American Elephants

The Oddities of Thanksgiving Day by The Elephant's Child

Light blogging. Yesterday was a cooking day. Well-brined turkey, sage stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes with a dollop of brandy and cream (NO marshmallows), a pureé of broccoli and green beans, Idaho potatoes, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. The president had 11 different kinds of pie, and a side of traditional macaroni and cheese. Do other people do this? I had never heard of macaroni and cheese as a Thanksgiving day specialty. It’s always interesting to hear about other people’s Thanksgiving traditions.

We are of Yankee heritage and do not do cornbread stuffing. My father handed down his Southern grandmother’s cornbread recipe which I cherish — but not in the bird. I used to do oyster stuffing in one end and sage in the other, but got too many complaints from non-oyster people. The vegetable of choice here seems to be brussles sprouts, as my grocery always starts off with a big display which is quickly decimated. I have never been able to make friends with the sprout, though I love cabbage. (Fresh cabbage in ½” dice, sauteed quickly in butter, dollop of sour cream and lots of black pepper).

The loony left was out with their usual ignorant “Genocide Day” huffings that America had committed genocide on the American Indians, and concurrently that in that picture of George W. Bush’s surprise Thanksgiving Day visit with the troops in Afghanistan — that was a plastic turkey.


So What Do You Do With A Turkey? by The Elephant's Child

A male native-American turkey in full display. Here’s how to produce a tender, moist bird for the Thanksgiving table, by brining the turkey before you roast it.

In the paint department of your local Home Depot or equivalent, you can buy an extra-large  white plastic bucket with a lid. They are very cheap. Let’s assume a 15 -18 pound turkey, but the same recipe will work for big or little birds. Mix in the clean bucket:


2 Gallons cold water
2 Cups Kosher salt
½ Cup brown sugar
1 ½ quarts of buttermilk

Mix well.  Put the turkey in the bucket headfirst.
Cover with lid, and place in a cool place. Here I
just put it on the back porch, Our temperatures
are usually in the 30s. Soak for ten hours. 
Remove from brine, pat dry with paper towels.

Stuff, and bake as normal.

Why brine? The meat of a brined turkey is moister,
more tender. the grain of the meat is a little tighter.
I will never roast a turkey without brining it again.

%d bloggers like this: