This year our Thanksgiving featured family, food and fun.
Additionally: laughter, tears, thankfulness, trotting and Pictionary.
And brine. Oh, the brine...
Back at the homestead, I was working on the turkey. Taking the advice of Bubbe and the internet, I decided to brine the turkey this year. We bought a fresh turkey on Saturday, I made the brine on Monday, and we immersed the bird in the brine on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, following Alton Brown's cooking method, I coated the rinsed bird in canola oil, stuck it in the oven at 500 degrees and set the timer for 30 minutes...
We made it about 14 minutes before the smoke detectors started going off. Turns out popping oil and grease in the oven is a smoky proposition. We had all 5 smoke detectors wailing for nearly 10 minutes. Naturally Bobby Law was at Starbucks at this time...Finally, with all doors and several windows open and the oven temporarily turned off, the buzzing stopped. Hello, holiday headache.
I turned the oven down to a more reasonable temperature (350), stuck the meat thermometer in, and hoped for the best. I wasn't really worried. Even just 15 minutes at high heat had already given the bird a golden brown glow. By the time we feasted the turkey was moist and delicious. Disaster averted, brine applauded.
Do I have pictures of the turkey? No, of course not. Let's see what I did take pictures of.
Ebby doing her part putting out appetizers. She requested these chocolate covered strawberries and took to guarding them with her life. Actually she requested a fruit basket from Edible Arrangements but this was a much more budget friendly option.
Though unplanned, it turned out to be Hawaiian shirt Thanksgiving for the Bowles boys (except Uncle, I guess he didn't get the memo). Will and Cuyler put on their shirts after their initial choices were rejected (by me) or mud stained (by the neighbor's dog). In case you're wondering, their shirts are genuine, from Hawaii and yes, about 3 years old--thus the snug fit. Not that they cared. Or noticed.
We had two tables for dinner: the grown up table and the kids table. Ebby was in charge of seating. Both Bubbe and Uncle ended up at the kids table which led to some complaining by Bobby Law that all the fun people were at the kids table.
The real competition came after dessert when we broke out the Pictionary game. Our team (me, Ebby, Cuyler in for Bobby Law) had a commanding lead but somehow the other team (Uncle, Bubbe and Will in for Nana) managed to steal the game out from under us. Scoundrels!
I think Sam was actually quite comfortable, despite appearing spineless.
Once again everyone was asked to fill out a tag for the tree, writing what they were thankful for. Most everyone participated. It's always fun to read what is written. We had the usual, (family and good health) and a few new entries: sundresses, yoga pants and the triumph of hope over experience (guess who wrote that...).
And of course, brine.