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The iBrattleboro Thanksgiving Hotline


Once again, we will be monitoring this thread to help you should you need a hand or a remedy in your holiday cooking adventures. iBratt is full of foodies, and at least one of us will be here throughout the morning and early afternoon. So don't be shy, we're here to help.

Happy Thanksgiving!

»

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 #

I'll ask the big question so you don't have to….

It's been a while since we covered the basics, so let's start with a general, all-purpose question:

What's the best way for someone to make a turkey? Breast up or down? Foil? Covered? Basted? A rub? Butter? Stuffing or no stuffing? What's that bag of stuff in the turkey. Let's assume someone has a frozen butterball.

Also, the pie department is taking questions.

 
 #

I cook my turkey..

Breast down! I find it keeps the meat moist. I dry spice, stuff with herbs and foil for 3/4 of the cook time, then I uncover, slather with butter, salt, pepper and garlic and let crisp for the remaining time. Then let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing!

Oh and while it is resting, we eat all of the yummy skin off ;p

 
 #

Half way

I cook it breast down for half the cooking time, then flip it so the skin browns up. It's a good idea to defrost the bird that way, too. This also was the end of putting eggs in the stuffing (which expands the stuffing and gets messy in the flipping), which resulted in a more provincial, crumbly stuffing.

 
 #

Don't even need foil

I have a wonderful antique (from my grandfather's house) roasting pan with rack inside and lid. The rack has an open space for accessing the basting juices, and the lid has a vent to regulate moisture escaping. I start the turkey in that, unstuffed, then pull it out about halfway through cooking time, stuff it and leave the lid off. Comes out nice and moist, and no overcooked limbs either!

 
 #

Basting

How often do you baste?

 
 #

Sweet Potato Pie Gone Bye Bye

Ok, here goes. I am to bake a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Lori Schreier of Fertile Fields Farm sold me the sweet potatoes at the farmers market last Saturday, and sent me a recipe. She'd had samples out at her stand late in the summer and it was fantastic! The recipe came over the weekend via email, and languished in my inbox. When I went to go find it today, though, Poof! Disappeared into the electronic ethers without a trace. The only things that I can remember after my quick glance at the recipe were:
• Lots of butter
• A blend of sweet potato and squash

Can you help with a good recipe?

Many thanks, Julia.
Tad

p.s. I'm also looking for a good deal on an electronic glow plug relay for my '91 VW golf biodiesel . . . ?

 
 #

more info, please

Was this a pre-baked crust type of pie or a raw crust type?

 
 #

Crusty

I'm not sure I know the difference. I wasn't planning to pre-bake the crust, so I guess the latter.

 
 #

OK

Totally without an idea of what pie you had, I can give you a standard sweet potato pie recipe, but if there's more involved I need a clue about what it was like- was it a custard, did it have nuts, what sort of squash, was it flavored like a pumpkin pie, etc.? There are enormous variants, and if you want a particular type, you might just email the source again rather than lose time trying to piece together something else.

 
 #

Crusts

You probably know the regular crust - flakey.

Prebaked crust is a bit more poofy to my eye. It's basically the same thing, but you weight down the crust and bake it a bit before putting in a filling. It helps with wet fillings, or things that can't be baked for long. It gets most of the crust baking out of the way before the pie is baked.

Another good crust is just crumbled cookies or graham crackers with butter, shaped into the pie pan. Good for cheesecakes, but other things, too.

 
 #

At 325...

20 minutes a pound, or follow the interactions on the turkey's bag? The turkey bag has it come out in 4 hours; 20 minutes a pound makes it 5 hours. That's significant! But which suggestion should one go by?

 
 #

Turkey Times

For starts, I roast at 350', not 325'. I've generally found that any turkey will be cooked within 5 hours, even the largest, at 350'. The rule of 4 lbs to an hour works up to 16-18 lbs, then it's watch carefully, every half-hour or so, I judge by the drumstick wiggle. When the drumstick wiggles in its socket, it's time to pull it and let it rest the half-hour before carving.

 
 #

Oven size

A small oven, I should mention, cooks a bird much faster. The more circulation around a bird makes for even and better roasting, but a large bird in a small oven should be started at 350' and after 2 hours, reduced to 300' for the remaining time.

 
 #

Thanks

Thanks for the guidance. We'll be watching a number of variables to see when it is done. : )

Smells good… which is a good sign.

 
 #

Try a Brine

A few years ago "Mrs.Mike" tried soaking our turkey in a brine for a day before cooking it. We've done it ever since. You can make your own brine very easy,it just involves salt and different herbs of your liking. Really adds flavor and moisture to the bird.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

 
 #

Deep fried

My sister is doing a brine down in Texas with her family.

She introduced me to the deep fried turkey a few years back. Amazing. Mmm.

 
 #

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are about to carve the turkey and finish up the side dishes. From the Beard house to you and yours, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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