Monday, October 8, 2007

Room 642 Thanksgiving Dinner!

We had our Thanksgiving Dinner today, and it was not nearly the disaster I had feared it would be! (Muaha, my roommates didn't know that I had anticipated disaster)

[the whole spread: sticky rice, gravy, salad, pumpkin cheesecake and turkey]

First of all, the Turkey. So intimidating. Even though we didn't even buy a whole Turkey, there were still several unidentifiable turkey parts. For instance, what the hell are these?

[unidentifiable turkey innards]

But anyways. As unfamiliar as I am with Turkey anatomy, I was actually the most knowledgeable[1], and I knew that Turkey's ought to either be injected with butter, or brined. So Miwako and I brined the turkey in water with salt, honey, garlic, rosemary (substituted for Sage, because all of the grocery-store Sage was gone!), whole peppercorns and thyme the night before. The recipe also asked for celery leaves and allspice berries, but I couldn't find either of those, so left them out. I also starting soaking the sweet rice for the sticky rice.

[turkey breast, still on the bone, in a bag]

[brining in our fridge]

Today I fried up lap cheong, choong choi, mushrooms and ground turkey, seasoned it with salt, sugar and soy sauce, and then layered it with the pre-soaked sweet-rice in the rice-cooker.

[lap cheong]

[choong choi]

While I was wrestling with mushrooms that stubbornly did not want to reabsorb any water, Miwako and Mélissa started making the pumpkin cheesecake.

[graham crackers for the crust, ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, and the pumpkin puree]

Ahahaha, we only realized belatedly that we didn't have a proper pie-plate to bake the pumpkin cheesecake in, so we made mini-pumpkin cheesecakes in a silicon muffin-tin, and used the rest of the graham cracker crust and cheesecake batter in a loaf pan.

[mini-pumpkin cheesecakes – not yet baked – Mélissa, Miwako and I were trying to be s0mewhat artistic]

[the result of Miwako being super!fancy with the loaf-pan cheesecake]

[mini-pumpkin cheesecakes – after baking]

After the mini pumpkin cheesecakes were done baking, we began struggling with getting the Turkey into the oven. No pictures for this, as I was elbow-deep in turkey juice, but by then the sticky rice had finished cooking:

[sticky rice – not as good as gung-gung's! ]

Once we had gotten the turkey into the oven, we started on the gravy. We started with a roux, then added in chicken stock. After the turkey was finished roasting, we took the drippings, skimmed away the fat, and poured the turkey drippings into the gravy and let it boil till thickened.

[thickening gravy]

Miwako made a salad while the gravy was finishing up, and approximately four and a half hours after we started cooking we started eating!

[the skin of the turkey burned, but it was weird because it didn't smell burnt…]

[another shot of the turkey]

[my dinner plate]

[1] It was actually the first time Miwako had roast Turkey! And the first time she ever had gravy!

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