Fearless Thanksgiving

It’s almost Thanksgiving!

Healthy Homemade Spatchcocked Turkey with Thyme and Rosemary

I love the holidays, even if they come with their own special brand of stress. Right now my stress is the question of will the turkey thaw in time? It’s been in the fridge since Saturday, and I swear it still has ice crystals. If it is thawed by tomorrow I’m going to use my industrial strength shears to cut the backbone out and then butterfly it onto a baking sheet. I’ve always wanted to spatchcock a turkey and this is my year. The only thing I’ll miss is the in the bird stuffing, but I’m willing to take the hit in exchange for more even cooking, which according to my online reading, is the benefit of spatchcocking.

I don’t know yet it I’ll collect enough fat to make gravy, but if not, I’m not above breaking out the gravy mix, something that would have horrified me a decade ago, because I was deeply into “the way things are supposed to be done”. In other words, tradition.

Well, family traditions start somewhere, and new ones can be added. This year, in addition to the spatchcocked turkey, I’m making cranberry sauce with a healthy dose of bourbon and ginger, bread stuffing that incorporates mashed potatoes, and gluten free pumpkin cupcakes for dessert—all new dishes. If they work out, great! They may be added to the repertoire. If not, so be it. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m going to have a fearless Thanksgiving and maybe find something to add to tradition…if that darned turkey ever thaws. ?

Do you have a special tradition for Thanksgiving? Have you added a new tradition in recent years? I’d love to know.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Be safe! And please drop in for Cowboys and Mistletoe, coming next week! It’s going to be so much fun!


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Jeannie Watt raises cattle in Montana and loves all things western. When she's not writing, Jeannie enjoys sewing, making mosaic mirrors, riding her horses and buying hay. Lots and lots of hay.

31 thoughts on “Fearless Thanksgiving”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving. This is a new year for traditions. My Mom is now living in a nursing home. We have always spent Thanksgiving together. This year, my husband and I will be doing the cooking. My Dad is supposed to come down to eat. We will take leftovers to my Mom on Friday.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving. We have no tradition in our family. Unfortunately. Everyone does their own thing. We are spread out within 3 states. This year my son is deployed overseas in Iraq. Enjoy your day. Hugs ?

  3. Happy Thanksgiving! I think this year it will be the first time it’s just three of us. Neither of our older boys will be here, so we just have the youngest.


  4. Happy Thanksgiving. Perhaps you could make dressing instead of stuffing. It’s the same thing in a dish rather than the turkey. And in a pinch, I’ve used the store-bought broth to make gravy. I like it better than the mix. Blessings.

  5. Welcome and Happy Thanksgiving. I remember when I hosted my first Thanksgiving as a married couple. Our daughter was one year old on that day. Unfortunately she also started teething that morning. So not a happy camper. But I was going to make mashed potatoes. I was mixing and mashing in the kitchen. My mom walked in to see if she could help. Oh my goodness, LOL she told me to stop. What ? Why? She told me that my dad would only eat real potatoes, not the box kind. Well mom it is almost done, so this is what he gets. Mom smiled and said “just dont tell him” Well he had three helpings. He loved the box potatoes. LOL After that day, mom would use boxed potatoes. He thought that she learned a new secret ingredient from his daughter. LOL Yes , it was boxed and quick. And we never did tell him. He died not knowing.

  6. I’ve always had thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day, but this year due grandchildren’s busy schedule, we’re having it on Saturday. We’ll see how that works out. I also don’t know what we are eating. I’m doing the turkey, stuffing, gravy, and pies. My mother is bringing cranberry relish, but for the first time my 2 daughters and granddaughters are planning the rest of the meal. A tradition is I make homemade pumpkin pie from scratch (from pumpkins).

  7. Oh, my, Jeannie! You ARE fearless!! Spatchcocked? I’ve never heard of that. You don’t mention how many people you’re feeding, but for me, change is scary when I have company. LOL. In my mind, Thanksgiving is all about the traditional dishes, and I encourage my daughters to make TONS of food. I provide take-out containers, and everyone gets leftovers.

    We had our Thanksgiving on Sunday. One daughter wanted to bring mac and cheese as her side dish. I was shocked and requested our usual broccoli and rice casserole instead. She complied, of course, but my husband informed me later that mac and cheese is a favorite Thanksgiving side dish on the east coast. Who knew?

    Happy Thanksgiving, sister filly!

  8. If you have a double sink, fill it with cold water and stick the turkey in overnight and it should be thawed by morning. Especially if you have been thawing it in your fridge. Have a great Thanksgiving. Good luck with your turkey.

    • Thank you, Kathleen! I’ll try that. The smallest turkey from our local Hutterite farmers is 20 lbs. It’s taking way longer to thaw than a 15 lb-er. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Spatchcocking…wow, love the new word.
    My BIG new tradition is, I now bake pies without CRUST. My Cowboy husband is recently diagnosed with celiac disease. No wheat. So there ARE gluten free crusts but the ones I’ve found are small and not real tasty. So I decided to just bake the pie filling in a casserole dish. It’s excellent. Pecan Pie. Pumpkin Pie. And I’ve done Lemon Meringue. All come out tasting delicious and were fully gobbled down.
    Other new traditions….
    My son-on-law makes the turkey and he’s VERY experimental. He usually just makes breasts. One year he made one in a huge turkey fryer he owns and he made a second one glazed with this honey/pecan sauce…so yummy. He’s got some turkey cookbook and is planning to work his way through it.
    And we have also added, instead of candied yams, baked sweet potatoes. They are a big hit. Very tasty with butter and salt. No need for all that sugar and marshmallows and such. especially since we’re getting the sweet with the glazed turkey.

    • You are an adventurer, Mary, and it all sounds so good. I grew up with a mom allergic to wheat, and ironically we lived in the heart of wheat country—the Palouse. We used so many strange flours back in the 70s trying to accommodate her allergy. Nothing came out very good. We now live close and I can tell you from cooking for her that King Arthur gluten free is the best flour. The brownie recipe on the bag is so good that even my husband, who is no fan of gluten free flour, loves them. Also rice based gluten free pasta is better than corn based. It doesn’t break down as fast. Happy Thanksgiving, Mary. Enjoy your adventure!

  10. It’s only three of us for Thanksgiving dinner, so we eat what we like the best, and that is either meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or hamburger steak with gravy and mashed potatoes.

  11. Happy Thanksgiving!! This is a year of doing new things for me, too, since Mom passed last year. I am going to a friend’s house this afternoon, then tomorrow afternoon I’m going to another friend’s house to have Thanksgiving with them. One of the best parts of both, I don’t have to cook anything!!!! In past year’s, Mom and I always had to make the sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving AND Christmas, and that’s not even a favorite of mine!!

  12. Happy Thanksgiving! We had our family Thanksgiving Nov. 6 to accommodate busy schedules including our WSU marching band member who has to be in Seattle Thursday afternoon to practice for the Apple Cup which is at the UW field this year on Friday. We pretty much stick to tradition except for the pies. We have a “pie fest” every year which gives us a chance to try all kinds of new and different pies. Each person puts a tooth pick in their favorite with the winner having the most toothpicks.(Clean toothpicks of course). Tomorrow I am going to roast a duck the Spokane Hutterian gave us when they bought some feeder pigs. Growing up we often had duck as well as turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

  13. Hi, we usually eat at our house or at our daughters house who lives about 2 blocks away from us.Either our grandaughter or our grandson say grace. This year it will be both of them. May you and your family have a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

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