|Turkey place cards courtesy of True!|
I'll pause to give you the turkey's back story. My turkey had a good life. As my farmer wrote, it was a "healthy and happy turkey,...raised in sunshine and fresh air, on a spacious pasture". My turkey ate 25% of its diet in grass. The rest was organic spelt, emmer, wheat, peas, camolina, seaweed and sea salt! (No, I have never heard of emmer and camolina, nor do I know why peas are good for turkeys.) My turkey could run. My turkey could fly. And, as everyone who saw me for the last couple weeks can attest, my turkey stressed me out!
Let's walk through out journey together.
|Day 1, 'getting to know you'!|
|What have we here?|
|Otto and Daisy come to terms with brother turkey.|
|Zip lock pool, prepping for spa treatment.|
|Mmm salt/sugar bath.|
|Glowing after a day at the spa!|
|Penny provides support as I apply post bath moisturizer (butter).|
Where to thaw?
What brining sauce to use?
How long to brine?
What to brine in - pan? cooler? bag? refrigerator? some combination of?
What kind of bag? Does it need to be a special brining bag? What is food grade and what isn't?
Is the cooler food grade?
Do I need a bag inside the cooler?
Where the heck to get a bag? (this involved two trips to Target and being sent to at least 3 locations within said, very large Target by no less than 4 different employees and a product locator device AND finally a Google search).
AND, we haven't even started the big stress yet. The questions continue, how to cook? What to put on the turkey? What temperature? How long? Where the heck do you stick a meat thermometer? It didn't help that the directions I got included a set that told me to cook the turkey for 15 minutes per pound and another that told me to cook for 12 minutes per pound (yes, that's an ENTIRE hour difference!)
THEN, there was the turning the turkey at 1 hour. No, my mother never did this, but it seems in 2012, you need to pick up a turkey that has been in the oven for an hour and use your hands to flip it over! (My mother's turkey also came with a plastic thermometer BUILTINTOTHEBIRD, that popped out to tell you it was done.)
And let's not even get started on the to baste or not to baste discussion! (Yes, that is a decision!)
In the end I would like to say it turned out perfectly. In truth, it probably did, but there were too many questions. Too many roads to follow. If I had a redo, there are some things I would do differently. But, the happy part is that next time I cook a turkey, it will be easy and perfect.
|Is it brown enough/hot enough/cooked enough?|
|Or not so ALIVE and well (that can refer to me and the turkey).|
|Fortunately there was a real turkey carver who did a brilliant job with a very dull knife, removing one level of stress!|
Thanks turkey and happy day after everyone!!
|Hood canal table with view of canal through frosted window panes.|
|I love Otto with all my heart and soul, but it doesn't get much cuter than Penny.|
|This year I am thankful that my dog DID NOT pull the turkey carcass onto the floor.|
|The aliens flew in to watch the turkey prep!|