Today I was in a cooking mood. I invited my son and grandson to dinner and decided a turkey would be fun and easy.

Yesterday I bought a 5 1/2 pound half turkey. Fresh. Just the right amount, with some leftovers, but not too much to fit into my refrigerator.

I unwrapped it and cut out the backbone, peeled off the skin and used that as a base to make some turkey broth that I could use in the gravy and the stuffing.

I just cooked some chopped onion, celery, carrots in some olive oil. Add the turkey/bones till browned. Added water to cover, salt, pepper, cinnamon and I now had a sodium free broth. (don’t forget to skim off the yucky stuff that rises after the first boiling.)

If you rinse and dry the turkey, rub some thyme into the skin, and let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator over night, it will help to crisp the skin when  you roast it.

Today I made the stuffing and the gravy, using the chilled broth. Only problem, where do you put the stuffing if you are only roasting half a turkey? I guess under the skin and in a silver foil half pouch under the bird.

I make a nice marinade to rub on the bird before I cook it. Olive oil, grey Poupon mustard, soy sauce, garlic and oregano. Sort of Italian. No certain amount, just some of each.

My grandson is half Philippino and no meal is complete without rice. So I made a pot of rice. I can’t imagine turkey without mashed potatoes, so I made those too.

Here is an easy way to cook potatoes and no peeling. Simply cut russet potatoes in large chunks/halves and boil covered, in salted water with the skins on. Then when you can stick a knife into the meat easily, they are done.

Put in a colander and cool a little. Now just lift off the skin. Voila. Don’t put these down the garbage disposal. They jam it up.

Now, the best way to make mashed potatoes is with a little butter, canned milk and mayonnaise. Best Foods, of course. If you don’t have any canned milk, just use mayo. A little salt and pepper.

And if you have any mashed potatoes left over there are several things you can do with them. One, you can thicken soup.

Two you can make some King Arthur cake donuts. The secret ingredient is one cup of mashed potatoes. They are so good. You can find the recipe on the internet.

And no turkey dinner is complete without pumpkin pie, so I made one of those last night. Best recipe is right on the can of Libbey’s pumpkin. Not the pie filling.

I always make the same crust, and it is perfect. Two cups unbleached flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add half cup oil and about 5 tablespoons ice water. Mash with a fork and make into two balls. Roll each one between two pieces of waxed paper. No messy counter or rolling pin.

This makes two crusts, but pumpkin pie only has a bottom crust. So either make another pie, or simply bake the crust and fill it another time. Or, put it in a pie tin, wrap in foil and freeze it.

Be sure to put the pumpkin pie on a baking sheet as it tends to spill over the edges when you put it in the oven. And if you make the pie at night, put it in the fridge and a big piece will make a perfect breakfast.

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