Please have a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy a Turkey Dinner with friends and family this year.
My thanksgiving story.... It ain't Hallmark but I still find it funny.
Back in the early 1990s I was stationed in the Limburg region of the Netherlands with the U.S. Army. The Base near our Barracks where our Mess Hall was located was a NATO Base. The Cooks were of all the NATO Nationalities. Every Nation had a “Flag Day” which food from that nation was the dinner meal for that day. You would think the American “Flag Day” would be the 4th of July but it was in fact Thanksgiving. The Army makes sure that Thanksgiving dinner is just like the troops would have at home (better actually). So the Meal consists of Deviled Eggs, Shrimp Cocktails, Salad Bar, Soup, Roast Turkey, Roast Ham, Baron of Beef, Steamed Crab Legs, Mashed Potatoes, Corn Bread Stuffing, Bread Stuffing, Mac and Cheese, Green Bean Casserole, Corn on the Cob, the three different Gravies, Cranberry Sauce, Fresh Fruit, Nuts, Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Puddings and Ice Cream. It's all you can eat. They would serve from noon till 7 pm. Not only did all the G.I.s from all the different Countries eat that day, they also brought their Families and Friends. Even the Dutch Civilians from the town outside the gate would line up waiting for a G.I. to sign them in so they could pay for a meal. This was the only dinner all year we could have wine with. Since it was purchased by our Company funds we needed the biggest bang for the buck. We would buy Gallo Mountain Burgundy and Chablis (Red and White) in 3 gallon jugs at 3 dollars a jug (no taxes) and decant them into carafes for the tables. The other nationalities would all ask us where we got this wonderful wine from and could we get them some. We delighted in giving them (especially the French Officers) a bogus story as to the wine being something special to the U.S. Army and came in a shipment only for the Holiday. “Sorry Sir, I’d love to get you some but each bottle has to be accounted for like ammunition.” I had a hell of a time not laughing my rear end off in front of them. But then I have a strange sense of Humor.
Mom's Turkey Recipe
How my family does Thanksgiving turkey....
Thaw Frozen turkey as directed.
Rinse out turkey with warm water to get rid of the frozen blood and stuff inside it.
We usually get a butterball.
Pull out the bits in the back cavity.
Place the neck, gizzards, heart, etc. in a pan full of water and a little salt. Boil until cooked. Pull meat out of pan and let cool. Save stock for later use.
Set up meat grinder and grind two or three medium onions, quartered and four or five stalks of celery into another pan. Strip meat from neck bones and grind up all the neck meat, gizzards etc. into same pan. put half a stick of butter in that pan and simmer until onion/celery is cooked.
Get an extra large bowl and fill with pepperidge farms sage and onion croûtons. Pour onion/celery/meat/butter over croutons. Take stock water you put aside and use that to make the croutons damp. If you can't get the flavored croutons just get plain croutons or make them in the oven overnight and use poultry seasoning (had to do that in Macedonia). Hand mix until evenly distributed.
Stuff Turkey front and back then sew it up.
In a small sauce pan place one stick of butter and two or three tea spoons of paprika. Melt butter and stir in paprika.
Pour butter/paprika mix over turkey and rub all over Turkey.
Preheat oven and roast as the directions state in a roasting pan.
Baste at proper intervals with water and then turkey juice.
Last hour place aluminum Foil tent over Turkey to keep breast from drying out.
Remove turkey to cutting board to rest and after pan has cooled down make gravy from drippings.
Extra stuffing goes into baking dish and is baked right along with turkey if you have the space.
Top meal off with mashed potatoes, corn, garlic green beans with bacon, etc.