Various events and every day happenings of our quiet life in Port Orange, FL.
Includes community events, travel, home projects, food, gardening and a lot of our pup Rufus.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Burnt turkey and dinnerware

Last night we continued the little house projects to get ready for company coming over tomorrow. Painting doors, scrubbing down the tea kettle, moving candle holders from one side of the house to the other, you know, the things that probably won't really be noticed anyway :)

I keep thinking this will be the 3rd year we've had Thanksgiving at our house. I could have sworn I made a turkey in my kitchen before, but I guess not. The first year we were married, we lived in 'tiny house' at Thanksgiving time and I remember we had it catered from Heavenly Ham. Those were the days, prepared food lined out on the table and eating from a full plate while watching the ocean waves roll in. It was nice, but I think I prefer having everyone over for a nice sit down meal. Last year we did our first attempt at frying a turkey. This is what it looked like when it came out. And yes, that is a 15lb. bird.

I was so worried. We had brined the turkey over night and then rubbed the skin with a cajun rub. I had read that it may look burnt but this looked beyond burnt. Guess it was that cup of ground black pepper and all of the other cajun spices that made it look like that. We didn't have a backup. After the first cut into the turkey, all my fears were gone. It was the most delicious, most moist turkey I had ever tasted. The skin wasn't too spicy, even with all that pepper.
We didn't get real china or fancy dishes when we got married, and I was just as happy to serve dinner on these cute paper plates I found at Target. We also had plastic ware and plastic cups. Guess we're growing up. This year I wanted to have 'real' plates, cups and silverware. It's not going to be fancy, I'm probably going to use our daily Corelle plates which are nice and sturdy and light. I wish I had gotten the plain clear or white set, but I got these back in college and the black and white still looks classic enough. I tried Walmart to see if they had extra loose plates, but they've changed their black and white print style so it doesn't match ours. I ended up getting 3 extra clear plates so we'd have enough real plates for everyone, and I may go back and get 7 more just so they're all the same. These clear plates are pretty enough to use as serving plates during other events too. These are the black and whites we have now. Classic enough.

I really like these square plates too. The set is on sale for $50 at Walmart right now. Maybe they just sell the plates because I can't really fit anymore coffee mugs in my cabinets right now. The replacement round black and whites were about $2.75 each, so for a set of 4 or 6, that would be a good deal.

I stopped at Target to get another set of drinking glasses today too. We got an inexpensive set when we got married, and I still like them, but a few have broken over the years. Luckily, the style was classic enough that they still had the same set there over 3 years later. They're similar to these, except without the huge solid glass base. They stack nicely - maybe that's how a few broke though. Either way, $14 for a set of 16 is good for me.

I really don't have much cooking for tomorrow. My mom's bringing deviled eggs and parmesan puff pastry for appetizers, sweet potato casserole and also pumpkin cheesecake which I've been wanting to try since I found the recipe last year. My MIL's bringing yummy green beans and sweet potato patties that DH has grown up on. And my aunt's bringing a new acorn squash dish and her homemade pumpkin pie.

DH and I will brining the 3 turkeys tonight and do their prep tomorrow. I guess depending on the smoker temps, the turkey may have to be smoked for up to 7 hours, hopefully less. Smoked is usually around 20-30 mins per pound depending on the temps. Dinner's around 2pm. The 2 fried turkeys only take about 3-4 mins per pound, which adds up to about an hour per turkey. Then that leaves the mashed and stuffing to me and of course my apple pie. I'm also going to try to make herb rolls and pumpkin bread this year. I did get ready to bake rolls and croissants just in case. After that, heat up the gravy and slice the cranberries and we should be ready to eat!

Here's what our table looked like last year. (so glad that tile's gone now!!) Hopefully this year, it'll be a little more 'grown up'. We'll have 2 more chairs at the table this year - we're planning on service for 10 with plenty of leftovers!

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