Friday, November 30, 2012

So Much To Be Thankful For

As the month of November came to a close and the focus has gone from thankfulness to the hustle and bustle of Christmastime merriment, I have found myself (like many of you) taking time to notice the many things that I am thankful for each day during this past month.

The thing that holds the #1 position on my list of "Things To Be Thankful For" will always be GOD'S GRACE in the form of my savior, Jesus Christ.  When I think about all that Jesus went through out of such a deep love for us it is completely overwhelming to me.  It's bringing tears to my eyes as I write this.

When life is throwing obstacles into my path every day, my Lord is the one that I immediately turn to.  He is always waiting for me to come share my interests and burdens with Him...and waiting for me to release them to Him so that He can manage it all for me.

The beautiful family that I have been blessed with is the most valuable tangible thing in my life for sure.  There is nothing like looking into the eyes of my little kiddles and seeing how amazing they are.  Have you ever really starred into a your child's eyes and noticed how incredible they are? It's amazing how just that part of their body can completely blow me away. And, of course, there's the wonderful, loving, supportive husband that I have...I am SO blessed to be going through life with him.

All off the little things that we can easily forget about daily...our health, a roof over our heads, clothes, food, water.  This years super storm Sandy brought all of those little things (which really are big things) straight into focus.  I stress those little things to my girls everyday.  Everything else is icing and a blessing beyond the necessities of our lives.

The family and friends that are in my life...each one has imparted something special into my life.  There are no words to express how much I love them and value my time with them.  And time is going at lightning speed these days.  Don't ever forget to take the time to say "Hello" or "I love you" just might not have another opportunity to do it.

I hope that all of you had a wonderful month of Thanksgiving and wish that your Christmas season continues forward with blessing upon blessing.

My Thanksgiving Bird Recipe

2 to 3 days before roasting ~ Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.  SUGGESTION: Place the bird (packaged) in a sink and covering with cool tap water, turning the bird and changing water every 30 minutes for up to 6 hours. Dry off packaged bird, place in a large bowl or pan and place in the refrigerator. This will help to insure that in 3 days the bird will be ready for roasting.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

If you brine your bird, be sure to allow 8 to 16 hours. Alton Brown's recipe is excellent. (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't)  Be sure to also remove the neck & innards of the bird prior to brining.

Click HERE For Alton Brown's Brining Instructional Video.

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 Red Apple, sliced
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 6 sprigs Chives, halved
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 6 leaves Sage
  • 3 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Peppercorns
  • Canola oil
If not brining your bird, be sure to remove the neck & inners and rinse inside and out. Take a teaspoon of salt and rub the entire bird (inside & out), then rinse.  This helps to kill bacteria. Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels. Combine the apple, orange and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary, thyme, sage, chives and peppercorns. * OPTIONAL: At this point take 1 tablespoon of softened butter and rub it between the skin and breast of the bird. Tuck the tail and cross, then bind the legs of the bird. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil. Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. (if a 10-12 pound bird, roast for 20 minutes) Remove from oven and insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F.
Cover with saran wrap making sure to secure edges along the pan. (yes, that is a warehouse sized supply of saran wrap to the left)
Cover with aluminum foil, securing edges along pan. This will help keep moisture locked in!
Remove and unwrap the bird for the last 30 minutes of roasting.  Reserve some of the liquid for gravy at this point if desired.
A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Remember, the temperature that needs to be met is 161 degrees F. If necessary, allow the bird to cook longer and check the temperature every 15 minutes until done.  If the bird is getting too brown, tent with aluminum foil to avoid bunt skin.
Let the turkey rest, remove saran wrap and loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.


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