Back when I worked at Software Etc there was a big rush on Barbie games. We couldn’t keep them on the shelves. People figured out when we were getting new shipments in and started lining up at our door hours before we opened in the hopes of getting their copy for Christmas. I’m still trying to figure out how a Barbie game could be a life or death necessity. If Scott were back from his parents we might be out right now fighting the crowds to shop, as this is traditional for his family. In fact, they are all probably out doing just that. But I’m looking out my window at a foggy gray sky and rain on the streets, and I’m thinking cleaning house is preferable.
My mother heard about my reminder on brining your turkey. My father tells me she dismissed that idea. That’s what’s so fun about blogging, your friends and family are keeping up with you so they can disagree with you remotely. I will say that the food came out with no problems, but 12 hours of effort went into the one meal. Never think it’s easy, but it is worth it. Especially when you feed it to work friends who will go back and brag about your crispy BRINED turkey.
Meals like Thanksgiving are a highlight of my year, something I look forward to making weeks before it gets here. You know I love to cook, but Thanksgiving gives me an excuse to go all out and buy those exotic ingredients it would be too expensive to include everyday. This year the meal will be at my friend Sarah’s house so most of the food will be made tonight. I did my shopping on Tuesday and I think I was there two hours. I got lucky with Fred Meyer and found wholesale hazelnuts. I’ve made Tom Douglas’ mayonnaise over asparagus for three years and every year it comes with blanching a bunch of stubborn hazelnuts, and that’s more work than it sounds like. Another of it’s unusual ingredients is star anise, which costs you eight dollars to get as a seasoning bottle but 60 cents if you get just what you need from the spice bins. Every grocery store should have a spice bin. Then there was Bosch pears, tricky to find at that store but essential to the cranberry-pear relish (so is cardoman, also not common). Sorry, regular pears are too mushy. My menu can sound ambitious but I’ve made everything I’m doing this year at least five times already so I’m confident the results will satisfy despite being in a new kitchen. And my turkey is fresh. I think most of the horror stories I hear about turkeys not cooking right comes from buying frozen turkeys, I think it’s too risky. Will you remember to brine your turkey? Keeping it in cold saltwater overnight will give you a crispier skin when you roast it the next day. Enough food snobbery. Enjoy your holiday.