When my Thanksgiving issue of Cooking Light arrived in the mail last week I knew it was time to start planning. John and I are going to New Jersey this year for Thanksgiving (unlike last year when we celebrated just the two of us). We’re splitting the cooking duties with my sister-in-law since my mother-in-law will still be recovering from her knee replacement surgery.
This is a little intimidating because I’ve never made more than a dish or two for Thanksgiving, let alone traveled 4+ hours with our bounty. But I’m excited for the challenge and can’t wait to blog about it!
First things first though, the planning stages.
The things we’ve volunteered to cook are:
The Turkey (recipe inspiration)
Cranberry Sauce (recipe inspiration)
Bread/Rolls (recipe inspiration)
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon (recipe inspiration)
Mashed Potatoes (recipe inspiration)
Pecan Pie (recipe inspiration, crust inspiration)
Apple Crumble (recipe inspiration)
Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (recipe inspiration, with the beans I’ve been saving)
Priority #1 – The Turkey
Everyone knows that the Turkey takes top billing on Thanksgiving. Since it’ll be the first bird John or I have ever cooked, we want it to be perfect. Full of flavor, fresh, and juicy is our goal. Last week we ordered our turkey from Stillman Farms, a local farm that offers conscientiously raised, chemical free, fresh birds.
We decided to take a page from Alton Brown’s book and brine the turkey. I found this excellent looking recipe in Cooking Light. So, for the past week, we’ve focused on getting our gear ready for our first brined turkey and how to trek it to NJ.
Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving Prep!