Thanksgiving weekend was very busy. Hubby and I hosted Thanksgiving. I started working on the meal Wednesday night – after school and prepped as much as I could. I really feel that this made for a much easier day on Thursday. All of Hubby’s family came over for a late lunch.
This year I made a fresh turkey – for the first time. I thought it turned out well. My only complaint would be that the breast meat was a little dry. The recipe that I used, from Martha Stewart, is one that I have used for the past three or four years. The only difference, other than the freshness of the turkey, was that I cooked the turkey in the oven rather than in the electric roaster I had always previously used.
The recipe called for a shallow roaster with no lid. The breast was covered with cheesecloth, which was supposed to keep the breast moist. I think the steam of the electric roaster helped keep the meat moist. Next year I am still going to cook the turkey in the oven, but I will most definitely use my roaster lid, so that I can recreate that steamed effect.
In addition to the turkey, I made made courtesy of Tyler Florence, cranberry sauce, sage stuffing, gravy, asparagus, and salad. That dinner is one of my favorites every year. I love all the starchy foods and that goes with them.
Friday was an interesting day. The boys and I went to Parks Airport and saw Santa get in a helicopter and go visit kids. The boys were able to get in a copter and check it out. They also got to see a copter take off. I must say that helicopters are the flimsiest looking things I have ever seen. It was really neat for the boys to experience Santa that way.
Saturday brought another group dinner – Italian this time. The food was absolutely terrific. We had so many wonderful dishes to choose from. I love to get together with friends and celebrate friendship over food. In addition to the dishes I made, we had brussel sprouts with pancetta; pasta with sausage, fresh mozzarella, and artichokes; a chicken dish that was cooked in a sauce that had wonderful warm flavors, whose name I don’t remember; a fresh fruit dessert; and a wonderful antipasto platter.
I tried two different dishes this time; Italian meatballs and fried risotto balls. While the risotto was a labor intensive, the meatballs were pretty easy. I had to cook the risotto and let it cool for a while. Then, I had to roll the risotto into balls and dredge the balls in breadcrumbs. After that I had to deep-fry them. Yummy!!! I know I won’t make them often, but they were very good.
I also made Italian meatballs. I had the choice of using beef or pork – I chose pork. I think that really added an extra something special to the meatballs. Cooked in a tomato sauce, the meatballs were very moist and quite flavorful. The ricotta and the fresh herbs also added warm inviting flavors to the meatballs. With the tomato sauce, all heated up, the meatballs became very tender and soaked up some of the tomato flavor. It was a wonderful Italian comfort food.
It was a lovely meal – can’t wait to get together to cook again. We all have such a good time. The holidays are a wonderful time – one of my favorite times of the year. It was nice this year to celebrate not only with family, but also with friends. It put a nice end to the Thanksgiving holiday.