Monday, December 12, 2016

My First Turkey Baking Experience

I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year. We had my family come over and have lunch and I cooked a turkey ALMOST all by myself! Ha! This first time experience must be documented because it was absolutely one of the most hilarious days of my life. It was actually the day before Thanksgiving...
I had done my homework about how to cook a turkey and was ready to brine the day before. I'm still not even sure what that means, but the Pioneer Woman told me to do it so I did. I had bought the turkey that Sunday and left it in the fridge to thaw, so by Wednesday, it was pretty much ready. Mom had told me to make sure that I get the bag of giblets out of it before I did anything and I would need them for the gravy (super gross to me!!!). She said they were in a bag so surely it would be no problem, right?! Well I started sticking my hand in to try and find the little baggie, and could not find it. The kids were cracking up. We examined every nook and cranny of that bird. Their hands were all over it, mine were all over it, but I could not find the darn bag! I called mom in a panic, who asked if I was looking in the right "hole". Of course I was, I definitely know the difference between the head and the tail! :) Thankfully, she was close by, so she came over. Mom and Dad were already cracking up when they walked in the door. Mom took that turkey, turning it over to reveal the "other hole" which I had apparently missed, and pulled out the missing bag of giblets within about 5 seconds. I never saw that hole! Haha! And it was covered up by a little flap thing...who knew! The boys thought it was the greatest thing ever knowing that we had been sticking our hands all up in the turkey's "behind". Then, Mom pulled out the neck of the turkey and the boys got going again because they said it looked like a male body part. Y'all...not sure I could handle myself. We were all on the floor laughing so hard.
So anyway, we got the turkey brining so it would be ready the next day! And Mom took the giblets and neck home with her because they were CLEARLY not staying at my house. I was totally grossed out. So she made the gravy...
Hudson was a huge helper to me this Thanksgiving! He wanted to be in the kitchen helping me out at all times. He was making the beginnings of strawberry pretzel salad here...
 And mashing the potatoes in this one...

 Table was set, fine china pulled out for the first time in over 11 years! :)

 Joel and I both got up at the crack to start our turkeys. When I opened the fridge to get my turkey out that had been brining, I realized that the brine had soaked through every layer that I had it in and had spilled out all over my fridge. So, we had to add a fridge clean out to the to do list that morning. It was not fun. Joel's turkey was to be cooked on the big green egg and was really just a back up in case mine did not turn out. However, it turned into a cooking competition (of course) and both turned out equally well with mine edging out the win....haha. He would obviously say differently!

 It was a small crowd this year. Carrie, Andres and Rooney were in Portland with Andres' family so it was just us, Trey, Shondra and Morgan, and my parents.

Hudson was trying to not show his teeth. He had gotten the expander and this was probably the worst week where his front two teeth had spread apart so far. They've since gone back together (some), but it's definitely been an experience! We will all be glad when it is over!

 I took these before everyone got there, and then never took any pictures of my family. I feel terrible about that!
 This little turkey was SO cute!!!

 Pulling everything together took a team of people, but we finally made it! I did not get a picture of the finished bird, but it was beautiful, and tasted SO good! Joel's was great too.

 We had so much food leftover...we ate on it all weekend long and it was so, so good.

 Please excuse the appearance of my kitchen...yikes!

We had a fabulous meal, followed by fabulous naps. It was a great first Thanksgiving to host!

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