Thanksgiving this was! I couldn’t have asked for more.
I was really concerned last night when the storms rolled through. And some kind of storm it was! Lightning shows, thunder, rain and gale force winds. We were at church when it came through, dang near blew me away trying to make it to the truck.
See, I hate rain. I’m not sure why, although I suspect that when I was but a wee jolly, my parents (or, more likely, my older brother and sisters) left me out in the rain. Locked doors and everything. Can’t think of any other reason why I hate rain so. Besides, when it comes right down to it, isn’t everything the fault of your parents?
So I was pretty bummed out, even with SU trying to make it all better. Still, I continued on, put up the new chandelier that SU picked out (three times the cost but ten times prettier), put up a decorative plate holder in the kitchen, put up the last of the blinds that were taken down, started a big pot of beans, marinated a pork loin, etc.
Up this morning to a chill in the air. Started the pit in the dark at 5 am. Went with mostly pecan, with oak chunks for heat. Decided to use the little Weber Smokey Mountain instead of the big pit because it was just one bird and one loin. Much cheaper, and lots and lots and lots easier â€“ no tending the fire. Around 6:30 ish, the sun starts coming up, peeking through the trees. The chill remained.
Hit my target of getting the bird and loin into the pit at 7 am. Sun all the way up and looking gorgeous. Started cleaning up the mess that the storm brought, leaves, pine needles, branches, etc. The pool was full of junk.
Around 9, I wrapped the loin in bacon to prevent it from drying out, pulled it off the pit at 10. The bird hit 180â° in the deep part of the thigh about 10:30, pulled it off and wrapped it to let it rest, threw a chicken on for the heck of it.
Fired up the pot of oil and brought the temp up to 375â° after I put the smoked bird to rest. Let it cook for about 55 minutes then pulled it out of the oil. By this time, people were arriving en masse. He rested for about 30 minutes before carving. In the meantime, I dropped a whole chicken in the oil, heck why not?
Ended up with 29 people. Our family has expanded and contracted through the years with births and deaths. All of my immediate family made it with the exception of one sister, she was busy tending to dying friend. Hero made and brought a friend, Action Jackson, another one of America’s finest. Being the patriarch of this odd clan, Pop said the prayer and we proceeded to enjoy the fruits of another year of God’s blessings.
I can cook, no question about it. Both birds were spot on. The brine gave them excellent flavor and they were both very moist. The fried turkey was my best effort ever and was the best fried turkey I’ve ever had. So there. The pork loin was good, a bit over cooked, the beans were good but I’ve done better.
So I can cook. I can also be humbled. Guess what, cooking well must run in the family! BD brought the moistest roasted turkey I’ve ever seen. In addition, he had both cornbread and rice dressing, two dishes I’ve never tried to master and he does every year. I don’t know who all brought what but the rest of the menu included candied yams covered with pecans (no idea what it is really called), green beans, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, and I really don’t know what else. But more.
And desserts. Oh , my, did we have desserts. I don’t know the names for some of them but it was awesome! SSu even made a German Chocolate cake from scratch like my mom did many years ago.
I was talking with BD, hard to believe mom’s been gone 24 years now. That’s three years longer than 1’s total on earth. I never miss her until I talk about her and the memories come pouring back. I’m thankful that I had a mom that cared enough to try to show me the right way to live. I wonder, would she be proud of me? I hope that I have passed a little of that on.
It was pretty much a perfect day.