Friday, November 30, 2007


It is my favorite "food holiday". I do have very fond memories of thanksgiving from when I was a child. My grandmas, mom, aunts cooking all day long. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pecan pie etc. After dinner was always football, and naps.

This year was our little family (Derek, the boys and I) and my in-laws. Now I usually just get a frozen turkey from the local supermarket. It was what my grandma always did. For the last 7 or so years I have been giving the turkey a soak in a brine which has always made it juicy and produced the best pan drippings for gravy.
This year however, I splurged and got a freshly killed, free range organic turkey. This guy was just shy of 20 lbs. (roast turkey NEVER lasts long in our house)
He soaked in a brine for 8 hours.
1 cup kosher salt, 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar per gallon of water. Enough brine to cover the turkey. (I put it in a clean cooler with ice packs) The turkey soaks for 8 hours in the brine. I put it in Wednesday morning, take it out of the brine after it's soak and place it on a drying rack in the fridge over night, which helps the skin get taunt and dry (and crispy when it is roasted).

I am in the group of turkey stuffers. I have never gotten sick from stuffing. It always goes in the turkey warm & I always check the temp of it too. My stuffing is from my grandma. It is the only stuffing I have really ever had for thanksgiving. I've tried others, I like this one.

2-3 loaves of a dense whole wheat bread (my grandma always used orrow wheat honey wheat berry bread)
1 stick of butter (unsalted)
1 large onion chopped
1/2 bunch celery chopped (hearts, leaves and all)
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped (or macintosh is good too, you want a more tart apple)
handful of sweet baby pickles finely chopped (the little ones)
2 squatty cans of sliced black olives, drained
ground sage
salt & pepepr
warm water
In a BIG pan melt the butter and saute the onion and celery till they are creamy golden (not too soft) set aside.
in a BIG bowl, pour your warm water in, and take a handful of your bread, dunk it in the water and squeeze out the excess. Break up the bread in the bowl (or I use my extra roasting pan) you are mixing the stuffing in. Continue this till you get the desired amount of stuffing. Add the onion & celery. add the rest of the ingredients and mix together well (hands work best) season to taste with ground sage, salt & pepper. (my grandma always just knew how much, never measured)
put it in a pan & bake or stuff in the turkey.

Anywhoo, here was our turkey, all done. Roasted and beautiful.

It was completely gone by sunday evening.

Hope your thanksgiving was a good one!

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