My parents headed back to Angola with long-awaited work permits in hand, and Brendan's folks are travelling around Europe. So neither my parents nor Brendan's were in town for Thanksgiving weekend!
The last time we found ourselves unsupervised by parents on a major holiday, Uncle Chris gleefully announced that we were not going to have turkey. Neither Chris nor Brendan are turkey fans, and since no one felt like tackling the actual cooking of the bird the brothers carried the day. I suggested we might skip the turkey this year too, but Auntie Heather was horrified at the suggestion. Also horrified was Auntie Janice, who felt that foregoing Thanksgiving turkey two years in a row might create a new and unwelcome tradition!
That's how I ended up agreeing to cook one large leg of lamb and a "medium" 16lb 9 oz turkey for dinner. The last and only turkey I've ever cooked was back in high school, so I was extremely nervous. I consulted extensively with friends, family and Google before concluding that from a culinary perspective, a turkey is basically a giant chicken.
I stuffed it with a brown and wild rice mix (plus celery, bacon, onion and cranberries) and roasted it like I always cook roast chicken - just four times longer than usual. I was worried about oven space so when I found a crockpot honey-mustard lamb recipe, I thought that was a brilliant idea.
Uncle Chris brought the homemade pumpkin pies and bread. Auntie Yukiko brought the sweet potato (a task that inadvertently stretched her beyond her cooking comfort zones too! Sorry about that Yukiko! Next time you can pick something you like to eat!) Auntie Janice made green beans oriental, two large heads of cauliflower and two large bundles of broccoli. Auntie Heather, Brian and Heidi made the smoothest mashed potatoes I've ever had and Ray made a couple of beautiful salads. Uncle Dave and Auntie Karen brought juice. And my nephew of course, by special request :)
We had a ridiculous amount of food leftover, even after sending home care packages. Apparently Saslove's other customers eat more than we do! I may have also neglected to mention that five of our 19 guests were aged 10 and other, and another just a wee baby...