Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Time to Make the Brine

Admittedly, this is a much easier traditional task than making fastnachts before Lent but it's still an activity that gives me agita.  I always fret over having a big enough pot and enough room in the fridge to chill the solution that will bathe the turkey tomorrow night into Thanksgiving morning and which will help produce the tastiest and juiciest bird ever.

Shortly, I'll be headed into the kitchen to boil the water and kosher salt.  I always replace a little of the water that the recipe requires with apple cider, but not more than a cup.  The sugar in the cider can cause the turkey to brown too fast so I have to be careful about using just the right amount.   The most daunting task comes tomorrow, when it's time to bag the turkey in the brine and safely get it into the refrigerator.

The first year I decided to do this,  I charged my husband with retrieving the bird from the cellar fridge on Thanksgiving morning.  He had his LL Bean slippers on and I told him to change his shoes first.  Did he listen to me?  Does he ever?  A few steps from the top, he stumbled, badly, and at that moment, I had no concern whatsoever for his safety.  All I could imagine was gallons of brine pouring down the steps along with the turkey.  This was almost as bad as the Christmas Eve when I found him dangling from the attic by one hand, the other securely grasping one of my son's gifts.  Again, the dreaded slippers were to blame.

Now you know why I always ask you to pray for me.


We picked the turkey up last Tuesday from our CSA farmer.  The turkeys he got this year are from the same Mennonite farm that makes the organic yogurt that is to die for.  The turkey came frozen. With a week to go, shouldn't be a problem, right?  What kind of refrigeration could the Mennonites possibly have?  We put the turkey in the cellar fridge the day it arrived and the critter has still not entirely defrosted.  It may have to sit out on the counter for a little while.  I'm not making Thanksgiving dinner this year, but we are going to the home of a cousin who invites a trillion people, so I agreed to go on the condition that we could bring a turkey with us.  Bringing a half-frozen, half-cooked bird would not be cool.


  1. Maybe your husband needs some slippers with treads this Christmas. Lol!
    The Mennonites in our neck of the woods are not opposed to electricity. Our local Amish are, though.
    I put our stubbornly-refusing-to-defrost bird in a cooler on the deck today, which did the trick, as the weather never got above 48 degrees. I had to move the turkey back into the fridge tonight though, as I didn't want any nimble-fingered raccoons to make off with it.
    I have very un-Christian thoughts when it comes to raccoons...

  2. Tom's not working right now so he's been getting the bird ready. I think he soaked it several times to thaw it completely then he injected it with Morton's salt sugar cure mixed with water. Now it's in the fridge soaking it all in. We'll cook the turkey and bring it next door to his dad's house.

    Sounds like someone needs new slippers for Christmas! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. ha ha - you two had exactly the same thought about a Christmas present. I hope you both have a very blessed Thanksgiving. BTW, a raccoon making off with the bird would not inspire charitable thoughts from me, either.


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