Thanksgiving Dinner


For Thanksgiving 2001 we had a traditional dinner. We baked a 12 lb turkey, made mashed potatoes, stuffing, steamed brocolli, sweet potato home fries, a yam and apple cassarole, a salad, cranberry relish, cranberries, apple pie, chocolate cherry tart, and ice cream.

The Turkey

The turkey is defrosted in the refridgerator for 3 days, just about, but it was still pretty frosty. Our recipie is to take out the giblets and stuff, leaving the inside empty, then cover the outside with a mixture of salt and garlic. We started about 9:30 AM, Thursday. I chopped up about a cup of garlic and added a little salt. That went all over the turkey, then the bird was put in the oven at 325 f for an hour and a half. After 1.5 hours, turn the oven to 375 f and add two cups of orange juice. After that baste every 15 minutes. Cook for about 3 hrs total, 18 minutes for each pound of turkey. We tend to use a thermometer and take the turkey out when the breast is at 170 f and the thigh is at 180. After the turkey is done, it has to set about 45 minutes, and then it has to be carved, so it is about an hour after the turkey comes out before you will sit down to eat. The pies and stuff can go into the oven when the turkey comes out.


I made onion bread for the stuffing several days ahead and trouble getting it dry enough, but we used it anyway. The stuffing recipe we used this year was about 8 cups of bread cubes. 2 cups of chicken stock, with dried cranberries added to it to soak after heating. Saute half an onion, mushrooms, sage, pepper,thyme and celery 10 minutes. Mix all together until bread is moist. Cool and then bake for about 30 minutes at 350. We didn't put any in the turkey itself. Possibly add apples next time.

Sweet Potato Fries

The sweet potato fries are great. Just cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes in boiling water to pre cook them. Then slice them about a half inch thick and put into a roasting pan with some peanut oil and sweet chili sauce in the bottom to coat the potatoes. Bake them for about 20 minutes at 400 or so, turning every 10 minutes or so, browning on all sides.

The Pies

The pies can go into the oven after the turkey and may need 45 minutes to finish. We made the pie dough a day early and had it ready in the refrigerator. That makes things a bit less crazy at the last minute.

Ice Cream

We also made the ice cream several days ahead.


Put the turkey parts in a stock pot with celery tops and carrots. Add water that the potatoes cooked in, a cup or two of rice wine, and all the turkey bones and things that are left after the turkey is carved. Cover with water. Simmer for 2 hours. Pour off the liquid and save for stock to make soup, etc.

The cooking got a little chaotic durning the last hour or so, but it all turned out beautifully. We ate at 1:30.