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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey in Turks!

Baby whisked me away to Turks and Caicos islands for an incredible Thanksgiving vacation this year. We stayed in Provo with friends for a few days and also shacked up at the breathtaking, sprawling Grace Bay Club resort. While our hosts assumed their respective posts working on a holiday that is not necessarily celebrated there, Baby and I hit the supermarket for groceries and set to work ourselves, to create our Thanksgiving candlelit midnight supper! The chalkboard with the menu above is my handiwork, and the price per person listed on the lower right hand corner was merely foolishness.

Here's our table in the glorious sunshine garden, before we set up and descended for the feast.

While our neighbor created Jamie Oliver's Dinner Lady Carrots and Soldier Leeks with Bacon next door, Baby injected our 22 pound turkey with sherry and melted butter and stuffed it full of onions, oranges, lemons, tangerines, rosemary, parsley and thyme. I got a good handful of softened butter and gently rubbed it underneath the skin and yes, I tore a bunch of parsley apart and further placed it under the skin as well to form a heart shape.

We trussed our Tom with kitchen twine...and into the oven it went to ruminate for a few hours!

Having acquainted ourselves with the kitchen and putting out plates, utensils, serving ware and the cooking tools we'd need ahead of time, I made my usual Sweet Potato Tipsy and went out to set the table, while Baby made his mashed potatoes with herbed butter and Alouette creamy cheese and amazing cranberry-cherry-orange compote.

When guests arrived, Baby served a sentimental platter of Pigs & Blankets, the way his mother used to make, with the dogs wrapped up in Pillsbury puff pastry. Yellow and grainy mustards went alongside with a sort of ketchup sauce that I made up from a carton of sensuously red Kumato tomatoes that also veer toward black pearls in color, some balsamic vinegar and crystallized pineapple that was on hand.

Behold the beast with the parsley heart gracing its proud breast!

How quickly it was ravaged! And it was so tender, I daresay it was the best turkey I ever had. For me, the injection of sherry and butter is essential, and the bird also must be monitored with a meat thermometer.

Our table at night! And what a flurry it was!

The tryptophan clearly kicked in somewhere around here.

Our guests delighted in lemon and coconut Pepperidge Farm cakes, the old store-bought dressed up with some fresh blackberries and raspberries.

For leftovers the next day, we pored over turkey sandwiches wedged into local rolls and I pureed the Lady Carrots and Soldier Leeks with gravy and heavy cream for a marvelous soup.

And somehow we managed to keep Coco away from raiding everything until it was time for her to have leftovers of her own, which she devoured!

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