Friday, November 26, 2010

Darned Good Bird

Happy sisters giving thanks

A few days ago, Dori and I picked out a fresh turkey. I planned to smoke this fine bird, and found a recipe for Apple-Onion Turkey for our family and guests - Dori's Mom and her sister Kathy and their family.

On Wednesday, I prepared our stuffing and then went to work on the bird. I rubbed seven special seasonings in the cavity, quartered an organic apple, onion, lemon and orange, and stuffed those in the turkey with some fresh organic rosemary sprigs. With a hunk of french bread, I sealed off the bird and placed in the fridge to sit overnight.

Yesterday morning, I ran the Boulevard Bolt, a traditional start to my favorite holiday. This year, Will joined me on the course at around Mile 2 for his first Bolt. I ran slowly the first half of the race on the jammed course and then was sidetracked by a bathroom break for nearly three minutes. Nature called; I listened. I wasn't worried about running fast anyway, just a calorie-consuming pace.

My Mom and Kathryn were at the turnaround on Belle Meade Boulevard, and so was Will, who hopped on the course. We ran a 9:30 first mile together and then dropped the pace gradually, finishing the last mile at about 8:00/mile. The run was easy for Will, who crossed the finish line under no strain and asked, "Can I run the whole thing next year?" Yes, I said, and I won't hold you up, either. My Garmin time was 47:30 for 5.04 miles, just under a 9:30/mile pace.

Back to the bird, I fired up the smoker, settling on 235 degrees. For 6 1/2 hours, I tended to the well-oiled bird and smoked some spicy sausage on the side. My family members began cycling through the house, first my Mom and later my Dad and his wife and my sister Anne and her husband. It was a good day to laugh and chat, and we did it well.

Dori and Kathy prepared some amazing sides, and I brought in the bird, once it reached 165 degrees. After it sat a spell, Kathy's husband Nathan carved it perfectly and we garnished the platter. The four children each said a prayer of thanks, with Will capturing some hearts with a thank you to the doctors and staff of 11 North. Amen, buddy. Perfectly said.

The turkey was perfect. The white meat was moist and bursting with flavor. We enjoyed a magnificent riesling from Arrington Vineyards, a fine compliment to the cornucopia of fantastic food prepared by all.

And that's how you do a great Thanksgiving!

Finely smoked

The spread

The fantastic four

1 comment:

Ronni Gordon said...

Wow, you're ambitious.

Everything, and everyone, looks wonderful.

Glad you had a great day.