Have a Great Thanksgiving Day Today!

I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather here to take a nice walk before heading to the family gathering. Along my route I saw a little girl in her front yard. She yelled to me:

“Have a great Thanksgiving Day today!”

Which was really nice, so I said back “Thank you – you too!”

After a moment she yelled: “I’m just peeling the tomato!”

I didn’t quite know what to say to that. After a beat I said “Good job!”

I walked away wondering why she was peeling a tomato. Or maybe she meant potato? Either way, just one? And why in the front yard alone?

It will remain a mystery.

Turkey in the fryer

Yes, most people would post their Thanksgiving turkey items actually on Thanksgiving. But let’s face it, this wouldn’t do any good for anyone on Thanksgiving itself (I’ve always found those tv segments full of recipes that happen when it’s too late to be useful annoying) and I was busy eating, watching football, walking, and enjoying time with family.

A few years ago my sister bought an infrared turkey fryer and transported it to my parents’ home to be used for the Thanksgiving turkey. It worked amazingly well. After that instead of taking it back to her house she left it with us. Thanksgiving moved to my house and so did the infrared fryer. It’s hooked up to a propane tank. Once it’s heated up (about 10-15 minutes is what I allowed) you drop the basket with turkey into the fryer (turkey is oiled):

Then you put the cover on, which is important because it also heats up and helps brown the skin:

This is an eleven pound turkey; the fryer can handle up to a sixteen pound bird but we definitely don’t need one that big!

It takes just 10 minutes per pound, and you don’t do anything to it in the meantime. This means the kitchen is free for doing all the other things that go along with the meal, which is much much simpler. The fat drains out the bottom into a container drawer that can be pulled out and cleaned pretty easily. They claim you could take it to make gravy, but ick. Not gonna happen.

After 110 minutes I used a meat thermometer to make sure the bird was at least 165F, which it was. I recommend an Ove Glove or two for this stage, because it’s really really hot inside the fryer!

It does take two people to pull the basket out and get the bird out onto a plate. My husband helped here, and nearly dropped the bird. That could have been comically tragic (we wouldn’t have starved – there was plenty of other food). In the end, it looked and tasted great and there are plenty of leftovers. My apologies for this photo, but I was focused more on getting everything to the table and didn’t take the time to pull out the tripod and do this properly….

If you do a big sit-down meal for Christmas or anything else, I do recommend considering an infrared fryer. For Christmas we just lay out a ton of food and let people graze, so I’ll just be cleaning the fryer out and putting it away for next year…




Thanksgiving decorations

I finally got around to taking down Halloween and transitioning to Thanksgiving. I’ve been a tad busy with work and other things lately. At least I had managed to make sure the jack-o-lantern items were no longer lit up after October.

The transition is actually pretty quick. Since pumpkins are still a relevant decoration, all I have to do is remove the pumpkins with a face and any other Halloween specific items. As I type this, I’ve just realized that poor General Principle is still wearing his feathered headdress with a spider on it – I’ll have to remember to take that off of him later today… I can leave up all the non-face-sporting pumpkins, and then I add in a more Thanksgiving specific item:

This was actually filled with flowers when I got it as a gift, and I kept the wicker base just for this reason. The pine cones and things smell nice, too.

The only bad thing is that I can no longer claim the cobwebs in the house are decorative.