Friday, November 27, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Having left me camerade at work, I have no pictures to offer. Intent on the utterly traditional Thanksgiving, as always, I made a detour in NOT using anything prepackaged, canned or frozen. An unusual challenge as it turned out. Who ever realized that I was using Il Fornaio bread and canned Swanson broth for stuffing?? I have now. So it was my own wild yeast bread and a 12 hour turkey (NOT chicken) broth. If it hadn't burned on the bottom, I would be reeling still.

The experiment that truly worked, however, was a turkey. Let me offer details. Take out the backbone and rib cage entirely so have two lobes and legs and wings still attached. Put this into a big bag designed for brining, but no, we shall not brine. We cure. Salt, sugar, spices, and nitrites, oh! A few tablespoons of each. With bay leaves and rosemary. For a full 10 days, while I was away. No liquid at all. Then truss into a compact shape with string and smoke, over grape cuttings, lemon and oak, in this case for about 8 hours. And it is an actual TURKEY HAM. Succulent, sweet and smokey after the blackened skin in removed. Served cold, and remarkably wondrous. Better than the other turkey right beside him.

The rest is a blurr, which must be a good thing, though it was two days in the kitchen. Don Christobal and I made a real meat micemeat with suet raised crust, which was the best thing on the table. Add about 100 pounds more food and you will get the idea for 20 something people. And there is still a case or more of wine. O povero mio!