Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Trivia

The most expensive food item on our Thanksgiving table was:
  1. The turkey (a 20 pounder, slow-smoked over applewood chips)
  2. The wine. We bought four bottles, and my in-laws added another two.
  3. The stuffing.
Yep, it’s a trick question. The answer is not a). Thanks to grocery store competition and coupons, we paid a rather paltry sum for a rather large fresh bird. And I am not including the cost of the woodchips or brine/glaze/rub because no new ingredients were purchased there. (And yes, my husband actually smoked the turkey and it was divine. The local barbeque chains would be in serious trouble should he decide to switch careers.)
The answer is not b). I did buy four bottles of wine, and my in-laws did bring another two. But this is another trick question, since I would not attempt to place a value on the wine that was gifted to us, and as a group we only made it through the two gifted bottles. The rest of what we bought ourselves is still in our fridge.
Yes, the answer is the stuffing. No, it wasn’t from a box. That stuff required two loaves of bread, a pound of sausage, celery, onions, chicken broth, eggs, pecans, fresh sage and thyme, and dried cherries. The cherries alone cost me $10, the bread another $4.50, and I forget how much the sausage was (maybe $3.50?). The fresh herbs were a couple of bucks each. And the turkey wings from the main bird were roasted on top of the pan of stuffing for extra flavor (we didn’t buy extra wings, just cut the ones off the bird).  The recipe was from the latest Cook’s Illustrated magazine (if you like to cook, seriously check that one out…it is excellent).  It was designed for producing a large amount of tasty stuffing without the benefit of cooking inside the turkey itself.  By “large amount” I mean it overflowed my 9x13 pan to fill a second 8x8 pan, and could have been the main dish for a gathering of 12 people. In fact, it would probably make a good one-dish kind of meal (using chicken parts instead of turkey wings).
How about you? What was the star of your Thanksgiving table (or your favorite dish if you didn’t cook or host)?


Bethany said...

Vegetables. Last year there was exactly one "vegetable" on the table (corn). Okay, I may be exagerating, there were mashed potatoes and cole slaw too.

This year I told Mom I was cooking. I really only want a sliver of turkey. What I really want is a table full of veggie goodness. This year there were 6 different vegetables on the table and I was in Thanksgiving heaven.

Bethany said...

Oops, was. there WAS mashed potatoes and cole slaw. I think. I hate combo subjects.

Kristi said...

Some years I've roasted acorn squash or done sweet potatoes or carrots or other dishes. We were actually kind of low on veggies this year. I had salad fixings and corn purchased but they never got prepared.

Our veggies were green bean casserole (pretty traditional except with frozen beans instead of canned, plus fresh mushrooms and onions sauteed before adding the soup & crunchies to the top), mashed potatoes (my mom peeled the entire 5 pound bag of them and so we still have tons of leftover), the veggie-parts of the stuffing, and the pies.

Yes, pumpkin pie counts as a vegetable, darnit :)