Planning starts weeks in advance. That's where crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's comes into play.
2012 was the year of the Turkducken. A magnificent creature. If you are not familiar with what a turducken is...well, it's a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. Sure, you can go the lazy way and buy one pre made, but where is the fun in that? Brendan (my boyfriend) had never done one before, so this was definitely going to be an adventure. You have to take the backbone out of every single one of the 3 birds. Now, we went really ambitious by making a different stuffing for every layer of the bird as well: sage apple, cornbread & sausage, mushroom & wild rice. Everything from scratch. Yes, I said everything from scratch.
We started prepping for our feast for about 15 friends on Monday. That was the shopping day. Two full grocery carts of chaos. Needless to say, we got the turkey for free and just to be sure....we paid for our two carts separately so we got 2 turkeys for free (the 2nd one was the backup in case the turducken went terribly wrong.
Tuesday and Wednesday were baking & prep days....I made cornbread (for the stuffing), rolls from scratch, carrot cake, pumpkin cheesecake, apple pies. On Wednesday...Brendan started deboning his birds
This is what the finished pre-cooked bird looked like
that's 3 birds and 3 layers of stuffing!! Here's the finished product along with my from-scratch macaroni and cheese!
Yes, it was a hit....yes, it was freaking awesome! And if you want to see even more photos, click https://www.facebook.com/amyharber/media_set?set=a.10152251928660184.919653.596420183&type=3
2013: Um, how the hell do we top a successful Turducken?!?!?! it's called deep-brining a turkey for 24 hours and then making a fresh blackberry glaze for it. If that's not enough turkey for again 12-15, well we're also going to make some BBQ sauces and grill some turkey drums as well (oh the things you can do at Turkey Day when you live in sunny SoCal). Still apple pie, still pumpkin cheesecake, but this time...thanksgiving just happened to coincide with the annual bitter rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan. So I got super ambitious and made a creation called the Buckeye cake.. Chocolate, peanut butter, peanut butter buckeye candies, frostings from scratch. Everything had to be perfect on this cake or it wouldn't work....the hardest part was getting the Block O to stand on top of the cake.
yes, that's the cranberry mold that we made from scratch, but using a can to make it look store bought....that's a thing.
BBQ drums with just the right amount of char
another awesome bird...
and our souvenir menus that we printed and laminated for our guests...
We're about a week or two away from the planning stages for 2014. I'm sure we will come up with something spectacular once again. Crossing those T's and dotting those I's to make sure our friends (who like us) cannot be with their families during the holidays feel like they are at home.