Yesterday, basically all of my husband’s immediate family arrived for Thanksgiving. So now we have 8 adults and 5 kids in the house. Under some circumstances, this would seem like a lot of pressure, but my in-laws by and large agree that smothering a turkey in mayonnaise and roasting it in an oven bag is the proper way to cook for Thanksgiving, so I pretty well figure that if the turkey is edible, I will have surpassed most expectations.
I asked Grandma Dode where the mayo turkey concept came from, and she told me that it came from a book of household hints which also encouraged the use of mayo or oatmeal as a hair conditioner, and egg skins to reduce boils. I think this tells you pretty much all you need to know about the source.
This year, inspired by the good folks at Cook’s Illustrated, I am roasting the turkey upside down, with bacon draped over the back. Last year, I also roasted the turkey upside down, quite by accident. All I can say about that is I was nursing at the time, and nothing makes you dopey quite like nursing. When I pulled the turkey out and found myself completely unable to get a good temperature reading or carve the breast, my stepfather gently informed me that perhaps it was because I was working on the BACK.
The meat from that turkey was excruciatingly tender. Like we all almost couldn’t even believe that the meat was cooked through. This year I am fully aware, and will attempt to flip over my 100 degree 18 lb turkey at least an hour before the cooking is over. I still don’t really have a strong concept of how I will execute this, so it may still be a disaster. We’ll see.
Yesterday I started the holiday preparation by making a Kaboucha Bourbon Cheesecake. It was totally experimental, and it looked completely lovely in the oven, but collapsed somewhat upon cooling. If the final product tastes better than it looks, I will post the recipe and pictures here later today, along with my most amazing stuffing recipe.
In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!