Turkey Dinner


Is that a plate of dinner or is that a plate of dinner? I have decreed that for every Thanksgiving meal from now on the dress code shall be sweatpants. All belts must be removed at the door.

Big feast tonight, despite my best intentions to streamline and keep it simple. It wasn’t that complicated, really – the usual roast turkey, a Winter’s bird stuffed with the same stuffing my mom always made – sauteed onions and celery, cubed bread and sage. A quick cranberry sauce – one bag dumped into a pot with a splash of cranberry juice and a heaping cup of sugar, and a couple big plums chopped and thrown in – I’ve never done this, but it worked smashingly, and gelled more than usual, possibly on account of the plums? It was a good switch from the usual orange.

There were Brussels sprouts with candied pecans (cook them and do the nuts in advance and then finish the lot right before dinner – they were met with great fanfare for something so supposedly universally hated – I posted the recipe over here), carrots (from our garden!) and parsnips cooked in a hot pan with butter, oil and thyme, another loaf of that cheesy garlic batter bread, and sweet potatoes tucked into the oven alongside the turkey and then mashed with butternut squash I did quickly in the microwave – all it needed was a drizzle of maple syrup and dab of butter.

After dinner there was much running around and screaming and playing hockey on the front sidewalk and throwing crab apples at the house. The kids had fun, too.

And there may have been some hanging around in the kitchen dunking chunks of leftover stuffing into the bottom of the gravy, which was particularly dark and sticky tonight. The drippings in the bottom of that pan was the stuff dreams are made of – my dreams, anyway – with really no grease to skim off. It would have sufficed for dessert.

Which, naturally, was pie. It has to be upside-down pear gingerbread or pie – and I may have mentioned in years previous my feelings toward pumpkin. I cheated this year, but then again not really – in Kelowna last Friday (for the day, another story I’ve yet to tell) I spotted a freezer full of homemade pies – apple raisin (reminiscent of my great aunt Noreen) and cherry – with handwritten instructions for baking on little slips of paper on each one. I could only manage two in my carry-on bag. It’s a good thing they were raw is all I can say, because my flight was delayed.

There remains downstairs one slice of cherry I imagine will go very well with thick yogurt and hot coffee in the morning. (After my 10k run, of course.)


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23 comments on “Turkey Dinner

  1. hypnoid
    October 10, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    In that first pick, is that an insulin pump attached to the belt…?

  2. JulieVR
    October 11, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Ha – good eye! Could be. My newly adopted brother in law is diabetic. I assumed it was some sort of pager – he’s also a firefighter!

  3. bellini valli
    October 11, 2010 at 4:26 am

    It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Julie. Enjoy the rest of your long weekend with the kids! I just wanted to thank you for posting about the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers Workshop last year. It is what inspired me to want to go. It was one of the best times ever!!

  4. Kelly
    October 11, 2010 at 5:53 am

    So good to hear that I am not the only one who enjoys gravy for dessert. Especially dunking the stuffing into it. Bliss.

  5. Danielle
    October 11, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I had a Winters turkey as well, and yes, no excess fat at all. Gravy was awesome!

  6. Cheryl
    October 11, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    It really isn’t that big of a deal, is it. The cooking part, that is. Turkey in the oven? Then a whole mess of veggies. Can’t go wrong.

  7. JulieVR
    October 11, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Nope, not a big deal at all. It’s the mess that comes with feeding a dozen grown ups and almost as many kids – every dish used! But that’s the fun part, and Mike’s still cleaning downstairs..

  8. Cathy
    October 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I also made a Winter;s turkey this year and will make nothing else from now on. I made the Frozen Pumpkin Mousse from Epicurious for dessert, substituting pecans for the walnuts and did not freeeze it. Upon tasting, I decided it was just as good from the fridge. Bliss!

  9. CathyD
    October 11, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Looks amazing! Running? I want to run!!

  10. JulieVR
    October 11, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Not really – I’m barely hobbling these days. I want to run too!

