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Holy Leftovers, Batman!

November 26, 2009

I have a tendency to not quite hit the bullseye with my estimates.  I underestimate how quickly I can get somewhere (What, you need me to be across town in 5 minutes?  Totally do-able if I drive 100 miles an hour, hit no stop signs, blow through all yellow lights AND take the illegal shortcut), how long I should bake things (My new rule of thumb is to take my old rule of thumb and add 10 minutes – hey, it works), and how long I’ll be on the phone with my best friend.   But when it comes to how much I (or other people) can eat, I tend to overestimate every time.

Thanksgiving Dinner was fantastic and thanks to my slight overestimates, everyone involved now has enough food to feed themselves for the next 2 weeks.  Part of it wasn’t quite my fault – I asked my sister to peel potatoes, handed her a bag of potatoes, and before I turned around, she’d peeled all 10 lb. of them.  For 6 of us. 

We doubled pretty much every recipe with the intention of having leftovers.  But when you make so much food that even the regular recipe would have created a bunch of excess, you have a really serious leftover problem to contend with. 

So, you’ll be seeing a lot of this good stuff in the next few days. 

But first!  The surprise I was waiting on…


Hello shiny black new camera! 

I love you!

My sister came over slightly before I got home last night and she, Matt, and I spent the night cooking up a storm.  I sampled so much, I never really ate dinner, but I woke up feeling full anyway.  I wonder how professional chefs manage to eat real meals?  Every time I cook a major meal, I lose my appetite while cooking. 

This morning, we woke up at 9:30 to get the turkey in the oven.  We’d brined it overnight and, except for a quick rinse, smothering it with a little canola oil and salt and pepper, and inserting the aromatics into the cavity, we were ready to stick him in the oven in short time.

I’d planned on cooking him (yes, it was a he) upside down for the first hour to make the breast super juicy, but after putting him in the oven, I realized that we’d put him in right-side up, so we got him back out after 20 min. at 500*, and turned him.

If you’ve ever tried to turn a turkey after he’s been in the oven at 500* for any length of time, you are also a member of the crazy club.  I burned the back of my hand as I was trying to get a grip on the linebacker-sized turkey. (Burn #1)

So we put him back in the oven for another hour, upside-down this time, then took him back out to turn him again.  This time, I was armed with two sets of oven mitts and managed to get him flipped without any negative consequences to the skin on my hands.

While Mr. Turkey was roasting away, I started the cran-apple sauce.  The sauce was happily simmering away until I tried to drain some of the water I’d been simmering the cranberries in, when it attacked my thumb.  (Burn #2) Burned twice in less than an hour.

We had estimated about 4 hours for the turkey, since he was a big one (20#).  Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you want to look at it), brining Mr. Turkey made him cook a whole heck of a lot faster than normal and he was starting to close in on 161* about 1-1/2 hours before we were scheduled to eat.  So, we frantically started throwing together the rest of the meal, which included the roasted garlic mashed potatoes which jumped out of the pan and accosted my arm.  (Burn #3) Not quite as bad as the turkey or cranberry incidents, but still bad.

You know, you would think that after burning myself 3 times in a couple hours timespan that dinner would be less than stellar, but it. was. awesome.

(Perhaps sacrificing part of my skin was worth it)



Everything turned out beautifully.  There were rolls for the gluten-eaters and while I could have made a GF version for everyone, or just for me, I didn’t miss it.  There was certainly enough carby goodness.

We hung around and watched the Cowboys game where we actually won and debated on when to break for dessert.  At halftime, I put on the coffee and we ate.  Again.


It was amazing – I actually had 2 slices.  And I’ll probably have another before bed. 

But better than the food?

Getting to spend an afternoon with my family.  Even though we live close to each other now, something is always going on and we don’t get to see each other often enough.

(Thanks, cool new face-recognition self-timer on the new camera!)

Mom, Dad, Me, Matt, our family friend Jerry, and my sister Kelly.

Anyone that thinks I’m tall should note that I’m the shortest of the bunch.


Off to nurse my burns, eat that 3rd piece of pie and call it a night.  Think spending all day standing on my feet in the kitchen counts as a workout? 

Yeah, me too.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2009 10:09 PM

    Yay for a new camera! Those pictures turned out great!

  2. November 26, 2009 10:27 PM

    I always overestimate how much food I need to have too 😉 YAYYYYY for the new camera and the cute family pic. You look gorgeous- as per usual. The food looks like it turned out great. Sorry to hear about the burnt hands! Hope you have a great rest of the weekend filled with mistos and relaxing 😉

  3. November 27, 2009 5:43 AM

    Sorry to hear about all your burns. Everything looks like it turned out great!

    And hoooray for new cameras!

  4. November 27, 2009 6:18 AM

    Yayyyyy new camera 😀

  5. November 27, 2009 8:41 PM

    Sounds like a serious cookathon! But a delicious turkey dinner is always worth the effort right? Okay, minus the burns.

  6. Lindsay permalink
    November 28, 2009 12:35 PM

    Sounds like an awesome thanksgiving… I wish that my mom would make mac n cheese for thanksgiving, but she always makes a special recipe of turkey mac n cheese after with the leftover bird… so I should complain!!

  7. tastyeatsathome permalink
    December 2, 2009 8:17 AM

    I overestimate food too – especially when feeding a crowd. And I burned myself twice Thanksgiving too! Go us! Oh – and I use that same exact recipe every year for my turkey, but never turn it. I just leave it breast-up from the beginning and it’s great. So next time, you could always try that and save yourself one burn, at least. 🙂

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