It’s time for the Thanksgiving menu, and not a moment too soon. I managed to get to Wilson Farms today in the nick of time to pick up my turkey, came home early, and boiled my customary Alton Brown brine (1 gallon vegetable broth, a cup of salt, a half-cup mixed brown and white sugar since we were low on brown, and peppercorns) and iced it down and put it on the porch to cool. After cooking a pre-Feast of the Beast (biftek a la Lyonnaise with a quick sauce Robert) and taking care of a few other odds and ends, I wrangled the turkey into the brine.
That’s not a small task. We have five adults and a small child at the dinner table this year, which means a slightly bigger turkey. Like, 19 pounds. This year I remembered to fish the neck and liver out of the cavity AND to get the paper bag with the other organs out of the neck cavity (very good progress!) before the turkey went into the cooler on a bag’s worth of ice, breast down; the brine went over the turkey; and another half bag of ice went on top. The cooler is now on the porch (mercifully, it’ll be between 30° and 34° tonight) and I’m catching my breath while I think about the rest of the menu.
My mother-in-law, mercifully, has already taken care of dessert—a homemade apple pie. That leaves us with:
- Cornbread stuffing AND traditional stuffing
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic and pancetta
- Kale with garlic and anchovy a la Two Fat Ladies
- Mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes
- Gravy du jour (meaning: I’m going to wing it)