Aside from buying pre-made turkey and whipping up a couple sides in 2009 for 3 other people, I had never so much as helped prepare a Thanksgiving dinner. You would think since I love to cook, I would be all up in the kitchen. However, I’m usually the one that you’ll find lounging around the living room watching movies, periodically sneaking into the dining room to steal some black olives.
However, this year, I decided to take on the challenge and roast my first
turkey chicken! Hey… there were only 2 of us, why on earth would I cook a whole turkey?! I’m not going to eat all that!
Throughout the days leading to Thanksgiving, I surprisingly learned quite a bit about preparing a small feast!
- How long it takes to thaw a chicken. You may have heard that it takes 5 hours per pound of meat to thaw. Don’t worry, I heard that too. I think in most cases, that is the truth. However, when your fridge is constantly below normal temps, it takes longer. I ended up forcing my chicken into an ice bath in the kitchen sink for the day, trapped under a heavy bowl so it wouldn’t budge. It felt a little wrong, but it worked.
- How to roast a chicken. I’ve always been afraid to roast a chicken for fear that I would either under or overcook it. Salmonella is no joke! I didn’t want to spend the rest of my weekend in my 1 bathroom apartment with my mom… Have you seen the movie Bridesmaids?! Thankfully, cooking it at 400F for an hour was perfect!
- How not to carve a bird. I still don’t know the proper way to carve a bird, but I know for sure how not to do it. After giving my chicken a double mastectomy and savagely ripping off its limbs, I used my bare hands to tear the rest of the meat from the carcass. Thankfully I like my meat shredded…
- That I do not like
turnipsrutabaga. Oh my gosh, do I hate turnipsrutabaga!! I’m sure you figured out that I mistook rutabaga for turnips…. Yeah, I seriously just figured that out myself. What the hell? Why would you put the two right next to each other when they look so much alike?! I’m filing a complaint. source
- How to make cranberry sauce from scratch (and like it!). Give me a can of cranberry jelly any day and I’d be a happy girl. Nothing like eating food that holds the form of the package it came in. I don’t know what came over me to attempt to make my own (sugar-free) cranberry sauce, but I figured I’d try it. I’m so glad I did because hot DAMN that was tasty! I’ve been topping my protein pancakes with it every morning ever since. Absolutely devine.
- You eventually reverse roles with your parents. I don’t think I have ever heard a grown adult complain so much about trying new and/or healthy foods. I really hope my mom doesn’t read this, but I can’t resist. I eat a lot of veggies and love trying new ones. I can’t tell you how many times my mom said “I don’t like that” and when I asked if she’d had it before, she responded with a simple “no”. How the hell do you know you don’t like it then?! Not to mention I caught her snacking on crackers and cookies before dinner! Um, if I remember correctly, I used to get yelled at for “spoiling” my dinner when I did the same thing as a kid… just sayin’.
We’ll see what fun things I learn at Christmas with all the fun baking I’ll probably end up doing!
Did you learn anything this Thanksgiving?