So, Lisa, my sister-in-law, is coming to visit us tomorrow for Thanksgiving. We are super excited. Our first guest in our sweet Nebraskan apartment. Chris and I found ourselves talking about how she's going to feel so glamorous because she gets her own bathroom. Thinking about it now, maybe she won't be so overwhelmed by that.
Anyway here's a picture of her with the mugwamp. It will be a joyous reunion for them both I am sure.
So, this is also the only time Chris and I have hosted a Thanksgiving. We debated about how elaborate to actually make it. Our debate went something like this:
So, how committed are you to turkey? I mean, it's very traditional, but it's also a bit bland. We could just have ham. Do you like ham better than turkey? Do you think Lisa would be disappointed if we didn't have turkey? How about both? Is that too much? It would be expensive, but maybe we could store it. Freeze it in soups or something. What do you think?
I like bikes.
After a while Chris did mention that he thought it would be cool if we each got our own big turkey drumstick and that's it. His idea was carefully and thoughtfully considered then discarded.
I decided to do a bit of research. This meant that Soapy and I went on our afternoon walk to the two grocery stores near us and I spoke at length to the guys who work in the meat department. In fact, we are now friends. In fact, many of the workers at the grocery stores know me by sight, and Soapy by name.
Anyway, they were really helpful and I got a sweet deal on a little turkey, and the good idea to just buy a little bit of thick-sliced, deli ham.
I already knew how I wanted to cook the turkey. I really like watching cooking shows, and this turkey will be the first time I have ever cooked something from a show. I'm sure everything will go just as I planned, and if it doesn't, I'm sure my post-Thanksgiving blog will be awesome.
I got the recipe from America's Test Kitchen: a highly reputable source. They said that a turkey's shape is not ideal for roasting; the high roofed chest cavity insures that the breast gets dried out before the thighs are done cooking. So, they recommend changing the turkey's shape.
For this reason I spent a good portion of this evening taking out the turkey's spine and pounding it flat. It looks a little...weird. Instead of this, it will be the shape of this (but of course it won't be that color, I'm not grilling it). It still seems like a really good idea. The turkey all gets cooked at the same time and it only takes two hours! As we speak that succulent turkey is soaking in brine (that was pretty fun to make).
That being said, listening to The Omnivore's Dilemma while planning a Thanksgiving extravaganza is messing with me. I don't want to talk about it very much. I am trying not to think about it, at least not until after the book is done (after Thanksgiving), but as I was cutting through bone tonight, I realized that I was actually cutting through what was once this:
Talking about Thanksgiving, I had my students write thank you letters as their ten minute writing assignment today. When they were done, I told them that I wouldn't be collecting them; instead, their homework was to give the letters to the people they wrote them for. One kid said that would be hard because the person he wrote it for was dead. I told him that he would just have to manage-- this is college after all.