The feast before shopping

Before overloading the cart with all of the great sale items, celebrate an evening of giving thanks and rejoicing while enjoying the meal of the year.

By Phyllis Stein-Novack
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Nov. 15, 2012

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Thanksgiving is one week from today. It is early this year which means retailers rejoice and give thanks for an all-important extra weekend before Christmas.

Although many of you have roasted a turkey, I am going to assume next Thursday will be a big day filled with worry and anxiety for first-timers.

Step one is simple: Purchase an organic bird from a reputable butcher. Figure one pound of turkey per person or a little more if you’re like me and love leftovers. I usually buy a 12-pounder. The ratio of white to dark meat is spot on. If hosting a large gathering, simply ask someone to roast a turkey and bring it to your home. Don’t worry that the bird is cool. Leave it at room temperature and the hot gravy will heat it up nicely.

Think of a turkey as a chicken with less fat. You will need a large roasting pan, a handful of ingredients and seasonings. Make sure the turkey is at room temperature before it goes into the oven. Calculate 15 minutes of roasting time per pound.

Brussels sprouts have become “the” Thanksgiving green vegetable. I don’t know how this happened but these little cabbages have lost their bad reputation. Restaurants all over town have been serving them for the past few years. Some places offer them all fancied up as an appetizer. When choosing Brussels sprouts, it’s best to select the smallest ones. You can fancy them up with garlic, shallots, chestnuts, bacon, especially pancetta and pearl onions.

I made Cranberry Relish from scratch for the first time last year. I could not believe how easy it was. Fresh cranberries are sold in 12-ounce packages so you might need two if you are hosting a dinner of more than six people. It is delicious on a turkey and stuffing sandwich the next day.

So relax, have fun, listen to music, pour yourself a cup of coffee and the most thankful day of the year will be a joyous one in your home.

Roast Turkey


1 12-pound fresh organic turkey, at room temperature, giblets removed
1 large onion, cut into chunks
2 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
Vegetable oil, for massaging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sweet smoked Spanish paprika, to taste
2 cups of chicken broth


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Scatter the onion and celery around the inside rim of a large roasting pan. Set the turkey in the pan. Pour some vegetable oil into the palm of your hand and massage the entire turkey. Season with the salt, pepper and paprika. Pour the broth into the pan.

Set the pan in the oven and roast for one hour. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and roast for an additional two hours.

Allow the turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes or more before carving. If it rests for up to an hour, tent it with aluminum foil while you make the gravy using the pan juices and stock.

Serves eight.

Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Pancetta


1-1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and sliced in half
6 ounces of pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 large shallots, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sprinkling of garlic powder

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