The week before Sarah gave birth, in a fit of outrageous overconfidence (I’d call it hubris, were it not so blindingly obvious I’m in a comedy) we started accumulating the elements of a proper (if small) Thanksgiving meal. The idea was that I would make Sarah and I Thanksgiving dinner while she was resting/taking care of the baby and the baby was napping/being taken care of.
(I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing and pull yourself together.)
Needless to say, things did not go according to plan. Luckily, my parents were willing to bring us a pair of to-go plates from a diner in their neighborhood in exchange for some face time with their granddaughter, so we didn’t go hungry (or even turkeyless) that day. We did, however, have a rather ample supply of Thanksgiving-type foods occupying space in our chill chest and on our counter (to whit: a frozen turkey breast, several as-yet-to-be-mashed potatoes, a box of pre-fab stuffing, a can of cranberry sauce, green beans for our experimental* deep-fried green beans appetizer). And there it sat for almost two weeks as we tried to figure out what the heck to do with it.
The solution, of course, was to serve it as my birthday meal. So yesterday (my birthday, natch) that’s what we did:
We prepared the turkey using a variant of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” recipe. Since it was just the breast, we cut the brine in half, and lacking certain ingredients in their ideal state we used fresh ground pepper, ground allspice and ground ginger rather than peppercorns, allspice berries and candied ginger. The absence of a body cavity also required us to monkey with the way the aromatics were used – they went into the bottom of the roasting pan (in a little water to prevent burning) rather than into the bird.
In spite of (or, perhaps, because of?**) our futzing with the recipe, the meal was a success. The turkey was moist and very flavorful (though I didn’t pick up as much of the apple flavor as Sarah did – I think I may be getting a little sick) and cooked in under an hour. Sarah did a great job with the stuffing – it’s amazing what you can achieve by following the directions on the box, rather than just boiling the hell out of the mix as I am wont to do. I made the gravy a bit thick, but it had a nice flavor, and I’ll hopefully learn from my mistakes next time.
So anyway, I had a very happy (and tasty) birthday, with my two favorite gals. My only regret: not getting a little Pilgrim hat for Cal. It would have been very cute, I think.
* read: ripped off from TGIFridays
** no, in spite of