Autumn in south and central Florida isn’t exactly known for colored leaves or cold, crisp weather. A fair argument could be made that there are barely two seasons in this area of Florida: hot and wet or warm and drier. By the time Halloween and Thanksgiving roll around, many Floridians are still hanging out at the beach or lounging by the pool. Understandably, we tend to get pretty creative about our holidays. So, this Thanksgiving, try a poolside barbeque! Here’s what you need to know to start.
The turkey is the most iconic meal of this holiday. So, that’s where we will begin. First, prepare your grill for a medium heat. You don’t want to dry this bird out, and this is an important step. Each grill has its own “personality.” You will want to look into your own specific grill’s preparation techniques. Once the grill is prepared, rinse and prepare the turkey with your favorite seasonings.
After your turkey is prepared, place the turkey, breast side up, into a large roasting pan. Transfer the prepared pan onto your grill and let it cook for two to three hours. You will want to check the turkey with a meat thermometer. The internal thigh temperature needs to reach 185 degrees. Once it does, take the turkey out and let it stand for 15 minutes before you carve.
Side Dishes for the Poolside
If you’re looking for a few easy side dishes. Consider a crockpot or two to help you spend more time by the pool and not in the kitchen. Green bean casserole is always a favorite. It can also be a very easy dish! To check out this amazing recipe for a slow cooker green bean casserole, click here. Other dishes that have some easy slow cooker recipes include: mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and even cranberry sauce!
Of course, visiting your local Publix is another alternative. Here in Florida, we see a lot of side dishes made from our local Publix deli. It’s almost as “Florida” as summer rainstorms.
Drinks (for Adults) for Your Poolside Thanksgiving
Cranberry Old Fashioned
1 orange wedge
1 sugar cube
Dash of bitters
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons whole-berry cranberry sauce
Garnish: orange twist and fresh cranberries
Mash the orange wedge, bitters, and the sugar cube, and bitters in a 10-oz. old-fashioned glass. You can use a muddler or a wooden spoon. Stir in bourbon, cranberry sauce, and a splash of club soda over crushed ice. Keep this one cold, and serve it immediately.
2 ounces tequila, such as Patron
1 1/2 ounces chilled Spiced Simple Syrup (we’ll include that recipe so you don’t have to search)
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Few dashes bitters
Lime wedge, for garnish
Combine the tequila, lime juice, bitters, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. This drink is great on the rocks or straight up.
Spiced Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
8 whole allspice berries
8 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
Combine the sugar, 1 cup water, allspice, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar melts completely. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold.
The folks at Southern Living and The Food Network aren’t kidding around. These drinks are delicious!
The new Poolside Tradition
Thanksgiving may not be considered a poolside event, but that doesn’t mean your poolside thanksgiving won’t be a blast. Make it an early afternoon meal to ensure maximum swim time. Be careful, though. Once your neighbors start smelling that turkey, they may abandon their own parties to try and crash yours!