Monday, November 10, 2008

No 60 minute Thanksgiving dinners...

I'm sorry to disappoint Ms. Rachael Ray, but her 60 minute Thanksgiving dinner took almost 2 hours for me to make. No help, just me, myself and the ingredients.
Now why would I take on such a feat?
Well, because I've never made Thanksgiving dinner and I wanted to know if you could really do it in 60 minutes. So I gathered up the ingredients and tore up the kitchen to see if I could do it.
I begun where the magazine said to start, blanching the green beans and starting on the potatoes. Check Check. Bird in oven, check. Start on chopping for stuffing. Back to green beans. I started to get mixed up with which dish I was working on and what hadn't been done. My brain was getting frazzled. I knew 20 minutes in this wasn't going to work. So I began going dish by dish, getting each one done.
I was ahead for about 30 minutes and then I got slammed. The trifle and potatoes came back to back, plus I was going back and forth between her minute-to-minute list to her recipes because I had found errors during prepping that I wanted to weed out.
For example, Ray's original turkey recipe said to let it rest for 20 minutes but in the minute-to-minute list the bird rested for 8. Where did the other 12 minutes go?
Plus it didn't help that I did not have enough counter space or any help. I decided to go it alone.
Sixty minutes hit, the turkey was still raw and I had just begun on mashing the potatoes. Albeit 3 dishes had yet to be completed, 2 were.
Another 15 minutes go by, the dessert and the potatoes are completed. What's left is the bird. I didn't use a thermometer, I did it by touch and luckily (as usual) I was right. The bird was done.
And while I may not have been able to do it in 60, I did do it 90. And this is mainly due to the fact that the bird was still partially frozen when I put it in the oven. It was the last thing to come out. If it had been dethawed I think I could have shaved 15 minutes off, but that would be cutting resting time.
My companion, who watched me, enjoyed the entertainment and the meal. The potatoes is what she loved the most and I concur, but who doesn't love potatoes.
Now I just wonder is Ms. Ray even doing her meals in 30 minutes and what to do with the leftovers?

Orange and white potatoes
(adapted from Rachael Ray November 2008 issue)
4 small russet potatoes
1 cubed sweet potato
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of butter

Place russet potatoes in pot cover with water. Bring potatoes to boil After about 20 minutes add sweet potato. Cook until tender, drain water into colander. Place potatoes in bowl, mash with fork or other utensil. Mix in cream and butter. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.


kat said...

I don't think I've ever been able to do one of her meals in 30 minutes. I find that the prep time just takes too long plus if its a dish that need to cook down or thicken, it always takes longer than she says.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Good for you for trying! I'm impressed.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you didn't make the time limit. It's all in the organization.

If it was good, that's all that counts - unless you had 10 hungry people on your doorstep looking to you for sustenance and you were still staring at 2 mounds of raw, gelatinous turkey flesh.

I've done this one for 3 years now and except for boning the turkey breast, it's a slam dunk in 60 - even including negotiating oven space for baking pies and dinner rolls.

Better luck next time. Happy Thanksgiving!

parsnipsaplenty said...

My motto: never trust Rachael Ray. This extends to many situations.