The holidays are fast approaching. If you’re like me, you’re in absolute shock that Thanksgiving is actually less than two weeks away. Have you thought about/decided on what you’re going to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner? If you’re still searching for the perfect recipe or the secret to preparing a fabulous dinner, you’re in luck. This week the fabulous ladies of Three Many Cooks (Pam Anderson and her daughters Maggy Keet and Sharon Damelio) joined me for an interview to dish on the secret to making the perfect turkey, their favorite apple cider, and a few fab cooking and entertaining secrets that will ensure your family, friends and out of town guests will be talking about your Thanksgiving dinner for years to come.
Candace Rose: With the holidays nearly upon us, how can we prep our kitchen for the big day?
Pam Anderson: “That’s a good question, Candace. For me, after doing this for so many years, I’ve found that simplicity is the key to a great holiday because a happy cook is a happy host.”
Maggy Keet: “I think one of the best ways that you can welcome people into your home is to welcome them with a drink. We make this apple cider, and we add Gourmet Garden’s Lightly Dried Ginger. That rehydrates in the cider, it gives off this beautiful aroma. It has a very intense flavor and when people come in the door you’re ready to hand them something and the party begins.”
Sharon Damelio: “You can add a little bourbon or a little rum. It’s kid friendly but you can kick it up for the adults which makes it really, really fun.”
Maggy Keet: “What’s really great is you have one drink that’s going to work for everybody as opposed to having to run around and taking drink orders for everybody.”
Sharon Damelio: “The big centerpiece of the holiday table is that turkey. It can be really, really stressful for people who don’t cook a lot or they don’t quite know what to do and mom has really mastered that, so we want to let her talk about that technique.”
Pam Anderson: “I have roasted hundreds of turkeys over the years and have come up with the best, simplest technique. The question is do you dry brine or do you wet brine? You can’t skip that step because that really produces a flavorful turkey. I like dry brining it. It’s clean, you mix some salt, pepper and I like the Gourmet Garden dried ginger and the chili pepper. It really makes it flavorful and delicious. You take that, you rub it all over the turkey, put it in the refrigerator overnight and it’s ready to roast the next day.
The second key is how to roast it. I start by roasting it breast down, that produces a moist, flavorful juicy turkey breast. I roast it for an hour that way in a 400 degree oven. You flip it, you put it back in for another hour, and your 12 pound turkey is going to be done in about two hours cooked this way.”
Sharon Damelio: “One of our big tips is if you’ve got a big crowd and you want to cook 25 pounds of turkey, don’t cook a 25 pound turkey. Cook two 12 pound turkeys. They’re done in two hours, they’re flavorful and they’re wonderful.
The one other thing that we really think is important is finding cookware that is high quality, really, really good, does the work that you need it to do in the kitchen, but is also beautiful enough to go out to the table. We hate doing dishes, I think like a lot of cooks. We’ve got husbands who do dishes and so we have found we love this Anolon line. It’s a new umber color, so it’s bronze, it’s really warm and rich for the holidays. It’s high quality, it’s really heavy duty. You can boil your potatoes right in here (please see video above for details) and then you can get your metal masher which is safe on this nonstick surface. You can mash your potatoes right in there and then put the lid on and take it right to the table, and it’s gorgeous.
The thing that we love about serving our food in our beautiful cooking vessel is that everything stays warm, so you can get stuff off the stove and into your serving space without having to worry about it getting cold.”
Candace Rose: Everything sounds amazing!
Pam Anderson: Thank you so much. It’s all about family, and for us around the holidays especially, we love sharing stories and gathering around the table and keeping it simple. That allows for all that good stuff that happens around the table.”
Maggie Keet: “If you want the recipes, you can go to our website: ThreeManyCooks.com.“