Monday, November 23, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Well, this whole NaBloPoMo thing has gotten away from me. I'd like to blame my busted hand for my lack of updates, but in truth I just haven't had much to write about. I've seen a few movies (really, does anyone need another review of 2012?) and finished a couple of books (again, is the world craving a review of a book on the history of American spelling?), and I'm in severe Mad Men withdrawal. Beyond that, though, it's just fighting off one cold after another and gearing up for the usual holiday mayhem at work. I've been so tired that I've been conking out by 9 o'clock at night, making me an even less fun companion than usual .

I started getting ready for Thanksgiving tonight. Sean and I will be having a medium-sized get-together (9 people) at our house on Thursday, followed by leftovers and stragglers and Planes, Trains & Automobiles on Friday. Because of my hand, I'm pretty hopeless in the kitchen these days, so I have been forced to turn Thanksgiving into a potluck. Don't get me wrong: I love it when people contribute to the meal, but I also get a kick out of making about 2/3 of the dishes myself. This year I'm limiting myself to the turkey, the gravy, the stuffing, and chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and some appetizers, which are so easy they hardly count. Tonight I kicked things off by dry-brining our turkey.

I read about dry-brining last week in the L.A. Times. You basically rub salt (or, in this case, a mixture of salt, pepper, and some pulverized herbs) onto your poultry, then let the bird sit in the refrigerator for two or, ideally, three days. The salt and herbs infuse the bland turkey meat and give the whole bird a rich, succulent flavor you just can't achieve if you wait until the last minute. It's all about patience, like those chocolate chip cookies I mentioned not too long ago.

Anyway, here's my turkey, rubbed with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, sage, and bay leaves. Back into the fridge it goes until Thursday, emerging only briefly between now and then to be turned and massaged, which sounds kind of obscene, but hey -- I massaged a couple of pork bellies for a whole week, so a turkey seems like no big deal.


the slackmistress said...

SO interested in how dry-brining works out, as I normally do a regular brine. (Although this year I ordered a deep-fried turkey, because I've been insanely busy.) Let us know!!!

The Invisible Mo said...

Cool. Something new to try. I'm not cooking this year, however, I do have a turkey and think I will try this method. Sounds good. Let us know how it turns out.
Sorry about the NaBloPoMo thing. I've been there myself. I hope your hand heals soon. I was without a hand once for a week and it drove me nuts. I didn't even own a single pair of slip-on shoes and all my Levi's at the time were button front. Had to have someone home to even take care of small things. Good luck with your Thanksgiving and enjoy!

kb said...

Your turkey looks great. Happy Thanksgiving and have fun giving that bird a massage!