November 25, 2012 § 2 Comments
Two years ago, we hosted Thanksgiving for nine of our family members, plus the two of us. I photo-logged our experience here — everything from having to clean the turkey in the bathroom sink to grilling leek bread pudding due to a lack of oven height. We experimented with a lot of recipes. I started five days in advance and cooked way too much food.
It was a good feast overall, and it was rewarding to host. But as it was my first time, I was kind of stressed, and some parts didn’t turn out so great (while the grill imparted a nice smoky flavor to the leek bread pudding, it also made the bottom and sides way too crunchy).
This year, we did a redux. And it was awesome.
It was awesome because our NYC apartment renovations were completed just in time, the day before. After a long 14 months of living in a temporary apartment, and even a few hotels, and eating out nearly all the time, it felt glorious to be HOME. To smell turkey roasting, to have a pie cooling on the counter, to drink wine while chatting with family and listening to jazz…all in our own place, candles lit and a fire burning.
It was also awesome because while I haven’t cooked Thanksgiving dinner enough times to have experienced the magic of habit-forming, there was a flow to it. While I wrote out a menu and plan last time, this year, I just went with it. We also invited my brother Paul and his girlfriend Stephanie F to help. (Note to self: two different dressings are easier to make when you have helpers dicing all the onions and celery.)
Stephanie F fortified us with a deliciously spicy salsa fresca.
We made a cornbread, bacon and kale dressing…
…along with a traditional Thanksgiving dressing with challah from Amy’s Bread, fresh herbs, Cortland apples and chestnuts.
After letting it rest for an hour, Matt carved the heritage turkey.
The 48-hour dry aging in the fridge under a salt crust, and the long rest, allowed the turkey to reabsorb its juices, making it one moist, tasty turkey.
We filled our plates…
…and sat down to eat.
Then we ate some more.
And this is how we felt.