it got closer to the event and I realized that I don’t know how to cook a turkey, dressing, and other necessary items). That is when I went into panic mode, which evolved into planner mode.
I wanted to share my experience with you in case you are ever in this boat. Don’t feel alone!
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I got the sweet potato recipe from Kaycee:
Best Sweet Potatoes of Your Life
1 1/2 C sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked, mashed ( I do not worry about cups, I use 3 good-sized potatoes)
1 stick margarine, melted (cool this down a little so you don’t cook your eggs)
1 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 C sugar (I’ve started using about 3/4 C instead)
1 C coconut
Mix all together and pour into casserole dish.
Top with following:
1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar (or less)
1 stick margarine, melted
1 C chopped pecans
2 T water
Mix well and spread over top.
Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes (or a little more if it doesn’t look brown around edges and on top)
The turkey is what intimidated me the most. Usually if I have seen my mom make something and have the recipe in front of me, I am pretty confident, but since we have holidays at my grandmothers’ houses, my mom (the former caterer) has never roasted a turkey! This is a first!!
I got some very detailed instructions from Grandy and it turned out great!
I got a fresh turkey so I didn’t have to worry about it thawing. First, wash the turkey inside and out. Cut off the neck- this step made me gag. Put him in a Pyrex dish. Then oil the entire bird all over including inside the cavity. Put Cavender’s Greek seasoning all over this guy. Cut up apple and onion, then stuff it into the cavity. (Not as much fit as I expected). Cook on 325 for 3-4 hours. If your turkey has a pop-up thermometer like mine did, it will pop when it is cooked all the way through. Twice during the roasting, pull the turkey out of the oven and rub a stick of butter all over. I added more Cavender’s too because it was dripping off with the butter. After the thermometer has popped, take the bird out of the oven and Pyrex dish, wrap the entire bird in foil for 3o minutes- 1 hour and 30 minutes. This step is mandatory.
It is as easy as that!
Everything went very smoothly and the food was great. It was really nothing to stress about. Just take time to plan.