  11. mmac
    October 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Julie – sounds wonderful! I love “The kids had fun, too.” I’m flying solo this weekend so after some lacklustre leftovers, decided to use up some pumpkin and buttermilk also languishing in the fridge and made your pumpkin waffles, except as pancakes. I’ve always wanted to try them and now wonder why I waited. A most worthy “dessert” and I have a big Ziploc of them in the freezer now for on-the-run snacks.

  12. Laurie in Burnaby
    October 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Sounds heavenly! My son tried rotisserie turkey with many amusing things going wrong, including being done before the rest of the meal. the stuffing was done in the oven, which saved it, because my daughter in law won’t have little pieces of bread, so her stuffing is usually bland chunks of bread. she roasted the veges, whichwas marvelous! We usually roast them under the turkey, so she was afraid they wouldn’t have enough flavour and made a magical mixture of squash, sweet potatoes, beets, apple, onion, and carrots. Thank goodness there wasn’t any parsips mashed with the carrots, but unfortunately the other grandmother arrived and made brussles sprouts. I wasn’t able to take my broccoli casserole, so I thought I’d have nothing green to eat, but peas were made, to the cheering of everyone who hates brussles sprouts. It was a good time with lots of laughter.

  13. Barb
    October 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    That looks awesome! I love the looks of the Brussels Sprouts! We roasted ours with cauliflower carrots onions. I wish I had thought of pecans! I received a bag of them right from Geogia from a dear friend and let me tell you as much as I would love to hoard them, they would have been great in this. I have never eaten a fresher nut. (I hardly ever think of these things until after you tell me to)

  14. glenda
    October 11, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Stuffing in gravy…bliss! Nibbled a bit of it today! Happy thanksgiving Julie!

  15. molly
    October 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Your turkey he-man is the bomb. Raise up that drumstick, Mr. W!

  16. JulieVR
    October 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Isn’t he cute? That’s W’s cousin, Hugo! There are five boy cousins: almost 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7!

  17. Lori
    October 11, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I just have to say that I have been reading your blog since early on in your first year and you are the best! You make me laugh, you inspire me to try new things, and you always know just what it is I wanted to make but didn’t know it. You make my day!
    Thank you,
    Hornby Island, BC

  18. JulieVR
    October 11, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Well wow, you totally just made my day!
    And Hornby Island? Wow – so beautiful!

  19. Kathleen
    October 11, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Julie! Great pics. Mike was honoured to have made the website. Yes, it is an insulin pump. I am still sighing in satisfaction today…

  20. Andi
    October 12, 2010 at 9:01 am

    It makes ME smile to see the Winters’ finally get their due – I’ve been buying their turkeys since way back when you had to meet at parking lots in town and collect your booty from the back of their pickup truck – way back in mid 70’s. My turkey, first thanksgiving bird in may years since with only 2 at home we are often NOT at home over Thanksgiving, turned out looking just like it was cooked for a photo shoot – perfectly brown and now I have leftovers and soup makings to last a while.

    As for hand made frozen and waiting for you to bake pies, take a trip to the WaterValley General store and pick up some of theirs – the mango-berry one is my fave, a combo I would never have thought of baking up together had I not met it there first.

  21. Alexia
    October 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I saw the recipe for the Coronation Grape and Pear Chutney and had to add it to the Thanksgiving menu, it was a hit. Besides the traditional turkey and bread dressing (no fruit, nuts or sausage for my family)mashed potatoes and gravy. We had cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, turnips and carrots mashed together, Harvard beets, Sweet Potatoe puree with brown sugar and sherry, homemade buns, a salad of green beens, fennel and mushrooms. The table is not complete without homeade pickles dilled carrots, and spiced beets. Dessert was homemade apple pie (transparents) sour cherry pie (I pitted each one this summer and froze the cherries) and a pumpikin torte, yes some people might have had a taste of all of the desserts with whipped cream or ice cream. There is a reason that we don’t eat like this every day but it was wonderful and I love the leftovers!

  22. Katharine
    October 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Oh man!! I was belching just looking at your pics! SO AWESOME!! Poor Mike doing all the dishes!! LOLOL!

  23. natalie (georgia)
    October 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I am very envious of your early Thanksgiving. I don’t like that ours gets largely overlooked due to it’s proximity to the money making holiday of Christmas.

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