Looking for the Gravy

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA. I am making all the preparations for the feasting that will take place. The turkey, a massive bird of 26 pounds, has been thawed. The required pies (an apple cranberry pie, a cranberry fig pie and two pumpkin pies) were baked yesterday. Son#1 has prepared the sweet potato casserole (complete with the pecans and bourbon sauce)and it too is poised to go into the oven tomorrow. I’ve selected and washed the potatoes that will become mashed potatoes. Various family members will provide the green bean casserole, stuffing, fruit salad, and rolls. All is in readiness for the cooking frenzy that will begin at precisely 9:00 AM tomorrow. I’ve made this meal (with slight variations) for 38 years. In that time Sparky declares that this is hands down his favorite meal. You see he adores a roasted turkey. When the boys were young he made the mistake of declaring that he LOVED turkey. The boys responded, “If you love it so much why didn’t you marry it?!” This has become a joke in the family.

The first Thanksgiving as a married couple was spent with Sparky’s parents and the assembled clan. His mother made a turkey. And sweet potatoes, and three bean salad (which no one would eat), and everyone brought a dish. I made pumpkin pie, his brother brought his signature fruit salad, his next younger sister made her famous potato rolls, the 2 youngest made strawberry Jell-O salad and chocolate chip cookies. There was no gravy! There were no mashed potatoes! I had never in my life had turkey without gravy. Sparky would consider it grounds for divorce if I made a turkey and didn’t make GRAVY!

The most essential element according to son#1 is the gravy. He loves gravy so much that his online player name is “Gravy Master”. His brother is very fond of the potatoes and his online name is “Smashed Taters”. Needless to say it is required to have both the potatoes and the gravy. Son#1 will assist with the production of the gravy, mostly in a Quality Control capacity. The key to making good gravy is having the right stuff for the bird. That is, I bake my turkey breast down and I fill the body cavity with a whole bottle of sweet white wine. It makes the gravy good enough to drink! I’ve got the wine. I’ll boil the giblets in seasoned water (a couple sticks of celery, a bit of diced onion, parsley, a little sage, and some pepper). That broth will be added to the pan drippings to make the gravy – about a half gallon total. If past years are any indication there will be very little leftover! Now all I need to do is find my gravy boat, well really it is a tureen, since a gravy boat is way too small to hold all the gravy that will be required!

45 thoughts on “Looking for the Gravy

  1. I’ve never used the giblets for the gravy, so that sounds intriguing. I’ve had the jarred gravy at my sister’s gathers, and it was ok. NOTHING is better than having gravy made from the drippings in the roaster, though. I’ll have some tasty gravy for our smashed potatoes, too. I’ll be making the stuffing as well as some appetizers (already made) and homemade chicken noodle soup (made last week and in freezer, noodles will be added later). I was going to spatchcock the turkey when I was ordering a 14lb one. I ended up with a 21lb one, and my pan won’t accommodate one that big in a flattened size. So – it will be roasted in the roaster – upside down as you do yours. Since my son’s girlfriend is coming (they are all vaccinated and regularly tested since they work at a resort) I am making some chicken as well. I never know if someone despises turkey (I’m in Sparky’s camp!).

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    1. I’m glad to know that at least one other person is cooking upside down! The breast meat is so much more tender and juicy! I’ve had spatchcocked chicken but never a turkey – I bet that would be a quicker cooking time! My bird has a calculated roasting time of 6 hours! My day will be starting very early!!

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  2. Happy gratitude day!!! Funny to hear about all of your things, and all of their things. 😉
    Can’t wait to hear about the new pie; sounds delicious.

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  3. I’m proud to say you were going to wash potatoes after having finished commenting my blog, Val .I see the preparation of this meal asks great strategy , especially for the gravy that is the focus punctum .
    I hope your oven will be large enough to roast this large bird . This last sn highly larger than an orbitoides! 🙂
    I wish for you both and the children a happy Thanksgiving.
    Love ❤
    Michel

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    1. Thanks Michel~ yes the oven will be big enough but I will need assistance in putting this monster bird into and taking it out of the oven!! I have a written time schedule for all the moving parts – including making the biscuits!

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  4. Sounds good at your house. Ours is empty and will be without eggnog as I forgot to go get some. Lydia (neighbor) said she will bring a couple plates but didn’t say when. Top it off I’ve bee sick all night and can’t think much about food right now. I have plenty to be thankful for but my heart is not happy.

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    1. I usually make an eggnog pie but we haven’t seen any eggnog at the grocery! I have one quart in the freezer that I bought and saved for just this occasion but made a different pie instead. The eggnog will wait for Christmas. I’m so sad to hear that your aren’t feeling very good and have been sick. I hope you will be up to having a little something tomorrow. The holidays are the hardest times when we are missing family. (hugs to you and Wil)

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    1. That’s the thing – since I’m doing all the prep and cooking I rarely have time to eat more than a couple bites! I will probably have a light meal and very thin slices of pie. I’ll be the only one in the house not in a turkey coma!

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        1. Hehe! We were very thankful for this bird’s sacrifice. It fed 15 people and we have half of the meat in the freeze and the remaining parts are going to be eaten tomorrow and over the next few days…

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            1. It was a big bird and not a single part went to waste. We saved the meat and I’m freezing the bones to make broth for some soup this month. We froze one container of meat and will be freezing the gravy and leftover potatoes to make some soup… Loaded Mashed Potato Soup is so very tasty!!

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  5. Being a Thanksgiving time baby, the traditional turkey dinner became my favourite, very early on. As a teetotaler, I do without the whiskey and wine in my cooking, though I can see where the flavours that result from using those beverages can appeal to many.

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  6. I am not a drinker either but as the alcohol burns off in the cooking it does impart a good flavor. Of course going without means a substitute is needed as the wine also tenderizes the meat. My mother would use apple cider vinegar.

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