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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Casserole

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday weekend (or regular weekend!) and that you are now ready for the holiday season.  Did you fill yourself to the brim with turkey and stuffing on Thursday?  Or were you like me and had some Buffalo chicken at the local bar?  Did you head out Friday morning and fight the crowds?  Or were you like me and you stayed far far away from any store that sold anything on Friday? 

While I may have missed out on the food festivities this year, my thanksgiving was not without celebration.  I just enjoyed my thanksgiving holiday in the morning and spent the afternoon travelling!  Boyfriend and I spent the early morning hours under the sunny skies of New York City, watching the Macy's thanksgiving day parade. 

Having done the New York City new years eve thing once, we were concerned about the sheer numbers of people that would be at the parade.  We were told to expect 3.5 million people to line the streets of Manhattan and watch the parade with us.  The one thing that we neglected to account for was the length of the parade route.  Starting at 77th street and Central park west, travelling south to 34th street and 7th avenue, the parade winds its way over two miles of New York City pavement. 

We decided to go uptown to watch the parade, getting off the subway at 66th street and walking to the park.  By the time we got there, the sidewalks were pretty full and the police had closed off the street.  We stood three or four people back from the barracades, but boyfriend and I have a serious parade watching advantage, we're both pretty tall.  There was also another bonus, we came to see the balloons and balloons float.  The massive characters were flying high above our heads, everyone could enjoy them even without a good place to stand.

With the sunny skies and the warmer than usual temperatures, we thoroughly enjoyed the parade.  Having watched them inflate the balloons the day before, it was fun to finally see them all floating above us.  We each had our favorites and waited the whole parade to wave to Kermit the Frog.  Once Kermit flew past, we darted out of there and flew away ourselves.

Thanksgiving Casserole
Adapted From Everyday Food

Since I missed out on the big Thanksgiving dinner, I cooked thanksgiving food all week instead.  This casserole was prepared a few hours ahead of time and popped in the oven just before dinnertime.  This was fantastic and had all of the flavors that I need in a turkey day meal.   I have decided that thanksgiving smells like sage and butter.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 sticks celery, diced
1/2 loaf of crusty white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook turkey, breaking it up into small pieces, until browned.  Add sage and flour and stir to coat.  Add 1 cup chicken broth and cook until thickened, season with salk and pepper.  Pour into the bottom of an 8x8-inch pan.

Place pan back over the heat and add butter.  Once the butter is melted, add onion and celery.  Cook until softened and onion is fragrant.  In a medium bowl, combine onions and celery with bread cubes, cranberries.  Pour broth over the top and stir to coat.  Add egg and stir.  Pour over the top of the turkey.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (30 if you prepared this earlier and it was in the fridge).  Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes.  Chow down!  Try not to eat it all straight out of the pan!

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