Monday, November 22, 2010

For the Birds

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching the gravity of my situation is hitting me.  What situation is that?  Well, two weeks shy of my 37th birthday I will be - for the first time - hosting Thanksgiving and preparing my first Turkey.  EEEEKS!

Of course, a month ago while planning I thought of all the wonderful things I would cook.  I would brine the Turkey via a 4-day process following Alton Brown's recipe.  I would make my grandmother's buttermilk rolls from scratch.  I would make maple glazed carrots with orange zest - a great new recipe I'd found.  I would make my famous sweet potato bake.  And I would  make Ree's (Pioneer Woman) pumpkin caramel gingersnap cheesecake.  My mom would be preparing and bringing  the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie.  What a delightful menu!

However now that we're three days out many things have become very clear to me: 
  • I am not Alton Brown.  I don't even know what a whole allspice berry is and do not regularly use the word "truss" in everyday conversation.
  • I have never made a cheesecake in my life and my poor Kitchenaid is so dusty it may rebel against being asked to function
  • I have one oven.  One.  Turkeys take approximately 47 hours to cook.  How then will I be cooking a cheesecake for over an hour, rolls for 20 minutes, and sweet potato bake for 45 minutes - all at different temperatures - and have them all come out perfect just in time for dinner.  Did I mention no warming drawer?
  • I am insane.
So now that we have all that covered I'm forced to reevaluate.  Do I push forward and "go big or go home" for my veritable Thanksgiving debutante ball?  Or do I play it safe, take it down a notch (ok ten notches) and make sure I have at least something palatable to serve?  Well, I've never been much of a "play it safe" girl when it comes to the kitchen so I think I'll forge ahead.  (But I may have a precooked turkey breast tucked in the back of the fridge for emergency purposes!)