With Thanksgiving right around the corner, there are two things on my mind: buying the turkey and cooking the turkey. But first, let me remind you that a couple eBooks of An Act of Murder are still up for grabs at my Amazon giveaway—no poultry skills needed to enter! https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/bad03b10c9775048
The idea of the Thanksgiving Day meal, to me, is complicated. I have one oven, one stove, one fridge, and fifteen dishes to serve. For this English professor, the math seems off. A feasible solution to the problem would be the local grocery store, which promises to serve up to ten of my closest friends and family members for $99.00 if I order today. Ten people, one low cost, no Russian roulette with the “new” recipes that monopolize my holidays? It’s the logical choice.
Unfortunately, I (like generations of women before me) don’t make the logical choice when it comes to Thanksgiving. Even those of us who don’t pride ourselves on our culinary skills feel the need to toss a frozen turkey or two around the grocery store bins this time of year. “That looks like a good one,” my husband says as I rummage through the icy box. I immediately dismiss his input. “Those old birds get tough.” Puzzled look. “How do you know it’s old?” Eye roll. As if I need to answer that question.
But I’ve learned a few actual things about turkeys over the years. The most important thing? Make sure you thaw it out. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But if you’re reading this, and it’s two days before Thanksgiving, and you just bought a frozen bird—seriously, you don’t have a chance. Take it back and get fresh, or save it for Christmas. Think about hamburger. A lousy pound of hamburger takes more than a day to thaw in the fridge. Why do we think our turkeys can magically thaw in twice that amount of time? Buy your ten-fifteen pound turkey the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and put it in the fridge.
About three years ago, I started brining my turkeys. Brining requires you to prepare your turkey the day before, which solved all my thawing problems tout suite. If my turkey isn’t completely thawed, I know a full day—not hour—before I cook it. I’ve tried some really expensive brines that taste wonderful, but come on. I’m a teacher. In South Dakota. So the brining recipe I’m sharing with you today is an inexpensive one I came across in a Taste of Home magazine last year. Follow the recipe to the letter, and you will have a happy, healthy, stress-free Thanksgiving.
- Open your favorite bottle of wine.
- Pour a large glass.
- You are ready to holiday. Click on the link below to make the recipe!