Foodday live chat for Thanksgiving cooks
11:46
The Oregonian: 
Hello and welcome to our live chat for Thanksgiving cooks. Grant and Katherine will join us at noon. Until then, feel free to post your questions and comments. Expect a short delay between the time you hit send and the time you see your question in the chat.
Monday November 19, 2012 11:46 The Oregonian
11:46
The Oregonian: 
And just in case you're searching for recipes, here's a link to our recipe database: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2008/06/recipe_advanced_query.html
Monday November 19, 2012 11:46 The Oregonian
11:47
The Oregonian: 
And a host of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes compiled in Foodday's Thanksgiving Guide: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2010/11/thanksgiving_recipes.html
Monday November 19, 2012 11:47 The Oregonian
11:58
Katherine Miller: 
Hi everyone. I'm the Foodday editor and I'm here to take any questions, or to listen to your holiday horror stories!
Monday November 19, 2012 11:58 Katherine Miller
11:59
Grant Butler: 
And I'm here, too, to help answer burning questions about Thanksgiving.
Monday November 19, 2012 11:59 Grant Butler
11:59
Grant Butler: 
I'll start with a question for you, Katherine: What are your meal plans for the big day?
Monday November 19, 2012 11:59 Grant Butler
12:00
Katherine Miller: 
I always share the cooking with my sister, and this year, as always, I'll be brining my turkey and then spatchcocking it.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:00 Katherine Miller
12:01
Katherine Miller: 
Spatchcocking is a fancy word that means taking out the backbone of the bird and then splaying it open, skin side up. The meat cooks more quickly, and the breast meat cooks at the same rate as the dark meat, so no problems with dryness.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:01 Katherine Miller
12:01
[Comment From MichaelMichael: ] 
Weather permitting, I'm going to barbecue my turkey this year. Any last-minute tips?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:01 Michael
12:02
The Oregonian: 
Grant, what are you cooking for Thanksgiving?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:02 The Oregonian
12:02
Katherine Miller: 
Sounds great. Our test kitchen expert grilled hers for our photo and found that she needed to move the turkey over the burners for a little while to brown up the skin on the bottom of the bird.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:02 Katherine Miller
12:03
Katherine Miller: 
Also, if it's windy and cold out (gee, how could that happen?), you may have to adjust the heat on your grill. A thermometer is essential!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:03 Katherine Miller
12:03
Grant Butler: 
Last week we had all the turkey essentials, including roasting and thawing times. You can find that here:
http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2012/11/savoring_simplicity.html
Monday November 19, 2012 12:03 Grant Butler
12:04
The Oregonian: 
I love the idea of using your grill as an extra oven for the bird. One downside I've noticed with grilling, is that you don't have the nice drippings for gravy. Any help for that?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:04 The Oregonian
12:05
Grant Butler: 
My Thanksgiving dinner will be a tad different. I'm roasting winter squash filled with stuffing, having a salad with pumpkin seeds and fall fruit, and making pumpkin cookies -- a vegan recipe from Giada de Laurentiis. Oh, and there will be bubbly.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:05 Grant Butler
12:05
Katherine Miller: 
You'll be grilling the bird over a foil pan, so there will be some drippings. However, it can be a good idea to roast some turkey wings or drumsticks separately in the oven (they're cheap at Winco) beforehand so you have drippings for your gravy.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:05 Katherine Miller
12:05
The Oregonian: 
Readers, what are you planning to cook this year? Any new recipes?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:05 The Oregonian
12:06
Katherine Miller: 
Grant, do you ever serve Tofurky, and if not, why?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:06 Katherine Miller
12:06
Grant Butler: 
I know it's made in Oregon and I should be gung-ho over Tofurky, but I'm not.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:06 Grant Butler
12:07
Grant Butler: 
I tried it a few years ago, and didn't like that there really wasn't any cooking involved.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:07 Grant Butler
12:07
Katherine Miller: 
How is the taste and texture?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:07 Katherine Miller
12:07
Grant Butler: 
For me, cooking is part of the reason Thanksgiving is so wonderful. Warming up something that's frozen was, to me, depressing.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:07 Grant Butler
12:08
[Comment From LaneMyersLaneMyers: ] 
