Thanksgiving Part II is now complete and I am happy to report it was a complete success.
I did call an audible in regards to how I cooked the bird. When looking for a recipe I was looking for something that would not take all day (we were planning a mid-afternoon meal) and something that would require minimum futzing. When the baby woke me up at 5:30 this morning (dear baby, please, please, please stop with that habit until you are actually born) I realized that having to flip the damn bird every half hour was a hell of a lot more futzing than simply basting would be. And luckily, with a 12 lb bird the increase in cooking time to use a more traditional method is insubstanital enough that it was easily doable.
I also had a mini-crisis about the lack of mashed potatoes on the menu and considered how I could work some into the schedule, but then I came to my senses and realized that with 3 different starches already on the menu that mashed potatoes were not at all necessary.
I think it all centered around my secret fear. The thing is, as much as I like to cook and as much as I have cooked in my life I have never made gravy. I'm just not a gravy type of person. But on Thanksgiving you have to have gravy, and I was going to have to be the one to make it. And I was scared, because you always hear horror stories of how difficult gravy is to make.
So I didn't want to tackle gravy and basting for the first time on the same day. And why was I bothering with gravy if there weren't going to be any mashed potatoes to put it on?
But then the heavens parted and it all became clear. While I had never made gravy before I have made plenty of sauces. Hell, I made a roux last night for the green bean casserole. And gravy is just a sauce like any other. Suddenly it all became manageable.
And it was. And it was a damn good meal.
I even managed to successfully replicate the family stuffing recipe. And while I did as Mom has done of late and simply made one portion egg-free for Sweetie, I think next time I make it I may skip the egg completely and no one will probably ever notice. No one noticed the switch to whole-grain bread this go-round.