George the Turkey


This is just the beginning of a crazy week for us. Tom is flying back from Vegas tonight after celebrating his brothers 30th birthday. He won't get home until almost mid-night. On Thursday we are spending Thanksgiving with his family at his parents house. I volunteered to make two apple pies so that is how I'm going to spend my Wednesday night. (I know it will be too late for anyone who sees it and wants to make it for Thanksgiving, but its great for Christmas too.)

Since we won't be around to see my family and this is the first year I'm not living at home, I randomly decided to host Thanksgiving on Sunday. It started off on Saturday but my aunt and cousin weren't sure if they would have to work or not, so we switched it to Sunday.

So here's how crazy this week is going to be:
Tuesday 12:00 AM - Tom gets home.
Wednesday 5:30 PM - wash clothes and make 2 apple pies
Thursday - 2 hour drive to and from his parents house for Thanksgiving
Friday - Black Friday shopping and buying the Christmas tree
Saturday - grocery shopping, cleaning the apartment, decorating the tree
Sunday - hosting Thanksgiving for my family

Yes, I will admit I am completely insane for deciding this. I've never cooked an entire meal for a large group of people before. I've made a few sides or dessert, but never an entire meal. And surely never an entire freaking turkey.

Which brings us to George the Turkey. Our guest list started off as Tom, our roommate C, my mom, her boyfriend, my aunt, uncle, cousin, and cousin's boyfriend. Somehow this turned into maybe my other aunt and my mom's boyfriends daughter joining us as well. Holy hell!

I had planned on a 12 lb. turkey but quickly realized that it just wasn't going to be enough. I stopped at Giant today to pick up a turkey in the 15-20 lb. range. Tom is very picky about his turkeys and would only allow me to buy a Butterball turkey. So, after picking up and moving around about 20 turkeys, I had it narrowed down to two options. 14.93 lbs or 19.25 lbs. I called my mom and told her to pick a weight. She picked the larger turkey, stating that you'd rather have to much turkey than too little turkey. So, even though the woman burns just about everything, sometimes shes quite good at being logical when I'm standing in front of the turkeys ay Giant, holding one in each hand trying to decide which would be better for us.

Since the turkey is so large and takes up half of the bottom shelf of my apartment sized refrigerator, I decided the turkey needed a name. When I picked him up out of the freezer, he looked like a George. So, George he became.

Obviously, George alone is not enough to serve to everyone so I went to my immediate go-to for recipes, where I found tons of stuff. So here's the menu with links (for everything I'm making):

Sugar Coated Pecans - I'm making 2 lbs of these, like the recipe calls for. As it states in the reviews, I'm going to double the egg whites and use vanilla extract instead of water.
Cheese Ball - my aunt is making this
Veggies & Dip - my aunt is making this too

HomeStyle Turkey, The Michigander Way  
- 19.25 lb. turkey - this recipe is for a 12 lb turkey but the ratings saying that its not hard to adjust. I also thought it was pretty neat that our roommate C is from Michigan and Tom lived there for a few years. If you make this, definitely read the reviews. I'm going to use a cooking bag, add garlic and stuff the cavity of the turkey with lemon and onion.  
Bread & Celery Stuffing
- I scaled the recipe up to 12 servings. I'm going to add in 3 chopped Granny Smith apples, toast the bread first, saute the onion and celery and add in some sage for flavor.   
Mashed Potatoes
- No fancy recipe here, I'm going to make 5-7 lbs. of all purpose potatoes and add in 1/2 cup milk, 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, a random amount of chives and some salt and pepper for taste. 
Green Bean Casserole I
- I'm really excited about making this because its not the typical recipe. Instead of topping it with stuffing I'm going to go the classic route and use French Fried Onions. I will also use fresh green beans instead of frozen or canned ones.  
Cranberry Sauce I
- Canned cranberry sauce creeps me out because nothing should look like jello unless it actually is jello! So, even though I have no idea if anyone is going to eat it, I'm going to make this. I figure I can always just add in more sugar than the recipe calls for to make it sweeter. 
Savory Turkey Gravy
- My grocery store doesn't sell turkey stock so I'm going to use whatever the turkey decides to give me. And if thats not enough, I always have chicken stock on hand. 
Sweet Potatoes - my mom is making this
- I've never made bread before and I figured this is not the time to try, so we're going with some lovely store bought rolls!

Pumpkin Pie - my mom is making this
Amazing Apple Pie with this Lattice Top
- make 3 layers of apples with sugar. I don't like cloves so I substitute nutmeg in its place.

I'll post the entire apple pie and lattice top recipe on Wednesday and include pictures of it. I'll try to take pictures of everything as its done on Sunday to post pictures of that too!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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