Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013 - a turkey-centric recap

Hulky and I had a nice Christmas, it was fairly low-key which is what I wanted. We picked up a frozen turkey and I thawed it in cold water (took over 6 hours, changing the water every 30 min in a bucket in the tub) on Christmas Eve. When I wanted to go to bed and the body was thawed enough to wrench the neck & gut-bag out, I rinsed it, dried with paper towels, and then rubbed it down with salt. I left it uncovered in the fridge overnight. In the morning, the salt had absorbed, so I just rubbed it down again and after letting it sit on the counter for a couple of hours, mixed some softened butter with herbs (black pepper, thyme, rosemary) to slather on and under the skin. In the cavity, I put half a lemon (squeezed in there), half an onion, some carrot, & celery. With the oven at 350°F, I don't think it took much more than 2 1/2 hrs to cook the 12 lb bird. Much less time than I was expecting! The little pop-up timer was up at what I thought was the two-hour mark (but I forgot to reset the timer at some point when I was checking it hourly, so that's why I think it was 2.5 total), I checked the temp in the breast & thigh and it was ready to go. I set it aside with some foil on top & Hulky heated up the green beans and made us some smashed taters. I did miss having rolls on the side, as my mom always used to make some and when I was a breadoholic, I ate a LOT of them.

Delicious. The bird was wonderfully moist. Hulky kept complimenting me on it and I felt really awkward, but very proud (compliments are still difficult for me to accept). I didn't have to baste it at all. We are using all of our tupperware right now to hold the leftovers! Tonight, I am putting the body on the stove with water & some ACV to make stock. I am going to have to dig around for some jars. I have the legs, wings, and random tendons and such in a bag in the freezer, which will make a smaller amount of stock at another time.

Earlier in the week, I made some gluten-free gingerbread cookies from a recipe that uses coconut flour & blanched almond flour. They're good enough for me. I gave some to my parents to try. Don't know if they've tried them yet. They're not as molasses-y as I'm used to, a little bland I think. I messed up my gut a bit by eating too many. Almonds are not friendly to my intestines. I am limiting myself to two a day now, with my lunches :). I don't think I'll bother with any royal icing at this point.

I didn't do a lot of gifting this year, mostly to Hulky (and he loves his bunny slippers and baking utensils). Parents & family got wedding photo books. I didn't get my siblings anything. It felt weird, but at least I got to see everybody. We hung out at the in-laws for a bit too  (which means seeing the niece & nephews) and I had some quiet time later in the day to unwind. Sadly, anxiety cropped up during that time, but looking back on it, I think it was the right choice to have some time alone while Hulky went back to his folks' house.

Ugh, and we watched the Doctor Who Christmas special. I didn't like it. Maybe I'll do a post on that at some point when I am feeling more articulate about it.

My January is going to be busy. I need to go back to get a tattoo touched up & do a consultation for my next piece. I have a couple of therapy sessions booked. The third weekend is the work holiday party. We need to get up to see Baba since she didn't make it down for Christmas, so I can deliver her gifts in person (photo book & digital photo frame). And someday, someday, we'll get the Mustang exhaust leak sorted so then the Civic can go in for its own maintenance (a mysterious rattle/leak that I think is the exhaust system, as well as some insurance-covered repairs).

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