Wonderful Smoked Turkey Habit. You will develop an addiction?

Our Thanksgiving Habit

One thing we do every year, almost as a habit, is smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving. A huge turkey.

I’ve posted about it before, but this year we will make two of them, and I got photos for ya! So here goes:

1. Thaw, trim, and rinse turkey.

Rinsed 23 lb. Turkey

Rinsed 23 lb. Turkey

2. Pour charcoal into fuel portion of smoker.

Enough charcoal for 12 hours.

Enough charcoal for 12 hours.

3. Set into bottom of smoker.

Charcoal in place

Charcoal in place

4. Do whatever you do to light charcoal.

Light charcoal

Light charcoal

5.  Once charcoal is very hot and turning white, add grill, to sterilized it.

Burning off the grill

Burning off the grill

6. Once all flame dies down, carefully remove grill and insert empty water pan in place over (not on) charcoals, and replace grill over water pan. Carefully fill with about 1 1/4 gallons of water.

Water pan in place over charcoal and under grill

Water pan in place over charcoal and under grill

7. Place turkey on grill.

Turkey on grill in smoker

Turkey on grill in smoker

8. Close smoker and go to bed.

Good night!

Good night!

9. Do not check progress by opening smoker!

In the morning, you will have a lovely smoked turkey. The meat should be tender and pink like ham. The joints should be loose or separating. The skin should be crackling in places and dark from smoke. Mmm! Look here!

Any questions? Ask in the comments, below, and I’ll be happy to answer quickly!

Have fun!

Edit to add: Our smoker is nearly burned out. 😦 Worst part is that we canNOT find another like it. Smaller ones do not work. Electric too expensive. The company that made our smoker just does not make them anymore. Help! 😉


Apple Pie Recipe

Polly’s Apple Pie

Not for the novice cook. 😦 Sorry.

Polly was the mother of one of our dearest friends. She lived a life punctuated with fabulous sugary creations. We have found we need to eliminate lots of purely sugary downloads, but I make exceptions for Thanksgiving or very special company.

This pie is one of the exceptions. The secrets to it are: real butter, too much sugar, and the baking time and temp. The bottom crust will be a bit difficult to manage, but you will NOT care.

I promise.

Every “Pie Day” I wish I’d written this apple pie recipe to share. So here we are, at 3/14/16 (pi, rounded) and it’s no use; I never have.

The trouble is, I don’t have a recipe.

But if you are experienced enough at cooking pies, you can make sense of this recipe, I am sure.

Polly’s Apple Pie!

Set oven for 325 degrees.

2 pie crusts made with egg, butter, and vinegar
One deep-dish pie plate made of glass.
1, 3-pound bag of good cooking apples
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional—I don’t)
1 stick real butter
small amount of additional sugar (optional—I do)

  1. Roll bottom crust and place into large, glass, deep-dish pie plate.
  2. Do NOT peel apples. Wash, core, and slice as thinly as possible (about 20-24 slices per apple, at least.)
  3. Mix apples with sugar and pack as many as possible into bottom crust. You may have to rearrange them to make them all fit. It’s worth it.
  4. Cut butter into fat slices and arrange over apple slices.
  5. Roll top crust and vent many times. Apply to pie and seal carefully.
  6. Spritz top with water and sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. (Yes, one and a half hours.) Do not place anything under the pie for catching spills. It will spill over, probably, but it’s worth it. It caramelizes. You will not believe this pie and will gain a new respect for an oven with a spill in it. I promise.

Okay, friends, this is the secret to the most amazing apple pie you ever, ever ate:

  1. Real butter.
  2. Too much sugar
  3. Bake in glass plate at 325 for one and a half hours

Even apple-pie-disdainers love this one.

Come back this fall, and I’ll add a better photo. 🙂

We survived another one!

barbed-wire-146547_640Every year our Thanksgiving tries to go south.

And sometimes succeeds.

But it’s always for some good purpose, we trust.

This year (2012) was no exception:

  1. One of our grandsons was walking over our property and failed to notice a fence. Made of barbed wire.
    It missed his eye by 1/2 inch.
  2. One of our grandsons fell out of our huge fig tree. And tore open a wound that had just had stitches removed two days before.

A trip to an ER for a tetanus booster and a couple of butterfly bandages later, plus some soaking of blood-stained clothing, and we are no worse for the wear.

And we are not afraid.

And we are thankful.

Cannot wait for next year!

Turn on the light!

Another WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Photos below text, this time.

I love antiques.

I guess because I am one.

My favorite era is the Craftsman Style era, when everything here was made here, with pride in craftsmanship.

Like this lamp, which still works.

I love the frankly simple style, complete with wooden finials, top and bottom.

I love the drum shade, which casts light on the ceiling for ambiance, and direct light for reading.

I love how although it houses two bulbs, they work independently and intuitively and gently and quietly.

I love that it also houses a clock, and that I’ve found a good, old-fashioned, USA-made, clock-repair person.

I love that it weighs about forty pounds (18 or so kg), so it cannot tip over.

I love how it is all browns.

Yes, I love American antiques, which may be one reason I love Thanksgiving more than any other holiday:

  • American
  • Crafted with care
  • Still works
  • Preserved over the ages
  • Simple
  • Casting light
  • Independent
  • Adaptable
  • Gentle
  • Quiet
  • Timely yet old-fashioned
  • Weighty
  • Invincible
  • Brown

I cannot wait for next year. It will be better yet.

Turn on the light.

Turn on the light.

Bottom finials on chains

Bottom finials on chains

Matching finial on shade.

Matching finial on shade.

Good light is so important.

My. Oh. My!

Just found the most beautifully-written essay by a 12-year-old, Katie Bayer. Take a peek:

Here, I watch the pale morning sun as it plays golden shafts of light on the ground, livening the crisp, fall-time air….
Leaves lazily strum the air as it passes, playfully blowing tendrils of loose hair around my face and bringing the faint, melodic call of a care-free bird to my ears….

You’re going to be drawn IN to this child’s writing: Adult writers of the world BEWARE.

And if you just need another reason to hop on over to this site, the post also includes her mom’s darling, amazing decorated cookies that anyone could make in a flash. We’re talking totally easy decorating, here, with astonishingly artistic effects.

Okay, you’re not going to believe it unless you see it, so just GO.