Happy Thanksgiving 2011 – Tasty Tuesday & Thankful Thursday All in One!

By Shannon Gosney
In Cooking with Redhead Mom
December 1, 2011

This year, the boys and I celebrated Thanksgiving Day with my parents.  I was in charge of the turkey, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole.  I bought a big turkey – a 20 pounder!  We had yummy cinnamon rolls and fruit for breakfast and then I went to town on preparing the turkey.

First, I removed the giblets and neck from inside the turkey cavity.  Then I rinsed the turkey and patted it dry with a paper towel.  The next step was to stuff the turkey with Mrs. Cubbison’s Stuffing – with the help of my stepmom.  She was in charge of making the stuffing and stuffing the turkey. She did a great job!


After the turkey was stuffed, we had to pin it shut so the stuffing wouldn’t come pouring out into the roasting pan.  It was kind of like sewing.  The first picture is my stepmom’s work and the second picture is my work.  Not bad, but those metal sticks are sharp!  So be careful and watch what you’re doing.


The package directions say to cook the turkey breast side up.  However, my stepmom said that she was taught by her mom to cook it breast side down.  Why breast side down?  Well, all of the juices run down the turkey and end up at the breast at the bottom of the pan.  Oh man was she right!  I’ve never had the turkey breast meat so full of flavor before!  I highly recommend cooking it breast side down in the future.  So, before we put it in the oven, we melted 2 sticks of butter and added some poultry seasoning.  I took a basting brush and brushed the butter all over the turkey, reserving some for the cooking process.


I put the turkey in the oven for about 5 hours, but think it could have cooked a little longer, as I had to cook some of the breast meat in the microwave because it wasn’t completely done.  I would cook it for about 5 1/2 hours the next time I cook a turkey, but let me tell you, cooking it with the breast down made the meat so much more flavorful and juicy.  It was really unbelievable!


We let the turkey set for a little bit and then dished up the feast.  It was complete with Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, and Croissant Rolls.  I couldn’t even finish my plate and I had just a little of each.  Then for dessert, we ate the yummy pumpkin pie that Brian helped my stepmom make.  It was good!


I hope everyone had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as we did!  We can be thankful every day of the year.

About Has 4152 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

10 Responses to “Happy Thanksgiving 2011 – Tasty Tuesday & Thankful Thursday All in One!”

  1. Elena says:

    Your Thanksgiving dinner looks delicious!

  2. *LyndiLou* says:

    I’m so glad that you had a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

  3. Lisa Davis says:

    Never heard the breast side down trick before – thanks for the tip!

  4. Julianna says:

    Looks like such a fun an tasty thanksgiving!! 🙂 Kids are cuties!

  5. Cindy M says:

    Thanksgiving ( or Christmas) dinner just isn’t complete without some fresh dinner rolls or bread- the best present to give this year is a bread machine- a worthwhile investment. Seen the price of fresh baked bread in stores? Yikes.

  6. Jessi Likey says:

    I’ve never cooked a turkey before but when I do I’m going to cook it breast side down. 😀

  7. R Hicks says:

    Good for you. Turkey turned out well. Looks like a lot of happy faces too!

  8. Ann Marie Walker says:

    It looks like you had a great meal. I’ve never heard about putting the turkey breast side down. I will have to try that next time. This year we had a 20 pound turkey too. I have never cooked one that big and was worried about getting it cooked through, but it cooked up very well. I bought a butterball too! Thanks for sharing and the great tips.

  9. amie says:

    this past year was my first year for thanksgiving without my parents since they were in california visiting other family members. i made a turkey breast for the first time along with all the other fixings. it was fun. looks like in your photos you guys had a great time. thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.

  10. My mom turned our turkey over this year so the breast side was down. Her turkey is usually very dry and it was so moist! Why is that such a secret?!

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