I’ve been absorbing a lot of information about food in the last year(and actually cooking too!), but there a lot of basic things I have yet to try or learn.

I’ve read On Food and Cooking, but (until last week) had never made mashed potatoes. I’ve read Ideas in Food, but had never made gravy– and gravy is perhaps the best “idea in food” ever.

Preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner was educational, then. Here’s the menu we ended up with (including what Patty & I made, and things brought by family) :

  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Strawberry Salad
  • Gravy (!)
  • Cranberry applesauce
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Chocolate-chip pumpkin bread

There were no major disasters, but I’m already plotting The Next Turkey. I would have liked the bird to have come out with crispier skin– I’m not sure whether to blame the electric roaster, the brining process, both, or neither. I was happy that I took Ruhlman’s advice to make turkey stock ahead of time. Otherwise there would have been no gravy at all– there were no juices in the pan after the turkey was done.

1 thought on “Basics”

  1. Electric counter top roasters Do not usually brown the skin as much because the heat at the lid escapes much more than in the oven. I think the bird comes out more moist using the roaster, at least that is my experience. You could do the last half hour in the oven uncovered to get crispier skin.

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