Second helpings

For the past few years, Darlene and I have been celebrating Thanksgiving on days that aren’t the fourth Thursday of November. Why? Many reasons. First, we don’t want to succumb to traditions. This is why we always have lobster for Thanksgiving. Second, we want to get it out of the way so when that Thursday rolls around, we can do other things that AREN’T slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end. Third, we’re oddballs. And lastly, we like having two Thanksgivings per year.

We admit, though, that something about the season does make us hungry for turkey. But not the standard Butterball — this year we wanted to try one deep-fried. So I naturally started up the firepit, whipped out the 55-gallon drum, half-filled it with Crisco and dropped in the bird. No, I joke. We got our bird from Popeyes. Yes, the Cajun-themed fast-food establishment. They were selling pre-fried turkeys for thirty bucks and that sounded good to us. Thing is, we went down there a couple Saturdays before Thanksgiving with the full intention to have our Thanksgiving the day after, but the gal at Popeye’s said their birds aren’t ready for another couple days. OH NOES! Thanksgiving is ruined! Oh, wait. Let’s just have it the following weekend.

We popped the bird in the oven and an hour later, feast! And I tell you what, that was about the best turkey I’ve had. The Cajun seasoning was very mild (an important consideration for me because of my acid/spice-sensitive stomach) and the white meat was tender and juicy all the way to its core. We also had a bunch of sides, compliments of Costco, Stove-Top and Boston Market. For dessert we had homemade Concord grape pie.

Leftover-wise, the Popeye turkey made for the best post-Thanksgiving sandwiches. I’m not even exaggerating. They tided us over until the following Thursday.

When the “real” Thanksgiving rolled around, we had our traditional fare of lobster, this time in the form of a bisque. Earlier in the day Darlene made popovers from scratch, and they worked well with the bisque. I was going to make Seafood Newburg but we did that a couple years ago. Instead, I also made a variation on my favorite recipe of S.S. Spuds, minus the potato skins and Mornay sauce.

We had leftovers from that meal, too. Turkey sandwiches and lobster bisque, cornbread stuffing and shrimp-stuffed mashed potatoes. Just like the pilgrims ate!


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