Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner for One

Thanksgiving was never a Holiday tradition in my family so I didn't grow up dreading or looking forward to Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner but because I don't have Turkey Dinners I like to have it sometimes.   The first time I had a proper Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner was when I was working at Sunnybrook Hospital.  They would make a full Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner available in the cafeteria of the Hospital for the Staff.   They would have 2 seatings to cover all of the staff.   It wasn't the greatest Turkey Dinner I ever had but it's where I gained a bit of a taste of it.

One year I decided it was time that I tried to cook a Turkey just to see if I could do it properly in case I ever had to make one for other people.   At the time it was just my mom and brother that were there to eat it so there was a whole lot of Turkey leftovers.  My mom never really liked Turkey either,  she liked the dark meat of chickens or chicken breast breaded or roasted on the bone to keep it moist.   I suppose she probably thought Turkey was a bit bland and dry.  Well I mastered my first Turkey roasting with flying colors.  I did it the easy way and bought a Butterball and just followed the directions.  It's pretty no fail if you can read cooking instructions.

Well now that my mom is gone I don't have family to share a Turkey with, but I still decided that I want to have that great Thanksgiving Meal anyway.   So what if I am only one person and it's a lot of work to cook a big dinner.   Well I think it's more messy than hard work.   My sink is full of dishes and my stomach is now full of my TURKEY DINNER FOR ONE.

Instead of buying a whole Turkey, even if it's a small one it's still way too much food that would go to waste since I only like the white meat anyway.   I could make Turkey stock but there is really no point in wasting a whole Turkey.  I decided to pull a Turkey Breast out of the Freezer and just place it on a bed of vegetables in a roasting dish and seasoned it with stuffing flavours since I skipped the stuffing.


I cut up the following and added it to the roasting dish.

2 Carrots
1 Parsnip
2 small onions
3 garlic cloves unpeeled
1 celery stalk

and spiced the whole thing with the following.

Smoked Paprika
Sweet Paprika
Rubbed Sage
Bay leaves
Olive Oil

and I added a cup of water so that it would make some sauce in the bottom of the pan from the drippings.

If you have the skin on the Turkey that's even better to retain moisture and add flavour to the Turkey Gravy.

I cooked it until the vegetables were cooked and the Turkey reached the proper internal temperature as indicated by a Cooking Thermometer.

I took the Turkey out of the oven when it was done and set it on a cutting board to rest.
Then I took the vegetables and reserved them in a bowl.  You can covert the bowl with tin foil to keep it warm if you need to.

Then with the left over juice in the roasting pan I put it on the stove and added a tablespoon of flour and a cup of water.   Bring to a boil and stir until it thickens and add seasonings to taste if needed.

I also made frozen peas... I won't explain that since they were just boiled.. I think you can figure that out.

I also made cranberry sauce from frozen cranberries.   The directions are on the package, although I never follow them.   I just kind of eyeball it so that I can control the sugar.

And I took a shortcut and made some Pillsbury biscuits.   I supposed if I had a bigger kitchen and more room to put things I probably could have made biscuits from scratch but they were a minor part of the dinner so that's where I saved the time and effort.   Although homemade biscuits are always infinitely better.

And there you have it... THANKSGIVING DINNER for ONE.

You don't have to wait for other people to enjoy your dinner the way you want it.   If you want a traditional family style meal figure out a way to modify it and make it for yourself.

If you are creative you can eat what you want without waiting for anyone else.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.     Now go and Eat some Turkey.

Here's the leftovers in Mason Jars ready for another meal.

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