Thankful for the Harvest, and Bird is the Word!

Let's get Cooking!

Before you read on, If you are able to, please donate to Second Harvest.

Turkey, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, squash, rutabaga, stuffing, pumpkin pie, etc. Yes Please!

I just returned from the farmer's market. I'm sad because in a couple weeks all the markets will all be hibernating for the winter. That means I'll have to buy my produce from a grocery store. [sniff, sniff] Where healthy food, education, musical entertainment, and community engagement all meet, farmers markets have become a critical ingredient for our economy, food systems, and communities. I love going to connect and chat with people about what they have grown and are selling. These people I depend on for food on my table have become my friends, whom I care deeply about. The veggies I picked up this week are carrots, rutabaga, beets, potatoes, mushrooms, corn, apples, and last but not least, Komatsuna. What is that, you ask? Komatsuna is a Japanese mustard spinach. It is a leafy green and is grown in Japan and Taiwan. It is packed full of nutrients and is the most underrated vegetable ever. I learned about this particular vegetable this past summer. Thank you for intoducing it to me, R.

“To support a vendor at a Farmers Market is to support someone’s dream." They don’t just show up for fun, they put in countless hours behind the scenes and are truly passionate about what they do.

Now onto how to prepare a turkey and all the fixings. My mom would make pumpkin pie and apple pie from scratch. I've missed this for the last three years. My sister and I tackled making a pie from scratch last summer. It's hard work!

I can vividly recall being little and the scent of the turkey wafting up the stairs into my bedroom before the day had even really started. It never occurred to me then that it was rather odd to smell the turkey so early in the morning, especially when we weren’t eating until much later in the day.

I’m sharing the tricks I’ve learned over the years that will hopefully make your turkey dinner a breeze to pull together.

Before you do so, get ready to strut your stuff this Thanksgiving with Cluck This Shit Women's Ankle Socks! Perfect for adding a touch of humour to your holiday outfit.

The Easy as Pie Oven Mitt! Perfect for baking pumpkin and apple pies. Don't believe the saying, it's not that easy! :)

Easy as Pie is a Such a Lie Oven Mitt

How to Cook that Turkey

The Basics:

Estimate 1 pound per person (or 1½ if you’d like leftovers) when determining what size of turkey you need.

  • 10-12 people = 12-15 lb turkey
  • 14-16 people = 15-18 lb turkey
  • 18-20 people = 18-23 lb turkey

Frozen turkeys require 5 hours per pound of defrosting time in the fridge (approximately 1 full day for every 5 pounds). Be sure to place your turkey on a tray to capture any juices that may release during the defrosting process. You can also defrost your turkey in a sink full of cold water, if you prefer. This will take ¾ of the time of the fridge method.

Be sure to let the (thawed) turkey sit at room temperature for one hour before cooking. This will help to loosen up the muscles and allow the meat to cook more evenly.

Similarly, let the turkey rest for 35–45 minutes (or more) before carving. This will allow the meat to re-absorb the juices and remain moist. Tent the turkey with foil and leave it undisturbed while you work on the gravy and side dishes.

Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and reserve them for stock for gravy, if desired.

Cooking Temperatures and Times for the Perfect Turkey

  • Cook an unstuffed turkey for 13–15 minutes per pound.
  • 8 lb. turkey = approx. 2 hours
  • 12 lb.–15 lb. turkey = approx. 3–4 hours
  • 15 lb-18 lb turkey = approx. 4-4 ¾ hours
  • 20 lb.–25 lb. turkey = approx. 5–6 hours

Cook turkey at 425ºF for the first 30 minutes of cooking time, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF and cook for the remainder of the time.

Double-check for doneness by checking the turkey’s temperature. A thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the meat, near the thigh, should register 170ºF.

The Aromatics

I do stuff my turkey with bread. I also like to include aromatics, which help to infuse flavour into the pan drippings. Although my recipe suggests apples, onions, and sage, you can also use lemon, carrots, celery, parsley, and rosemary (sparingly).

Carving the bird

  • If you have one, an electric knife is an excellent way to cut through turkey meat. Otherwise, a standard carving knife will work just fine.

Garnishing the Plate

If you carve your turkey tableside, here are some suggestions for garnishing your platter:

Decide on the look you are going for, whether fancy or casual, and choose your garnishes accordingly. Roasted vegetables, onions, and herbs might surround a casually decorated turkey, while a more formal turkey could be flanked with fresh fruits (pomegranates, apples, and lemons), nuts, and herbs. via savvymom

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Up until the three years, my mom made all the pies from scratch, which included pumpkin pie, apple pie, and lemon meringue.



  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, sifted (plus more for flouring the work surface)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup ice water

Pumpkin Pie Spice:

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • ⅛ tsp ground allspice

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • 1 ½ cups pure pumpkin puree
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For serving:

  • 1 cup (35% whipping cream) for serving
  • ¼ cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Special equipment:

  • 9-inch pie pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Pie weights
  • Large measuring cup (or bowl with a spoon to pour from)



Whisk together the flour and salt, then cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Using a fork, stir in the water until the dough starts to come together. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten it into a disc, then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set the oven rack to the bottom-third position in the oven. Lightly flour a clean work surface, and roll the chilled pastry out on it into a 12-inch round to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Place the pastry into the pie pan, pressing into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess overhang to about ½-inch, then fold the overhang under itself (the folded edge should be flush with the edge of the pie pan). Using your thumb and forefinger, flute the edge of the pastry or simply press the edges with the tines of a fork. Chill for 15 minutes.

Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork. Line the pastry shell with parchment paper or foil and fill it with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and crisp, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Pie Spice:

Stir together the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice until combined; set aside.


Reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees. Stir together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, molasses, 2 teaspoons of the pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt until blended. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, and milk until blended, then stir them into the pumpkin puree mixture. Transfer the entire mixture into a large measuring cup.

Pour the filling into the blind-baked pie shell. Bake the pie until the filling is set around the edges but the centre jiggles slightly, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, you could store the pie in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days or serve it immediately.

For serving:

Whip the cream with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Beat in the icing sugar, vanilla, and the remaining pumpkin pie spice. Slice the pie and serve with a generous dollop of the whipped cream.

Yield: Makes 1 9-inch pie, about 8 servings. via cbc

Happy Thanksgiving!


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