Thanksgiving 2012 Recap

My first turkey! Pardon the nasty flash.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving and my very first turkey turned out fantastic! I kid you not when I say it was the best I ever tasted. Honestly, I didn’t know turkey could taste that good. Growing up, I always slathered it in gravy or cranberries because it tended to be so bland and tasteless. This turkey needed nothing and was so moist and flavorful. I brined it for over 24 hours, then rubbed homemade herb butter (grass-fed butter blended with fresh sage & thyme) all over the outside and under the skin. I stuffed the cavity with a quartered onion, leftover fresh herbs and one lemon (cut in half). The skin came out brown and crispy, just the way I like it (I can’t stand flabby skin — that’s when I won’t eat it) and I could taste flavors of the wine (from the brine) on the meat and skin. This will now be my go-to recipe for turkey! The rest of our meal consisted of roasted brussel spouts tossed with bacon and dried cranberries (apple juice sweetened), fresh green beans with sautéed shallots and chantrelle mushrooms (this tasted just like green bean casserole, but better!), my mom’s spiced cranberry relish, mashed buttercup squash, homemade neck/gizzard gravy, and almond flour biscuits (though neither of us ate one with dinner). For dessert, crustless pumpkin pie with 24-hour half-and-half yogurt as our (thick) whipped topping.

In the morning, before all the eating happened, Jesse went to Jiu-Jitsu and I got a workout in at Recreate. It was a fun Thanksgiving workout with 45+ others. A good time was had by all. After we got home (Jesse was there too because he helped coach class), I made us homemade almond flour biscuits with bacon, sunny-side up eggs and avocado. Then after eating, we Skyped with my parents back in Michigan and later, I got to Skype with my grandparents. Yay for technology! Anyway, here’s a photo recap of our Thanksgiving.

All slathered with herb butter and stuffed with herbs and aromatics.
I sautéed carrots, onion and celery in some ghee with sea salt and pepper, and then added it to my slow cooker with bone broth (enough to cover everything), a bay leaf, and the neck and gizzard from my turkey. 6 hours later, I had the base for a gravy. I took the meat off the vertebrae and chopped up the gizzard. Everything went into the blender with some pan drippings. Minutes later, it turned into a fantastic, flavorful and nutrient-dense gravy.
In the slow cooker, ready to simmer for the next six hours.
The pumpkin pie!
In the afternoon, we roasted some chestnuts to nibble on (and pair with our mead — honey wine). Here, Jesse is peeling the cooled chestnuts. They’re so tasty and look like little brains!
Checking the turkey. Nope, it wasn’t done. Back into the oven it went.
I gave Dutch a new box to play in (compliments of my mom for the goodies she sent me from her Austria trip). He loved tearing up the tissue paper inside and enjoyed napping in here all day long. Mila, our Siamese cat, doesn’t care about boxes, so Dutch gets to have it all to himself.
Jesse slicing the turkey. He got too hot because of all the heat coming from the kitchen, which is why he is shirtless.
Our spread.
Jesse getting impatient while I snapped photos. He was still hot, so ate dinner shirtless.
My plate. There ended up being a lot more gravy involved than what you see here. It’s so good that I kept ladling it on!
Dessert, homemade pumpkin pie with 24-hour half-and-half yogurt.


17 thoughts on “Thanksgiving 2012 Recap

  1. Lemons 'n Lyme November 26, 2012 / 10:26 am

    looks delicious! We made chestnuts with Brussels sprouts and that is exactly what I said about the chestnuts, too- they look like mini brains! But so yummy 🙂

    • paleoinpdx November 26, 2012 / 4:26 pm

      Nice! When I was eating the chestnuts, I thought about how good they’d taste with brussel sprouts. I need to do that!

  2. My French Heaven November 26, 2012 / 11:24 am

    Great post! And beautiful bird! Your turkey is bigger than your cat it seems:0)

    • paleoinpdx November 26, 2012 / 4:25 pm

      Thanks! I’m not sure how much my cat weighs, but I think he and the bird are in the same ballpark!

      • My French Heaven November 26, 2012 / 11:22 pm


  3. Megan November 26, 2012 / 1:17 pm

    Ah this looks amazing!! Did making a turkey make you want to start roasting turkeys and chicken all the time?! That’s what ended up happening to me : )

    • paleoinpdx November 26, 2012 / 4:28 pm

      Thanks! I already roast chickens quite a bit in my crock pot, so not really, although I did cook the turkey different than I do the chicken. It was quite a bit of prep and work, so I think I’m okay doing it for special occasions, especially because of the cost of everything too! The bird alone was $42, so not something I want to do all the time!

  4. sonny November 26, 2012 / 4:16 pm

    can you make a heading/page/tab for recipes? How to make the yogurt? the pumpkin pie? the brussel sprouts? how to store leftover brussell sprouts (and when re-heating, use a microwave?),etc , thanks.

    • paleoinpdx November 26, 2012 / 4:24 pm

      Wow, lots of requests! I have linked numerous times (in former posts) about how to make the yogurt, but here is the link for you Eventually I will have a recipe tab, but right now with full-time school, I don’t have a lot of time to set it up and organize all my recipes in there. There is a search box though and I do tag my recipes, so feel free to use that. I just store leftover brussel sprouts in the fridge and reheat them normally in the microwave — nothing difficult or fancy. If you saw my Thanksgiving recipe idea post last week, there was a paleOMG brussel sprout recipe and that’s pretty much what I did, but added dried cranberries instead of pecans. Here’s the link to that post I hope this helps in the meantime.

  5. Cinnamoneats November 26, 2012 / 9:22 pm

    Everything looks delicious! Are you planning on making bone broth with the turkey bones?

  6. MommaB November 27, 2012 / 4:24 pm

    Beautifully executed meal! You should be proud of your efforts and presentation! You made your Mom smile big!!

    • paleoinpdx November 27, 2012 / 4:33 pm

      Thanks, Mom! I wish you could’ve tasted it all, especially the turkey. Needless to say, I’ve definitely got my turkey recipe nailed. It’ll now be my go-to for Thanksgiving! Glad I could make you smile 🙂

    • paleoinpdx December 1, 2012 / 11:28 am

      Roast halved brussel sprouts with fat of choice (I recommend coconut oil or ghee) at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until roasted to your liking. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on top too. Meanwhile, fry up some bacon. When bacon is done, let cool on a plate and then chop up into pieces. Mix the brussel sprouts and bacon together in a large bowl, and then mix in the dried cranberries. Wham bam done!

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