“Turkey, poe-tay-toes, etc…” or “Thanksgiving with small group”

Thanksgiving dinner party for small group tonight. Good stuff…though I got full WAY too quick. Just one plate…and a fairly small plate at that. Of course some dessert as well. But still; one plate is rather weak.

I took a stab at doing some real cooking for the first time in a while. Scott and I volunteered to take care of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy. So, I scrounged up some recipes and did my best. Didn’t follow any of the recipes to a T…especially the mashed potatoes, which morphed into a double-recipe-inspired concoction.

The turkey was a South Beach Roast Turkey with Herbs. Brined that bad boy and everything. Variations included cooking it in a bag and not being able to track down some fresh sage for the herb bundle inside. Think I couldn’t find the ancho pepper as well.

Mashed potatoes started with this recipe from NapaStyle for Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. As it turned out, I couldn’t track down garlic paste, let alone roasted garlic paste. So, having purchased lots of butter and cream already, I tracked down another recipe to make use of those. I found this one at cdkitchen.com for Creamy Whipped Potatoes.

After it was a bit too late, I realized I didn’t have the cream cheese it called for. So, I began to improvise, taking a little direction from them both and basically made it up as Scott mashed. Ended up pretty garlic-y, but tasty. I enjoyed them. Went pretty well with the herb-y turkey.

Gravy came the closest to the recipe. Nabbed it from ReluctantGourmet.com for basic Turkey Gravy. Sadly, I didn’t take on the challenge of their Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy recipe. It was a bit too complicated. Homemade turkey stock??? Not gonna happen. The basic one seemed hard enough at first glance, though it ended up being pretty simple.

I think the food turned out ok. I got some good feedback. Most importantly, I keep reminding myself (since, of course, I’m not living my life to earn the approval and affirmation of others), is that I enjoyed both the work and the result. And I look forward to the leftovers.

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

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