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Yes, I suppose this would have made more sense to post before Thanksgiving than after.  But I had a nonstandard Thanksgiving this year anyway.  I did have a Thanksgiving dinner with some family friends on Thanksgiving day, but I didn’t make a turkey until just last week.  I’ve been having Thanksgiving related meals for a few weeks now, which is totally fine by me, as Thanksgiving is the only holiday toward which I still have warm feelings.  Maybe because it’s one of the least commercialized holidays.  Yes, there is the black Friday craze and how it really starts weeks before the day after Thanksgiving now.  But the holiday itself, there isn’t much marketed directly to it (e.g. trees, eggs, rabbits, anatomically incorrect hearts, etc.).

So, this year I made two types of stuffing (and two fruit tarts) for the Thanksgiving dinner we had on the actual holiday.  This is because most of us believe that it makes the most sense if the host family makes the bird.  I don’t want to lug a 30lb bird around with me from house to house.

The interesting thing is that I’ve never actually made stuffing before.  I’m not a big stuffing person.  I think actually stuffing the turkey is really gross, especially if you have a large one.  By the time the stuffing is fully cooked, the turkey is overdone.  Or you could pull out the turkey when it’s done, but then you might have salmonella stuffing.  It’s gross guys.  Besides that, I’ve never really enjoyed eating stuffing.  If I’m going to eat something carb heavy, I’m going to fill up on fresh baked dinner rolls or mashed potatoes or…mashed potatoes.

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But I was asked to make stuffing (and dessert and cranberry sauce).  So I did.  I asked A-pusher which stuffing recipe she normally makes, as she luuuurves stuffing, and I did that.  But then I found a recipe for a Brussels sprouts and butternut squash stuffing.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a taste for Brussels sprouts.  I reeeeaaaally like them.  I like how they look like little cabbages.  I like their texture.  I especially like their taste if they’re roasted.  And this recipe asked you to roast the Brussels sprouts and squash before tossing the stuffing together.

This was definitely the stuffing I liked the best.  It has some of the traditional flavors of stuffing, sage and the like, but it has roasty Brussels sprouts goodness too.  It’s really good.  I like it so much that I make it without the rest of the stuffing part.  Just the roasted vegetables and some of the spices and sometimes the cranberries too, but none of the bread, and have it as a side dish.

My cranberry sauce is pretty standard.  It’s made from fresh cranberries.  Just boil them to death with some sugar.  I like mine more on the tart side, so I use less sugar than standard.  I make a whole bunch and then use the leftovers as jam on toast or when making shortbread cookies.  Oooh, I should make those divot scones with cranberry sauce on top.

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The fruit tarts you’ve seen before.  My standard chocolate crust fruit tart.  This time with kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, and mango.

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And finally the turkey.  I went a little crazy and bought a whole turkey.  For myself.  It was one of the smaller turkeys I’ve ever made, but still…it’s a whole turkey.  And I’m the only one eating it.  I do a simple brined turkey.  I like that method the best.  I know that this year, the dry rub or dry brine was THE THING to do.  I’ve done that when roasting chickens.  I dunno if I’d ever want to attempt it with a turkey.  Yes, it’s really flavorful.  But it takes a lot of effort and time and fridge space.  With the normal brining procedure, if I have a frozen turkey, I can just defrost it in a bucket of salt water the night before and be ready to roast the next afternoon.

With all my turkey, I’m eating what you would consider a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  I had it just last night, in fact.  But also, I’m making turkey stock with the carcass.  I’m making turkey congee, because I’ve been craving it.  I’m making turkey quesadillas.  I’m making a lot of sandwiches (because I’m very fond of sandwiches).  I’m making hash.  Lots of stuff.  It really helps that I like turkey a lot.  Also, that I’m able to eat things for weeks on end without getting tired of it.

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