Last Thanksgiving, I bought an extra turkey. Turkeys are good, cheap protein. And I thought it would be fun to cook one for something other than Thanksgiving. Since I really needed to defrost the big freezer and the turkey wouldn’t fit in the small freezer, I decided it was time to cook the turkey. (Actually, the kids are going to defrost the freezer. I just haven’t told them yet.)
I was planning to brine the turkey. I've never brined a turkey and it sounded cool--I love to experiment when I cook. However, the kids found out. Ariel said, “You’re going to pickle the turkey?!” I tried to explain that I wasn’t pickling the turkey, but all I got was hostile, betrayed looks from her and the boys. So I decided not to pickle the turkey. I stuffed it with cornbread dressing. I made mashed potatoes from red potatoes—yum, so rich. I made French beans, just barely seared with butter and lemon. Ariel made country gravy. Matt made a tart cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries that I froze at Christmas time. And my mom made a fresh berry trifle.
The scent of turkey cooking was amazing—it made a muggy, overcast, hot June day festive. And since I didn’t use the china, crystal, or the needs-to-be-ironed table linens, it was much easier in terms of preparation. I’m starting a new tradition, Thanksgiving in June.