Thanksgiving 2012

I love it when Thanksgiving rolls around and we get to host the holiday party. I usually roast a turkey and make the gravy. Carla makes the dressing and mashed potatoes; my brother-in-law Jim deep fries another turkey; and everyone else pitches in  bringing stuff vegetables, wine, dessert, you name it.

It had been raining pretty strongly all week; I was hoping for a break on Thanksgiving so I could cook the turkey in the smoker without my getting soaking wet. It turned out to be a beautiful day.

Thanksgiving morning was clear and crips

 Carla and I are delighted this Thanksgiving. Andrew and Henriët flew out Wednesday morning. They’ll be in Charleston South Carolina over Christmas so we won’t see them again for a number of months.

Andrew and Henriët prepped the turkey; chopping the herbs, preparing the wet rub, and smearing the turkey.

Henriët prepped the herbs for the dry rub. (Photo by Henriët)

Henriët preparing the wet rub. (Photo by Henriët)

Andrew and Henriët with their work of art

Howard takes the turkey out to the smoker

 Once the turkey was started, Carla and Henriët started the dressing.

Carla with the universal pleaser: butter! Starting the dressing

Henriët got  a lovely new hair style after the wedding

 We were expecting anywhere from 20 to 24 people (we ended up with 22). Normally we’ve had two or three tables spread throughout the living areas. This year we wanted to get all of us in one room. Wednesday night we moved most everything out of the living room and put 3 tables end-to-end and jammed chairs around. I think everyone was pretty comfortable

Table is set waiting for the food and the people

 I cooked the turkey out on the smoker for about 3 1/2 hours but it was too cold for the grill to keep up. The last 45 minutes needs the temperature to go from 325 to 450 to brown the skin. So, I brought it in the house and convected it.
I’ve had a hard time finding a turkey recipe that works but think I’ve finally landed on the right one. I took this recipe from Cook’s Country. First, I dry rubbed the turkey with some herbs and spices and let it sit for an hour. Then added a wet rub of mayonaise, olive oil, vinegar and more herbs. Lift the legs up high and cookd for 3 hours at 325; then take off the foil, bump the temp to 450 and let ér rip the last 30 minutes

The turkey looks like the recipe photo!

Dinner is served

 A young woman friend of ours, Jessica Milano, is in the cake business. We ordered a carrot cake from her for Thanks giving and it was delicious. Carolyn and Glenn brought home made apple pie. And of course no Thanksgiving Day is complete without pumpkin pie.

And dessert

It was a wonderful night. After the dishes were clean and everyone had left Carla, Andrew, Henriët, Jeff, Sarah, and I topped off the evening with some glasses of Amarula – a South African liquer.

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