When I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner 5 years ago it was out of necessity. Almost my entire family was sick or was helping someone who was sick with cancer. This left me standing in the kitchen with a partially defrosted 20 lb. turkey and all of the components for sides. I had seen my grandmother, grandfather, uncle, cousin and father all cook Thanksgiving. How hard could this really be? Right?
The struggles that surround the cooking of this massive meal were many. I had watched frustration, stress, anxiety, and a miriad of bad emotions floating around. There were never truly raised voices but there were tense moments and lots of terse comments. But, really, you throw everything in the oven. Literally. Timing and space can be a bit of an issue but, honestly, what about life doesn’t really revolve around time and space. (I’ve been watching too much Doctor Who)
So back to 5 years ago, standing alone in the kitchen I started making the thing I knew the best. My grandmother’s creamed potatoes. She had blessed me with the only correct recipe written on yellow lined notepad paper in her left handed cursive (good luck reading it). As I was standing there, plotting my next move while chopping potatoes, the meat mallet literally flew out of it’s holder. My dad, asleep in his chair recovering from chemo didn’t move. A few things went through my mind
- Did I imagine that? That noise was loud and dad didn’t move.
- Grandma, is that you?
- What am I doing wrong with these potatoes?
The thoughts basically came in that order. Long story short, I forgot the salt and pepper in the potatoes. Thanks, Grandma!
Anyway, despite the fear I was being attacked in the kitchen, I knew I wasn’t really alone. I then attacked the bird with a little help from the internet. I looked for the simplest recipe I could find and have used it ever since.
If you are stuck cooking a turkey on your own or for the first time next year, here are a few tips.
- 1 Bird (Any number of lbs is fine. I prefer a 10-12lb bird for 10 people).
- Butter (2 sticks, softened over night)
(Seriously, that’s it).
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare the bird by taking it out of the bag and removing the insides. Stick your hand up the neck too, there’s usually some stuff up there too. Mix the butter with the salt, pepper, and parsley. Dry the bird with papertowels. Stick your hand up under the skin and seperate the skin from the meat. Time to get moisturized (you and the bird). Take the butter and push it up under the skin. Then use the rest of the butter to slather it on top.
A 10 lb. bird should take about 2.5-3 hours to cook. Make sure the thigh gets to 175F or so.
That thing is gonna look beautiful and you’ll be cooking Thanksgiving for the rest of your life. 🙂
That year I cooked alone, I packed up thanksgiving in containers. We never sat at the table that year, but I knew that that would be the beginning of my Thanksgiving adventures. I learned that family is pretty much everywhere and it doesn’t matter where, when or what you eat, just that you have something tasty and you hang out with cool people that you appreciate for being in your life.
Thank you for contacting support. ❤