Holiday dinner for family and friends
Thanksgiving Day dinner was one of the most loved holiday dinners on the farm. It was a day full of traditional smells of turkey cooking, oyster dressing baking and pies waiting to be cut.
When buying turkeys under 12 pounds allow about 3/4 pound per serving. For heavier turkeys allow about /2 pound per serving. Rub cavity lightly with salt. Do not salt cavity if turkey is to be stuffed. Stuffing turkey just before roasting — not ahead of time. Fill wish bone area with stuffing first. Fasten neck skin to the back with skewer. Fold wings across back with tips touching. Fill body cavity lightly — do not pack — stuffing will expand while cooking. Tuck drumsticks under the band of skin at the tail or tie together with heavy string then tie to the tail.
Place turkey breast side up on rack in shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil, margarine or butter. Insert meat thermometer so that tip is in the thickest part of the breast meat and does not touch bone. Do not add water. Set oven temperature according to temperature and amount of time as suggested on directions that came with the turkey. Always preheat the oven.
Cover turkey gizzards, heart and neck with water after removing from uncooked turkey. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until gizzards are tender. Drain; reserving the broth for gravy. Cut up giblets. Pour drippings from the roast turkey pan into a bowl. Return 1/2 cup drippings to pan. Stir in 1/2 cup flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture s smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Add enough water to reserved broth to measure 4 cups. Stir into flour mixture and heat and stir constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute and then ad the giblets. Heat until giblets are hot and serve with black pepper sprinkle on the top. Makes about 4 cups gravy.