Seeing as that we're stuck out here on the left coast this Thanksgiving, I've been thinking of holidays past. Most of my Thanksgiving memories are of my mom's house, the house I grew up in. Even after I got married, we tended to spend Thanksgiving there, until the Air Force took us too far away to make it back. There was always more food than we needed and always lots of leftovers (except for the pies... those went pretty fast). I've never been a pumpkin pie eater, but I do make coconut pies with lots of meringue on top. Those were one of mom's specialties. That and her homemade rolls. I've never been able to duplicate her rolls, but then again, neither has she. You see, she doesn't have a recipe. She just puts "some" flour, "some" milk, "some" shortening... you get the picture. But I do have a couple of other recipes that come kinda close, so I make those for dinner as well. Of course, I have to make the traditional green bean casserole, too. And of course there was turkey. My brother Greg and I used to squabble over the skin. (Good-natured squabbling, to be sure.) But my turkey.... well, the recipe for that is one I didn't get a hold of until Brian and I had been married 5 years. It was a recipe from the food section of one of the Cincinnati newspapers, and we first tasted it at the home of a cousin when we were living in the Dayton, OH, area. That very next Thanksgiving found us too far away from Mom's to get back, so I called this cousin and asked for her recipe. So on Thanksgiving of 1992, I made this turkey for the first time. I think I've made it every year since, even if we did get back to be with family.
I've also been thinking a lot of last Thanksgiving. It was our last one in Omaha, and we were so lucky to have friends there who came to share it with us. Grace and Pat, their kids Megan and Ryan... Troy and Rhonda, their children Shayna, Dillon, and Kailey... That was such a fun day. Our house was full of laughter, music, kids' voices. I sure hope we get to do it again one day.
Old-Fashioned Roast Turkey
1 12-lb turkey
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. currant jelly
2 Tbsp. bourbon
Take the giblets and neck out of the turkey.
Rinse turkey with lukewarm water, then pat dry.
Salt and pepper the cavities.
Brush outside with oil.
Place on a rack in a shallow baking pan.
Roast in a preheated 325-degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Make glaze by melting together butter and jelly either in microwave or small, heavy pan.
Stir in the bourbon. Brush turkey with glaze.
Cook for about 20 minutes longer or until a thermometer placed in the
center of the thigh muscle registers 185 degrees.
Remove from oven; cover with a foil tent and allow to sit at room
temp for 20 min or so before carving.