Produce Drawer Turkey Brining

Brining has long been touted as a fantastic way to ensure that you get a juicy, moist turkey. I plan on doing a spiced apple cider brine on our turkey this year, but finding a way to brine a huge bird is never easy. But then it came to me – why not use the produce drawer in the fridge?

So I wondered if anyone else had tried brining a turkey this way, and lo and behold, someone has. Sometimes it’s completely unnecessary to reinvent the wheel. And good thing, because who has the time for that this time of year? Alice Currah of Savory Sweet Life brined a turkey in her produce drawer all the way back in 2010! She’s written a great how-to post, complete with photos, outlining how she did it. She smartly uses turkey oven bags to hold the turkey in the brine, and then puts that into the drawer. Which is kind of what I was thinking of doing as well, because it’s easier to manage and clean up, and it’s more sanitary. They do say great minds think alike.

So if you’re thinking about brining your turkey this year, check out the how to post on Savory Sweet Life for an easy way to pull it off. And DON’T FORGET – if you’ve got a 16 pound bird like I do, you need to get it in the fridge tomorrow on Saturday morning to give it enough time to thaw, while leaving enough time to brine. The basic thawing guideline is 1 day for every 4 pounds. And you’ll want 24 hours for the brine. Thanksgiving is upon us, friends!

Friday Infographic: How to Roast a Turkey

Is it seriously November already? Where does the time go? Well, at any rate, November is here. And November means it’s time to roast a turkey. If you’re like most Americans, this will be the only time in the entire year that you will roast an entire bird of this size. Now how do you do that again?

Fortunately, today’s infographic from The Daily Infographic breaks it down. Print this now and stick it on the fridge. You’ll thank me later.


Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

It’s hard to believe that it’s less than three weeks to Thanksgiving already, but here we are. The winter season always seems to creep up on me. We’ll being having the usual in law crowd over for the big meal this year, and I’m really excited about hosting in our new place. We had Little Man’s birthday party here back in September, but this will be the first major holiday here, so that will be nice.

I’m keeping the decor simple again this year – I’ve got a wheat-colored tablecloth that I’ve used the last few years, and have my glittered gourds out and about. Battery operated tea lights in milk glass. I picked up some plastic leaf-shaped “vase filler” on 50% off clearance from the Target One Spot after Halloween, so I’m going to use that to decorate the table – I’m just going to “sprinkle” it down the center of the table among the glittered gourds.

The meal will be simple and classic again this year –

Roasted turkey (I got a twelve pound bird)

Mashed potatoes (I’m considering doing roasted garlic mashed potatoes to dress it up a little bit)

Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon

Home made cranberry sauce

Candied yams (just a small casserole dish as my husband is the only one that really likes them)

Bread stuffing


Pumpkin pie

Chocolate icebox pie

Shoofly pie (maybe – if I feel like making three pies this year. Oddly my in laws aren’t big pie eaters…)

I asked my mother in law to bring a few appetizers and the wine for dinner this year, so those will be what ever she feels like bringing, though she usually shows up with things like cheese, sausage and crackers and sometimes shrimp cocktail. I have some dilled gherkins to set out as well, and I may go by Whole Foods and pick up some of their marinated mushrooms as an indulgent addition – I just love them and I have yet to figure out how to replicate their recipe at home.

The turkey I’m still on the fence about. I would love to smoke it with apple wood this year, but the ban on grills at our apartment complex is basically putting a swift end to that idea. Seriously – if we had known before we moved here that they banned grills I would’ve seriously reconsidered signing the lease… but I digress. I’m really leaning towards brining it in spiced apple cider and roasting it in the oven. Or doing a honey riesling glaze. I haven’t quite decided yet, so it’s a good thing I still have a couple of weeks to figure it out.

I pretty much have everything needed for the dinner already though – I bought the turkey, cranberries and yams on this last grocery shop, as well as a few more supplies that I needed to round out my holiday baking supplies. The only thing I’ll need to buy is more potatoes, since we eat so many of them on a regular basis. And if I end up being lazy and not baking my own bread for the stuffing, I’ll need to buy a bag of bread cubes. But we’ll see on that one…