I've been cooking my turkey based on Alton Brown's recipe. He suggests inserting the temperature gauge in the breast while I've seen other recipes recommend in the thigh. I've always inserted it on the breast, as I'm fearful of incorrectly placing the gauge in the thigh and hearing horror stories about temperatures snafus due to the probe being near the bone. What do you prefer? Breast or thigh? If thigh, is there a foolproof technique for correctly inserting the probe?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:08 LaneMyers
12:09
Katherine Miller: 
I favor the thigh, because that's the part that will cook slower. It takes a little practice, but it's not hard. We'll find a photo for you to show you where it goes.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:09 Katherine Miller
12:12
Katherine Miller: 
Try this photo from Real Simple magazine's website,

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/cooking/take-turkeys-temperature-00000000002297/index.html
Monday November 19, 2012 12:12 Katherine Miller
12:13
The Oregonian: 
Grant and Katherine, you promised cooking horror stories. What's your worst Thanksgiving disaster story?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:13 The Oregonian
12:13
Grant Butler: 
If you're cooking a frozen turkey, you probably should have it thawing in your fridge by now, depending on the size. We've got thawing guides, including what you can do if you haven't started thawing in time, here:
http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2012/11/thanksgiving_turkey_101_how_to.html
Monday November 19, 2012 12:13 Grant Butler
12:14
Katherine Miller: 
My favorite Thanksgiving horror story comes from Siobhan Loughran, a former staffer at Foodday. To protect the small children at her holiday gathering, she put the lock on her new oven, not realizing that it automatically turned on the cleaning cycle. Let's just say she had a very clean turkey!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:14 Katherine Miller
12:14
[Comment From LaneMyersLaneMyers: ] 
When making my turkey gravy, I've never separated the fat from the drippings. I usually just eyeball how much flour to add to the roasting pan and make my roux directly in the pan, letting it get to a nice color before adding stock. Is there a upside to separating the fat and making roux(while adding the juice later)? Or a downside to making a roux with drippings/juice together?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:14 LaneMyers
12:15
Grant Butler: 
Before I became a vegan, I roasted turkeys using a metal roasting pan that had a tendency to scorch drippings if you didn't keep adding water or wine to it. One year I forgot, and the drippings burned horribly. No gravy! What's Thanksgiving without gravy?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:15 Grant Butler
12:16
Katherine Miller: 
The only reason to separate the fat from drippings is to have more control over how much fat is in your gravy. Your method should work fine, as long as there's not an excess of fat, which can rise to the top of the gravy at the table and make it greasy.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:16 Katherine Miller
12:16
[Comment From Lesli BourbonaisLesli Bourbonais: ] 
I want to make a pumpkin strudel this year, but I want to make it gluten free. I was thinking of using sofented rice paper and layer them. Will this work and bake up crisp? O would you have any other suggestions as where to buy gluten free phyllo or dough?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:16 Lesli Bourbonais
12:16
Grant Butler: 
The best horror story I heard was years ago, when someone called one of the turkey hotlines on Thanksgiving, and it became clear that they had cooked the frozen turkey without removing the plastic.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:16 Grant Butler
12:17
The Oregonian: 
Readers, what are your cooking disaster stories?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:17 The Oregonian
12:17
Grant Butler: 
There also was a former Oregonian employee who put her turkey in the oven, and somehow turned on the cleaning setting and couldn't turn it off. The turkey was more or less cremated.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:17 Grant Butler
12:17
The Oregonian: 
Lesli, we're checking on the gluten-free strudel question.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:17 The Oregonian
12:18
The Oregonian: 
My cooking confession: The first time I cooked a turkey, I didn't realize you needed to remove the package of giblets and bits from the bird. I was sure I'd poisoned my guests with that cooked plastic!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:18 The Oregonian
12:19
Katherine Miller: 
Another option is to make a pumpkin with gluten-free streusel topping.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:19 Katherine Miller
12:19
The Oregonian: 
Is it possible to cook a bird that's still frozen?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:19 The Oregonian
12:19
Katherine Miller: 
Make that, pumpkin custard with streusel topping!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:19 Katherine Miller
12:21
[Comment From Lesli BourbonaisLesli Bourbonais: ] 
Pumpkin custard won't work as I need to have it dairy free also. Do you think the rice paper senerio would work it buttered or oiled?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:21 Lesli Bourbonais
12:21
Katherine Miller: 
Someone recently asked about making pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin. Unless you use a sugar pumpkin or other very dense variety, we don't advise it. Canned pumpkin puree is much more consistent and reliable, and fresh pumpkin can make a watery pie.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:21 Katherine Miller
12:22
Katherine Miller: 
I have never used rice paper that way. I worry that it would either turn hard and brittle, or gluey.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:22 Katherine Miller
12:22
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
If you're not with family this year, and you don't feel like doing the Heathman or The Nines thing, what's your recommendation for an easy Thanksgiving? Who's got the best turkey and fixin's to go?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:22 Guest
12:23
Grant Butler: 
The only frozen turkey that's probably safe to eat is one in a frozen TV dinner. Which reminds me of the ending of "Broadway Danny Rose," which so bittersweet.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:23 Grant Butler
12:23
The Oregonian: 
Let's talk about sides. You've had lots of great suggestions to free up space in your oven. Which one is your favorite? Stuffing or potatoes in the slow-cooker? Make-ahead gravy?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:23 The Oregonian
12:24
[Comment From Brenna TidwellBrenna Tidwell: ] 
USE FRESH PUMPKIN: Just strain the puree, it's worth the extra time. Cinderella and Winter Luxury are excellent varieties.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:24 Brenna Tidwell
12:24
[Comment From Michael RussellMichael Russell: ] 
Guest: Kenny & Zukes and Irving Street Kitchen are both doing to-go Thanksgiving dinners. And here's a list of Portland-area restaurants open on Thanksgiving http://www.oregonlive.com/dining/index.ssf/2012/11/portland-area_restaurants_open.html
Monday November 19, 2012 12:24 Michael Russell
12:24
Grant Butler: 
We've got several make-ahead mashed potato recipes here: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2012/11/5_thanksgiving_mashed_potato_r.html
Monday November 19, 2012 12:24 Grant Butler
12:24
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Do you have a recipe for homemade egg nog?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:24 Guest
12:24
Katherine Miller: 
If you're like me and don't have two ovens, a good trick is to use your slow-cooker. I recently posted a link to several recipes online that can be made in a slow-cooker, but my favorite is the stuffing. You don't get the crispy bits, but it turns out fluffy and delicious, and it will hold for hours.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:24 Katherine Miller
12:25
The Oregonian: 
Here's Katherine's latest post on using your slow cooker: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2012/11/northwest_cook_turn_a_crockpot.html
Monday November 19, 2012 12:25 The Oregonian
12:25
[Comment From Tamsen WassellTamsen Wassell: ] 
I somehow ordered a 23lb heritage bird. I am dry brining it starting today. I love the stuffing in the bird and I want pan drippings for gravy. I own a pellet smoker and of course an oven. Thoughts about the process and length of time?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:25 Tamsen Wassell
12:27
Grant Butler: 
These homemade green bean casseroles can be made the day before, then finished in the oven right before dinner. http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2012/11/5_thanksgiving_side_dish_recip.html
Monday November 19, 2012 12:27 Grant Butler
12:27
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Any tips for minimizing mess? The monumental cleanup job can put a damper on Thanksgiving cooking.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:27 Guest
12:27
Katherine Miller: 
Wow -- 23 pounds! I would not stuff a bird that big. By the time the stuffing gets hot enough (165 degrees), the breast meat will be overcooked.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:27 Katherine Miller
12:27
Grant Butler: 
And yes, you really do want to make homemade green bean casserole, as opposed to the one using all canned stuff. Gross!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:27 Grant Butler
12:28
Grant Butler: 
My clean-up strategy with Thanksgiving dinner or any other big cooking project is to keep at it as you go along as much as possible.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:28 Grant Butler
12:28
The Oregonian: 
Here's a lovely eggnog recipe from MIX magazine: http://www.oregonlive.com/mix/index.ssf/cocktails/very-good-eggnog.html
Monday November 19, 2012 12:28 The Oregonian
12:29
Katherine Miller: 
As for size, most experts I've read say that if you need to serve lots of guests, cooking two smaller birds. You have better control and more reliable results. But that doesn't help you this year!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:29 Katherine Miller
12:29
Grant Butler: 
I try to build in cleaning time into my planning, which usually helps cut down on the mess. But I also have a bus tub that I bought at a restaurant supply company that I use to toss things that can be cleaned up later.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:29 Grant Butler
12:30
Grant Butler: 
As long as the leftovers get put away within a couple of hours after dinner, the world won't come to an end if some of the dishes don't get cleaned until Friday morning.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:30 Grant Butler
12:31
The Oregonian: 
On those make-ahead dishes, when you're cooking huge batches ahead, what safety considerations need to be made, in terms of cooling, refrigerating and reheating.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:31 The Oregonian
12:32
The Oregonian: 
One tip I love for leftovers: Ask your guests to bring their own take-home containers.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:32 The Oregonian
12:32
[Comment From Karen J503Karen J503: ] 
K. Miller: "Spatchcocking is a fancy word that means taking out the backbone of the bird". I do this now every time I roast a whole chicken. I spread it out flat on a baking sheet. Makes it really easy to season the bird.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:32 Karen J503
12:32
Katherine Miller: 
For safety, it's important not to let your leftovers sit out on the table for hours. Chill or freeze the leftover bird within two hours. With make-ahead dishes, make sure you bring them to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, which is steaming hot.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:32 Katherine Miller
12:33
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Have you ever prepared a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner: i.e., not turkey? If so, how'd it go over?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:33 Guest
12:33
Grant Butler: 
You can see a picture of the stuffed squash I'll be making on Thursday, as well as get the recipe, here: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2010/11/simple_sides_give_thanksgiving.html

It's a great dish that would work as a vegan main dish, or as a side dish for any T-Day celebration.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:33 Grant Butler
12:34
[Comment From Karen J503Karen J503: ] 
About pumpkin: Most questions here have been about a sweet dessert recipe, but I was contemplating using pumpkin in some kind of savory side dish. We did this with wedges of acorn squash recently, but would it work with pumpkin slices?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:34 Karen J503
12:34
Katherine Miller: 
More on safety: Don't rinse your raw turkey. The only way to kill bacteria is with proper cooking. Washing just spreads bacteria around your sink and kitchen and contaminates other food.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:34 Katherine Miller
12:34
Grant Butler: 
My household is pretty small, so my first vegan Thanksgiving a few years ago went over well. Most family can be pretty understanding.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:34 Grant Butler
12:36
Katherine Miller: 
Wedges of roasted pumpkin should be lovely, especially with a light drizzle of real maple syrup and sprinkle of warm spice, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or curry powder.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:36 Katherine Miller
12:36
The Oregonian: 
Katherine and Grant, how do you map out the day? It's such a challenge to make everything come together at the right time.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:36 The Oregonian
12:36
Grant Butler: 
This recipe for Chicken-Pumpkin Tacos would be a great way to use turkey leftovers. And it will come together quickly, since the turkey will already be cooked: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2008/06/recipe_detail.html?id=8036&search=pumpkin&
Monday November 19, 2012 12:36 Grant Butler
12:37
The Oregonian: 
And readers, we have about 10 more minutes. Don't wait to send in your questions and comments!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:37 The Oregonian
12:37
Katherine Miller: 
Honestly, it's about lists, and practice. I have found that the biggest help is to make as much ahead of time as I can, including cranberry sauce, smoked oyster dip, gravy, etc. Just getting a few things out the way can really help on the big day.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:37 Katherine Miller
12:38
[Comment From Karen J503Karen J503: ] 
