Ah, the many years of roasting the turkey – what a tradition with the regional elements I’ve encountered being assigned to different places. Being raised in the deep South, dressing was the given and quite frankly, stuffing was never considered. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my maternal grandmother’s dressing – mostly cornbread of course – was terrific. Like so many family dishes though, she didn’t follow a precise recipe. One reason was because she used cornbread and leftover biscuits and the amount of moisture in them did vary based on the batch. Subsequently, the amount of eggs and broth needed to attain the correct consistency varied and how much spice to add was based on the volume of the dressing. It was very much a matter of her “sensing” what was required. My sister had the patience to observe and experiment enough to finally get really close with a written recipe. Stuffing was something I didn’t experience until traveling to the Northeast, and while I enjoy it, given the choice, I do prefer dressing.
The roast turkey of course was always the centerpiece and came with all the good and bad of managing the thawing, seasoning, timing, and carving. I never actually did a turkey on my own as I, then we, usually spent the holiday with family. Hubby and I started hosting what we referred to as “orphans” those times when we didn’t travel. In a military setting, there are almost always singles around who appreciate an invitation.
Smoking turkeys became a thing for a period of time even though we didn’t attempt it. We weren’t really on board with the frying technique initially until Hubby’s cousin by marriage did one and oh my, it was delicious. I may have previously posted about the Christmas when I bought him a turkey fryer. There are a couple of big parts and the box is fairly large. Fortunately, we had a three-quarters bath in the basement of the townhouse that we never used and it fit perfectly in that shower with the curtain drawn. Hubby doesn’t go with fried all the time as it is quite the process. This is going to be one of those years and the appropriate number of gallons – yes gallons – of peanut oil are on-hand ready to look positively medieval as it achieves the right temperature. It does have to be carefully controlled and safety is important.