We had our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday -- delicious!
Because I had done the bulk of the cooking/baking on Wednesday, yesterday was more relaxed (until just before dinner was served, of course). Or if not "relaxed," at least "better paced."
Because the oven would be occupied for several hours while cooking the turkey, we made the dinner rolls first of all. Older Daughter loves dinner rolls, so they're a "must" at Thanksgiving.
The milk/sugar/shortening is heated to between 120 and 130F before adding it to the flour and yeast (any hotter and it kills the yeast; any cooler and the yeast doesn't have the warmth it needs to be effective).
Oops, short a couple of eggs. Time to raid the chicken coop.
Older Daughter kneads.
First rising, set behind the woodstove to stay warm.
While the dough rose, Don went out to cut firewood. Here he's tuning up the chainsaw.
After several days of unrelenting pouring rain and lots of wind, yesterday was calm and sunny (though chilly), a good day for outdoor work. Here Ruby watches Don wielding the saw.
The rest of the critters just soaked up the sunshine.
After cutting, Don split the firewood. Usually that's my job (and the girls' job is to move and stack the wood), but we were all busy in the kitchen. So Don did the splitting, and the girls will move and stack the wood today.
Meanwhile I caught up on the laundry.
When the bread dough had risen...
...Older Daughter punched it down.
Then I rolled and cut the rolls, while she brushed them with melted butter and shaped them.
We put the cookie sheets with rolls around the woodstove for the second rising.
Baked and ready to eat, yum!
Meanwhile, Don sharpened the knives. Several years ago our pastor joined us for Thanksgiving, and he generously offered to carve the bird. To our embarrassment, every knife in our knife drawer was too dull to carve. Ever since, Don makes sure to sharpen things up before they're called upon to ceremoniously carve the bird.
Next up: the centerpiece of the feast.
Seventeen pounds, so about 4 1/2 hours of cooking time. By the way, the "suggested" price was $1.38/lb, but I got it for $0.88/lb. I'm going to keep an eye out for post-Thanksgiving sale prices. Turkeys are so simple to roast and provide so much meat (and broth) that they're a good bargain if the price is right.
Time to take down and wash the roasting pan and the carving board.
A word about the carving board. Several years ago while preparing Thanksgiving dinner, I lamented that I didn't have a wooden carving board like my mother's. Don inquired as to what the carving board was like. I sketched out an idea, he disappeared into the shop and emerged two hours later with a solid maple board with walnut handles. What a blessing it is to have a woodworking husband!
Back to the turkey. I rinsed and patted it dry...
...then rubbed it all over with shortening.
Into the oven to roast. The little red thingy is a thermometer the growers insert which pops up when the turkey's internal temperature is high enough. Quite handy.
I took the turkey out every half hour or so and basted it with plain water. This mixed with the turkey's juices to make a nice broth, the basis for gravy.
While the turkey was roasting, I pressed the woodstove into service to reheat the wild rice stuffing as well as keep the rolls warm.
Before our friends arrived for dinner, we all split off to do our barn chores: Older Daughter filled the water tanks, Younger Daughter fed and watered the chickens, I cleaned and freshened Matilda's stall, and Don fed the cattle.
Then back inside to greet our friends Mike and Judy, and set the table.
The turkey, out of the oven.
Lydia parked herself under the table. Y'know, just in case.
Don carved (with the nice sharp knives).
That brought Lydia to attention!
Ready to join with our friends and enjoy God's bounty!
I've been simmering the carcass all night. Turkey broth canned up in the pantry, good for lots of things!
I hope your Thanksgiving was as blessed as ours!