Thanks, Katherine. The curry spicing of the pumpkin wedges would go over well with our family.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:38 Karen J503
12:39
Grant Butler: 
My approach to planning is to do at least 1 thing every day this week. Tonight, I'm ironing napkins and making sure the silver is clean and ready to go. Tomorrow, I'll make cornbread for stuffing, and Wednesday, I'll make cookies. That way, come Thursday, I won't be going nuts.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:39 Grant Butler
12:40
The Oregonian: 
Great ideas. Thank you. Readers, how about you? What's your strategy?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:40 The Oregonian
12:40
Katherine Miller: 
Also, don't be afraid to buy one or more things from a good grocery store. There's nothing wrong with buying stuff premade. You want to enjoy the holiday, not kill yourself!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:40 Katherine Miller
12:40
Grant Butler: 
Katherine, I second that!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:40 Grant Butler
12:41
Grant Butler: 
There are some wonderful finds at many grocery stores in the deli department.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:41 Grant Butler
12:41
The Oregonian: 
Agreed! And assign your guests sides and desserts, too. No reason one person should do all the cooking.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:41 The Oregonian
12:42
Grant Butler: 
I don't think there's any shame, say, in picking up the cauliflower or broccoli side dishes they have at Whole Foods. They're very good, and can save you some time.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:42 Grant Butler
12:42
Katherine Miller: 
One splendid way to cook brussels sprouts is to run them through the food processor so they are in shreds, then saute in pancetta or bacon drippings, salt and pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:42 Katherine Miller
12:43
Katherine Miller: 
The sauteed shred method avoids overcooking the sprouts and turning them sulfurous.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:43 Katherine Miller
12:43
The Oregonian: 
Before we go, one last question for both of you, what's the one side dish you can't do without on Thanksgiving?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:43 The Oregonian
12:43
Katherine Miller: 
Wine -- and my smoked oyster dip! All the rest is optional!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:43 Katherine Miller
12:44
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Smoked Oyster Dip recipe?
Monday November 19, 2012 12:44 Guest
12:45
Grant Butler: 
My "gotta have it" side dish is Stephenson's Apple Farm Green Rice, which was a regular on my family's Thanksgiving table when I was growing up, and which I recently updated to make it entirely plant-based. It's insanely great: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2008/06/recipe_detail.html?id=8452
Monday November 19, 2012 12:45 Grant Butler
12:45
[Comment From Karen J503Karen J503: ] 
Mashed potatoes and gravy, lots of both. Also potato rolls in one of those 3-dozen bags, so we can have mini sandwiches for the next couple of days.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:45 Karen J503
12:46
Katherine Miller: 
SMOKED OYSTER SPREAD
1 4-ounce can smoked oysters 1 3-ounce package cream cheese 1 large garlic clove, minced 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 1/4 cup mayonnaise
Chop the oysters coarsely and set aside.
Combine the cream cheese, garlic, soy sauce, parsley and mayonnaise.
Gently stir in the oysters and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Serve with chunks of dark pumpernickel.
Makes 1 cup.
-- From ``Mystic Seaport's Seafood Secrets Cookbook,'' edited by Ainslie Turner
Monday November 19, 2012 12:46 Katherine Miller
12:46
Grant Butler: 
It's also not Thanksgiving for with without this cranberry-orange relish, which I've made every year since first discovering it in Martha Stewart Living magazine in 1995. http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2008/06/recipe_detail.html?id=8062&search=cranberry&q_dish=Sauces,%20fillings,%20marinades
Monday November 19, 2012 12:46 Grant Butler
12:46
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Thank you for the dip recipe!!!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:46 Guest
12:46
Katherine Miller: 
Actually, make that 2 teaspoons soy sauce instead of 1 tablespoon.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:46 Katherine Miller
12:47
Katherine Miller: 
Thanks everyone -- have a wonderful holiday!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:47 Katherine Miller
12:47
Grant Butler: 
That's all for us! I hope you all have the happiest of Thanksgivings. Don't forget to count your blessings!
Monday November 19, 2012 12:47 Grant Butler
12:48
The Oregonian: 
Thanks so much for joining our chat today. Keep up with Katherine and Grant at www.oregonlive.com/foodday, and have a very happy Thanksgiving.
Monday November 19, 2012 12:48 The Oregonian
 
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