C is for Christmas Cooking

Last Saturday,  my roommate and I hosted a pre-Christmas party inspired by the 22-pound Butterball turkey my roommate got from her company for Thanksgiving (it took a full four days to defrost!).

Saturday morning had me making sweet potato casserole (so delicious and sugary!) and potatoes au gratin:

(Side note: I missed a robbery at the bank in the grocery store by just a couple of hours, and I’m pretty sure I walked past the grocery store later in the afternoon, at roughly the same time the robbery was occurring, on my way to the UPS store.. crazy!)

Then it was time to do the turkey! I combined a couple recipes and the advice of about five people to create this turkey… The process involved rubbing the cavity with a mixture of lemon pepper, dried parsley, thyme, and salt, then stuffing it with celery, onions, granny smith apples, and oranges as aromatics. Then, I rubbed the outside of the turkey with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled the rest of the spice mixture over top. I poured chicken broth and a few mL of gingerale (sounds weird but totally legit) into the roasting pan, which was lined with tin foil so I could “tent” the turkey and retain the moisture instead of basting it.

Before & After:

Gotta have some booze, too:

The spread (an assortment of side dishes brought by friends) + the remains of the turkey carcass, which my roommate turned into a huge pot of turkey noodle soup the next day  (courtesy of crappy, no-flash iPhone camera):

Thank God for paper plates and disposable pans, etc. What was lacking in class was made up for by a hugely reduced cleanup time. Overall, a good time was had by all, and I got to cross some things off my bucket list (am I too young to have one of those?).

  • First turkey: check!
  • First time hosting an “adult” dinner party during which it is legal/permissible to consume alcoholic beverages: check! 🙂

Then, Sunday, I headed out to the suburbs where my grandma and aunt hosted a pre-Christmas luncheon before I head back to the motherland. The place settings were so cute, I just had to take a picture:

Menu: Butternut squash soup; Italian bread with olive oil and parmesan; spaghetti and meatballs in vodka sauce; individual brownie-in-a-mug; and champagne. Yum!

After lunch we watched the Bears painstakingly eke out some offense only to be stomped on by Tim Tebow’s fourth-quarter heroics. Ugh–I’m a Tebow fan and I’ve cheered him on in his previous crazy-come-from-behind games, but I was reeeealllyyyy hoping this wouldn’t happen versus my team. But alas, they were not exempt… and the season, which really was already over, gave up the ghost.

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