Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown

I have to be confess: I’m not the most playful mama. I don’t like going to the park and playing ‘tag’ with my wee one. Noah watches too much t.v. so I can do something other than coloring, painting or going back to the park for what seems like, the 100th time, on any given day.

Here’s what I do like to do. I turn Noah into a Sous chef in my kitchen and we start to cook. Since Thanksgiving is in one more day and the family is coming over we get to party in the kitchen.

The prep started Friday. We baked pumpkins for a pie. First step. Cut the pumpkins in half and dig out the seeds:

Thanksgiving 2009 047 Why stand on the chair when the counter is so much fun?

Place pumpkins onto baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water and bake in 425 F degree oven until fork tender.

Thanksgiving 2009 022 Just before going in

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pumpkin puree

Nothing this lovely ever comes out of a can. I can’t wait to turn this puree into a pie!

Next on prep day: Cranberry sauce.

First: pour cranberries onto a pot.

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Add zest of one orange

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Also juice of one orange . . .

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Sugar, a touch of Grand Marnier to taste . . . with a dash of water . . .

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Cook on medium low heat until most of the liquid has reduced, the cranberries have popped (isn’t that such a festive noise?) and the cranberry mixtures has turned into . . .

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Thick, gorgeous sauce that is finger lickin’ good!

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Yum – O!

Last, but not least. The Turkey. The Brine. The Love.

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Assembled ingredients for the brine. This Brine recipe is from Nigella Lawsons’ “Feast”

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Dissolve salt and sugar in the water.

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After adding the rest of the ingredients really get your hands in there and mix, mix, mix.

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Ignore the camera strap in the picture . . . Noah had to put some orange, onion and herb pieces on the turkey for a ‘blanket’.

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He kept squidging, touching and adding pieces on top while saying “ooooooo love, love mummy, love . .” The extra ice was to displace some of the water so the turkey would be submerged and also as an extra precaution to keep the turkey icy cold while bathing in the brine.

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Blankets on, Job well done. Until Tomorrow.

Noah insisted on dragging the heavy cooler outside. “I’m strong mummy let me do it!” When daddy was done work he dragged the cooler out from it’s hiding place under the barbeque cover and had to show daddy “the love”. He was pretty proud of all the work we did and it entertained the both of us for most of the afternoon. We had such a good time. We were productive and had such a good time making a huge mess in the kitchen.

Here’s the link to Nigellas’ turkey brine recipe. It’s on the Food Network website.

More cooking tomorrow!


  1. it is so cute to see noah helping you!
    if he becomes the next naked chef, we’ll know why!

    happy thanksgiving to you!
    and your family of course!
    one must be grateful to have a family...

    guylaine xoxo

  2. You are marvellous, Anita! Such a great mama!!!I can relate to the part about not being playfull... that was me too. You really know how to make a wonderful feeling in the home with your cooking though! Erik is sure lucky to be there! There is a reason why he's not coming home for Thanksgiving... not much cooking happening here!

  3. That is so adorable. You really got some amazing photos of him helping you out!

  4. You're doing a wonderful thing with him - enjoying each other's company and teaching him something really valuable at the same time. I never had much patience for play with my kids either, but neither did I have it for cooking with them. (What DID I do with them, I wonder???) As a result, my sons wish they could cook more than spaghetti and my daughter is learning on her own. Good on you!

  5. Wow - made your own brine - thanks for the link. I wish I would have read this before I bought my turkey already in a brine. Oh well, next year!
    Happy Turkey day!