FOOD: Thankful for family, friends and food |

FOOD: Thankful for family, friends and food

Lee Mathis
Free Press Food Columnist
Lee Mathis
Staff Photo |


1 (13 lbs.) whole turkey (uncooked)

kitchen twine (to tie turkey)

aluminum foil

2 cups butter (softened)

1-1/2 ounces fresh sage

1 lb. bacon (uncooked)

1 onion

1 garlic clove

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold running water and drain well. Blot dry with paper towels. Chop onion and garlic and mix together. Once chopped and mixed, stuff the onion and garlic mixture into Turkey.

Tie up the turkey’s wings, legs and drumsticks with kitchen twine as desired. Chop sage and mix in with softened butter. Rub sage/butter mixture under the skin and over the skin of the turkey. Salt and pepper turkey to taste.

Place uncooked, bacon slices all over the skin of the uncooked turkey. They will stick onto the buttered turkey. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the inner thigh area near the breast of the turkey but not touching the bone.

Place turkey in a roasting pan and use foil to tent the uncooked turkey. Remove foil tent for last hour of cooking turkey.

Continue to let bacon cook on turkey for an additional 15 minutes, then remove. (Optional: Bacon can then be chopped and placed in a separate dish of your choice).

Remove turkey from oven once 160 degrees is reached internally in the turkey.

Allow turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes, then carve (during the rest period, turkey will continue to cook to 165 degrees).

Serves: 13


Yeah, I know some people think it may be corny to give thanks on just one day; some think we should give thanks every day; some think why bother at all, their lives just aren’t that good; but I hope most of us have some reason to give thanks. And with this time of year, food is involved and I hope you are enjoying it with family and friends.


Like a lot of us, I have lost family and friends over the past few years. Like a lot of us, I sometimes wish that my life was better. Like a lot of us, I wonder about the “life paths” that I have taken and, yeah, even for a brief time, I may even get a little depressed. Like what I hope are most of us are doing, I grab myself by the bootstraps (OK, I wear top-siders most of the time, but you get my point), shake myself off and say to myself: “Dude, look around, it could be worse so get off your butt, stop feeling sorry about yourself and go out and do something!”

Me, I am thankful that I do still have some family and that I do make every effort to spend time with her (Yo, sis!). I am thankful that while my health may not be the greatest, it still allows me to keep on truckin’. And I am so thankful that for some reason, I found Palisade and our “little slice of heaven” that we call the Grand Valley, without which the opportunities that have come because of said discovery, I shudder to think where I would be and what I would be doing.

So, why not use this time to get together with your family and/or friends and treat yourselves to a little “happy” time? And, of course, enjoy some great food!

Many of our fine restaurants offer Thanksgiving specials, buffets and the like. If you do not feel like cooking, check out the newspaper and internet to see what some restaurant’s are offering.

Some of you, like I used to, are already planning on what you will be cooking (or taking) for your holiday gorging. Yeah, I know that it can be a task, but as I always say when people ask me why I cook: “I do it for the look on people’s faces when they take their first bite!”

And even though Uncle Festus always insists that you have that one side dish that nobody else really likes, and Aunt Bea will not hear “no” on bringing that casserole, you should still take the time to put out the best you can and as I love to do: Google, read and “play with your food!”


In keeping with this theme, the “Website of the Week” is from our friends at It’s a great site with many holiday recipes — some traditional, some not. My “Recipe of The Week” comes from and is inspired by my love of both bacon and turkey, Bacon-Wrapped Roast Turkey!

Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. He can be reached via email at, on the web at, or by calling 970-256-4688. Also, find him on the web by searching Facebook, Pinterest or by visiting Twitter (@decadenceGJ).

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