I did quite a bit of cooking in the week leading up to our big dinner. Here are some of the creations:
Sausage rolls: plain sausage meat mixed with onion and sage, wrapped in cheaters puff pastry (freeze the butter and grate it into the flour, and don’t handle the dough too much). Baked for 30 minutes.
Mince pies: I was too lazy to make the mincemeat, so I made these with cross and blackwell mincemeat, in my own shortcrust pastry. Baked for 30 minutes.
Nanaimo bars: graham cracker crumbs, sugar and coconut base; icing sugar, butter and vanilla middle layer; bittersweet chocolate and butter melted and poured over the top. Chill and cut up into bars.
Sugar cookies: flour, salt, baking soda, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence made an easy to handle dough, which Jen helped me to cut into festive shapes. Baked for 10-12 minutes.
Pumpkin Pie: Shortcrust pastry pie shell, filled with a mixture of pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and condensed milk. Baked for 40 minutes. Topped off with freshly whipped cream.
Stuffing for the turkey: toasted sourdough bread, bosc pears, sage and parsley with a sauteed mix of finely chopped carrot, celery and onion and lots of salt and pepper. That’s it for the vegetarians. For the stuffing that went in the turkey I added cooked sausagemeat.
The 16lb turkey: Stuffed, rubbed with butter, seasoned liberally, draped with bacon. Enclosed in a foil ‘tent’. Put in a very hot oven for 45 minutes, then turned down to 325F for a 5 hour roast. Opened the tent and removed the bacon for the last 30-45 minutes back up at 400F to crisp up the skin.
The gravy: I made stock from the giblets earlier, roasting them for an hour first. Once the turkey was cooked and resting, used some of the turkey fat to make a roux. Added the stock to the roux and stirred forever, got a little panicky when it wasn’t thickening up but a bit of cornstarch sorted that out.