I found out yesterday that there won't be turkey at my mom's Thanksgiving meal.
Did you catch that? No turkey. On Thanksgiving Day. No turkey. *big, huge, deep sigh*
One thing I will tell you is that I love turkey at Thanksgiving primarily because of my cranberry sauce. It's the best vehicle for that side dish and I just adore it. A second thing I will tell you is that the main thing my husband loves about Thanksgiving is the turkey. Turkey isn't something you cook on any random night. Cooking a turkey takes time and work. My mom got a ham. No turkey. So I opened my mouth and stepped up to take on a challenge that I'm not sure I'll succeed at but I'm going to try my best.
I'm making the turkey. And taking it on a 2 hour drive to its final destination. I've never made a turkey. I've made a turkey breast- super easy. Stick of butter and a crock pot, done. But I've never roasted an entire turkey. We shopped today. I'll be honest- our first stop was the deli to find out if it was still possible to order a cooked one. No luck. Saw lots of frozen turkeys. But I'm scared of the defrosting time required. Found fresh turkeys on sale. Found a giant bird that will more than feed my family and hopefully provide us plenty of leftovers. 18 pounds. I've been asking questions on Facebook about cooking a turkey. And I found a recipe that seems easy on Food Network- World's Simplest Thanksgiving Turkey. My plan is to do all the cooking on Wednesday evening/night and do the final hour of roasting at my mom's.
EDIT: After research and messages from folks, my plan has changed! Instead of cooking the turkey the night before, I'm going to start cooking in the middle of the night and have it done by the time we head out on the road. Food safety comes first!
I will convert the back of the minivan to a food storage unit. It will haul the cooked turkey, the cranberry sauce, the supplies to make the Sage and Hazelnut Green Beans, and the Pumpkin Crunch. And at least one bottle of wine. Maybe more. Perhaps this is the start of the passing of the torch? Maybe our Thanksgiving tradition will eventually mean that I drive to my mom's the day before to do loads of cooking for her and our family. I'm a little stressed about it and will pull on my very hidden Type A side to make lists and schedules in order to get everything done. I'm also a little excited to have such a big part of our family meal on my shoulders. I'm thankful for the opportunity to bring tradition to the table for our meal. I know it means a lot to Jeff and maybe to others who will gather at the table.
I'm thankful for turkey.