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How To Prepare The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The Turkey is the base of your meal, be sure to use this rub, and baste it every 30 min.

Crush three Tbsp. fresh black peppercorns and one Tbs. of Kosher salt

Place in a mortar and pestle with 6 cloves of freshly minced garlic and crush

Also add two tablespoons of fresh paprika, and finely chopped basil, cilantro

Lightly mix with two teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil and a dash of lemon juice

With firm hands rub your perculating puree on the turkey's rubber-like skin

Now place into a preheated oven at 375EF, and let cook for two hours

Make sure you baste the turkey every half hour with a 1/4 cup of orange juice



Take two bushels of olive-green asparagus and rinse thoroughly under ice cold water

Slowly drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the inviting raw spears of asparagus

Pan saut" in a non-stick pan over a medium flame never letting it sit still

After the asparagus is slightly softened, add a tablespoon of butter, one clove of

Freshly minced garlic, freshly chopped oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.

You may indeed add marjoram if you would like a more French taste to the dish

After the asparagus is browned, turn off the flame and put a lid on the pan



To make a salad for such a special event you must use more decorative cutting techniques

Cut up two peeled carrots using a japanese roll cut or a French mandolin

Dice one medium sized red onion, and five freshly picked roma tomatoes

Add these vegetables to baby greens and Belgium endive (chiffando style)

You very well may want to add julienned red peppers if they are in season



The dressing for this regular salad is a very simple but delicious balsamic vinaigrette

Place one tablespoon of a fine dijon mustard in a small mixing bowl with a whisk

Add one clove of minced garlic and three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Slowly drizzle extra-virgin olive oil into the mixture rapidly mixing with a whisk

Place one half cup each of chopped basil and parsley, add salt and pepper to taste

Pour this over your salad and garnish with 1/8 of a cup of parmisango reggano



Cranberry sauce can either make a meal or destroy it, so follow the directions exactly!

Blanch the ripe crimson wonders in a big pot of angry boiling water

After all the berries have floated to the top strain them and add them to a blender

Add one half cup of mandarin oranges that have been reconstituted overnight

You should also add one tablespoon each of sugar, honey, and two of corn syrup

Blend until it's completely emulsified, add to the desired mold and refrigerate



Thanksgiving would not be complete unless you have wonderful mashed potatoes

Place four cups of peeled red or new potatoes to boiling hot water

Add 1 tablespoon sugar, honey, black pepper, salt, and whipped fresh butter

Let the potatoes cook for half an hour then drain the pot of all the water

Mash in the pot with a half cup of milk and three tablespoons of butter

Finish off the dish by adding salt and pepper to taste and place in oven at 350EF



After all is cooked appearance and presentation should be on your overwhelmed mind

Place your finest tablecloth on your family heirloom cherry-oak table

Take out the traditional china and silver, rare, along side the hand-stitched napkins

Take out the Merlot '85, pop the cork, and watch the perfectly aged blood pour out

Gaze out along the perfect Martha Stewart setting, and sigh for your work is done

Your family walks in formally, and sits down at their known, respected spots

Then without one spoken word, your family reaches out and gracefully ...

DESTROYS YOUR PERFECT MEAL!

The moral of the story is "It's the '90s, give them PB and J" and shut them up.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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