Cooking for Thanksgiving

Yes, I’m cooking the turkey on the night before Thanksgiving. I really don’t care if the turkey is cold when it’s served. The point is, it’s done and out of the way, and we can cook all the sides during the day tomorrow.

I always have to look up the recipe, because I can never remember Trisha Yearwood’s name. What can I say? I’m not really a Country fan. But so I can find it more easily next year, here’s the link to the instructions.

Also, I like to do a different baste/glaze thing, which is basically:

  • a stick of butter (melted)
  • a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (whichever brand is handy)
  • a couple tablespoons of honey (whichever variety you prefer and/or have handy)
  • a couple tablespoons of honey mustard (if you like it spicy, you can use that instead)
  • Nature’s Seasons to taste (I prefer this brand, you might prefer something else)
  • Optional: feel free to spice it up, or add anything else you like, such as Teriyaki sauce, or Sriracha, or whatever floats your boat. If you hate mustard, leave it out. If you love A-1, go for it. If you must have wine in the sauce, help yourself. If you’re a vegan, feel free to substitute any vegetable oil for the butter, and change out any of the other ingredients you choose. Doing The Whole 30? Make whatever substitutions make sense and help you stay on track. Oh, and by the way, I don’t really measure anything, so feel free to adjust amounts to your liking.

That’s the sauce. I also chop up a large sweet onion, and add in a couple large tablespoons of minced garlic (I use the stuff that comes in the jar – I’m all about convenience!).

So, I really don’t spend a lot of time fussing over this, and once everything is in the oven, I don’t mess with it at all. In fact, if you’re quick, you can have all this prepped before the oven is done preheating.

First, I use a basting brush to brush the sauce all over the turkey, inside and out. Don’t overthink this, just get it as good as you can without turning the turkey over or around. When I have about half the sauce left, I add it to the onion and garlic, and stir it around well. I add some Nature’s Seasons to the mixture, too. Then I sprinkle the seasoning around on the outside of the turkey. Next, I stuff the onion/garlic mixture into the cavity for flavor, and add a bit of onion/garlic mixture onto the top of the turkey. The onions bake down nicely, and give the turkey a great flavor. Next, I sprinkle a little more seasoning on top, just because. Then I add the 2 cups of boiling water to the pan, cover everything with foil, and put that bad boy in the oven.

Tomorrow, I’ll make a corn casserole and instant mashed potatoes, and try to find some other veggies to add to the table. I think I saw some frozen asparagus in the freezer this morning. That would be tasty.

Believe me, I am NOT a cook by anyone’s definition. But if I can make this dinner, anyone can. And it’s the one day of the year when I do the cooking. Thankfully, SpousalUnit is the Chief Cook at our house, or we’d starve (or eat out most of the time).

Look, I know I didn’t write this up like an actual recipe, but that’s because it isn’t really a recipe; it’s just a thing I made up that works for me. If you want, feel free to write it up like a recipe and put it in with all your other recipes. You won’t hurt my feelings one little bit.

Enjoy! And a Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my American fans and friends!

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