“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”– Oprah Winfrey
One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. And I take over the kitchen well before the due date. First, I start designing my menu according to the theme. Then I start searching for recipes. Then I think about all of it and daydream about it. After all that I shop! Shopping, usually with Mariela, my wife, is intense, practical, and a whole adventure.
By July I am already thinking about it, yes July! And of course, July has another of my all-time favorite holiday, Independence Day!
But back to Thanksgiving!
Turkey is not meat we eat all the time, mostly on purpose, that way we can fantasize about it all year long.
So I started planing the menu around the turkey on the charcoal grill nonetheless.
Last year it was a New Orleans theme.
This year it was going to be more eclectic and relaxed.
It started with a visit to Costco where we got a 24lb Butterball bird. I wanted one that I was sure we would get leftovers with. Part of the tradition is to have leftovers at the very least for one more day.
The seasoning of the turkey started the day before. I started a base with half avocado oil and have olive oil that my mom brought from her trip to Europe. I added garlic, sofrito, black fresh pepper, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, New Orleans Seasonings, and butter.
Before I had it seasoned, I cut out the backbone, so it would go flat or butterfly style on the grill.
That day I also started on the pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrot cream soup. Every year my kids expect it!
My cranberry was also started the day before. I do not buy it in cans, I make it myself.
On Thanksgiving Day I light up the BBQ grill. I added some applewood chips at the request of my wife. The turkey went in! It took about three hours at 425 degrees to completely cook.
The great event planner my wife is, she made sure the table was set festively. Goblets and wine glasses, dishes, and roll-ups with fancy decorations. The table was beautiful and set for us six.
Chunky mashed potatoes accompanied our turkey, as well as bacon Brussel sprouts. Turkey gravy and cranberry sauce. All of it made for another great Thanksgiving dinner.
The first time ever I cooked a turkey on a grill. I have to say I was a bit nervous, but it came good, with lots of smokey and seasonal flavors. It tasted like the holidays!
As I was cooking throughout the day, I was also making various festive cocktails for my wife, keeping her happy and festive with food and booze, so she really feels how grateful I am for her and the life we have built together.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, along with Christmas and the Fourth of July. Spending it with our kids and wife is my favorite way to do Thanksgiving! Like last year, this year we missed our oldest son. But luckily he visited a few weeks before for our daughter’s quinceañero. We had a Thanksgiving dinner one of the nights he was here.
I do not have a recipe for the way of cooking the turkey, but I listed above all I used. If you decide to do turkey that way, let me know!