Can you believe that a turkey takes fours hours to cook. This bird came in weighing 16 lbs, I know that there are many families that go even larger, such as twenty-two pounds or even higher than that, those birds must take all of six or seven hours in the oven. The kitchen in those houses must be steam baths by the end of the day.
I was feeling the heat myself in my kitchen, but it has been very mild outside for the past two days, of which I am not complaining. I think that I lost an ounce or so between all the chopping, peeling, stuffing, sauteeing and basting.
The meal for our family of four was fairly simple. The baby girl made a request for the first course; smoked salmon with a dill cream sauce layered between potato pancakes and the main course was the turkey with wild rice, long grain rice and sausage stuffing both inside the bird and the extra was baked in a casserole dish, and the baby boy asked for spinach gratin. We had salad just in case for any who wanted it after the main course (no one had any) and there is the pumpkin pie for dessert. For the moment we are still too full from the smoked salmon and the turkey and its fixings to think about dessert for the moment.
All in all I am very happy with how everything turned out, Martha Stewart’s technique for the perfect turkey has not failed me in the four years that I have been following her directions. It’s actually very simple; you pour a bottle of good dry white wine in a pot, melt three sticks of butter in the wine, let it cool and put a big section of cheesecloth in the buttery wine so that it is completely drenched and after you have prepared your turkey for the oven, you drape the cheesecloth over the entire breast and if it covers the legs, that’s fine. The oven has been preheated at 450 in the meantime and you put the turkey legs in first, in that hot oven for 30 minutes, at the 30 minute mark you lower the temperature to 350 while you are basting the cheesecloth with the buttery wine. Every half hour, you baste it until the last hour, when you discard the cheesecloth and you flip the bird and point the breast towards the back of the oven. When the juices run clear at the thigh, you know it is done. This will give you a wonderful turkey each and every time.
The spinach gratin was easy also, I got the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten and it is basically creamed spinach with grated Swiss cheese on top and put in a hot oven 425 for 25 minutes or until the Swiss cheese turns golden brown on top.
We gave thanks at the table for each other and for everything in our lives. It was a very nice and quiet family time, just the four of us.