#FRIDAYFOOD (A little early) It’s Turkey Time! #HAPPYTHANKSGIVING

It is TURKEY TIME! What an incredible time to get the family around the table and give thanks for all your blessings! Even if it has been a tough year (and some years are like that) Thanksgiving as a special time to enjoy your family.

There have been years I was in the hospital and missed all of the fun, and other years I had a hard time enjoying myself and others (mostly due to my own or very touchy personal issues), and other years that I have had a BIG time. Last year was one of those tough Thanksgivings. But this year, I am planning on having a BIG time!

I have always taken the holidays for granted. Up until just a few years ago, I just assumed the holidays was one big food fest for everyone. But that is not the case. A few years ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks. When I returned from Thanksgiving adventures (with plenty more food gatherings in the following days) there were some of my coworkers who moved here for a job and their families were far away. They didn’t experience the wildness of “Great Uncle so-n-so” or “momma’s dressing.” They ate a Thanksgiving meal with those around them, usually a group of friends or their own little family. Maybe they ate with a church family.

And then there are children who are not surrounded by family who make the holidays special for them.

But those events that I take for granted – going to momma’s, and Aunt Margie’s and church events and more – it means more now. Whether it is a good year or a sick year, it is the best year because of the people I chose to surround myself with. They may not want to be surrounded by me. But I can say that every year, as I am surrounded by all of these wild and crazy people – at home and at church – who love me and care enough to fix their favorite foods to share, I think about all of the others in my life who may not have that magical holiday experience. I think about those who would LOVE to go to “another” family fest, “another” football game on television, or “another” thing to do over the holidays. And I remember how blessed I am.

And one of the things you learn from “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” it doesn’t matter if you are eating popcorn and toast for Thanksgiving, what really matters is the people who you love and care enough about you to want to spend hours making things special…for you.

Over the past few days, I have asked Facebook and Twitter friends about their favorite Thanksgiving/holiday foods, and so many people responded. The first question was “How do you like your Thanksgiving turkey? What do you and your family like — oven roasted, deep-fried, Cajun, other? Ordered from a local restaurant?”

Now one recent Thanksgiving, I was recovering from surgery and I watched my mom and dad prepare the turkey for smoking outside. It is an undertaking, regardless of how you like turkey. It takes hours of preparation and cooking time. (Can you tell that I am usually the type that will buy a turkey breast already cooked?) I love preparing the side dishes and desserts, but the bird! WHEW! That’s a job, right there! So if you are eating turkey this Thanksgiving, be sure to be thankful for those preparing for a special meal with all of their favorite people – because believe me, they would not do all that work if they didn’t like you!

One of the most traditional-iconic dishes on every Thanksgiving table is the turkey. Elizabeth Eldridge, Juanita Morgan and Linda Teasley Grosinske are traditionalists when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey. They like their turkey slow-cooked overnight in the oven.

Pauline Hall agrees. She likes her turkey oven roasted, highly seasoned, cooked in a deep pan, breast side down with water half deep, covered with foil. Cook about 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 450 degrees.

Susan Raye McBride likes a turkey breast in the slow cooker. Nancy Latham will rest the turkey breast on a mixture of half sweet onions and garlic in a slow cooker, then use juices from the turkey and the mashed onion and garlic mixture to make gravy.

Patti Drapala said her brother has an oil-less turkey fryer. “It does pretty good, although my father’s oven roasted (turkey) was the bomb of all bombs!” Drapula said.

Brandi Bridges Velcek said her family prefers deep-fried, “but we don’t get it cooked that way!”


Margaret Kidd Adams said her brother-in-law, Chuck Niemeyer, makes “the best fried turkey EVER!!! It always goes fast. Can not wait!”

Jean-Anne Pritchett Wells said her husband, Scott, deep fries their turkey every year. “So moist!!!” Donna Pearson said they will be smoking and deep-frying turkeys at The Tracks this year – which is what we will be doing this year.

Sandy Ramsey said her family will buy a deep-fried turkey this year. But the Ramsey’s also grill their turkey some years. She said she just took a turkey off of the grill. “Great directions from
Butterball and it worked perfect. I used a whole lot of hickory wood chips and it smells great! Letting it rest right now.”

A lot of people like smoked turkey, including Ronald Anthony, Kristina Perry and Anita Russell.

“My hubby smokes the turkey on the grill and it is amazing!!” said Kristina Perry

“Smoked by my hubby! It is always good!” said Anita Russell.

Bonita Perego husband, Kay, grills their turkey each year and she said it is so good.

“Kay cuts it down the middle of the back and butterflies it,” Bonita Perego said. “I think it’s called ‘spatchcocking.’ Weird word I know!”

Leesa Mitchell said to “call momma (hers is so good!),” who has an unusual way of making the Thanksgiving turkey each year. Janie Woods said she cooks her turkey like her grandmother used to.

Woods uses double brown paper bags. She coats the inside with non-stick spray. Slide slices of butter under the skin on turkey. Coat all over well with season salt. Slide turkey inside paper bags. Roll down top tight and tie with cooking string. Place in oven on 350 degrees for 20 min per pound. Pull paper bag from turkey and continue cooking another 30 minutes, basting often. I like to place mine in a baking pan that has a rack in it, so the turkey doesn’t rest on the bottom of pan.

Monica Cameron West said, “For years we cut up the turkey and made turkey nuggets!”

And Barbara Todd isn’t going to eat turkey at all this Thanksgiving. “Would you believe I am not a turkey lover, so will have ham. I like turkey soon after it comes out of the oven but forget about leftovers.”

Hoping you have an amazing holiday weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!


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