Thanksgiving Turkey turned out superb. The temps were in the 40’s so keeping the BBQ up to temp was much easier compared to last year. I used a cup of kosher salt, a cup of brown sugar, 1/2 gallon of apple cider and about a gallon and 1/2 of water to brine the turkey for 2 days. This morning I rinsed off the brine, patted the turkey dry and added a New Orleans spice rub with no oil or butter under the skin. I let the turkey sit on the counter for about 20-30 minutes to warm while I started the coals in the BBQ. I set a small roasting pan under the grill to catch the drippings and stack the coals on each side of the pan. I rotate the bird every 20 minutes and flip it over every 40 minutes starting and finishing with the breast down. This year I used a local white wine in the roasting pan and occasionally adding wine to the cavity to promote cooking and add flavor. I think the white wine really helped keep the turkey moist. I let the bird rest covered for 20 minutes breast down before carving it to let all the juices settle back into the bird. About 2 1/2- 3 hours cooking time for an 11.5 pound bird. The meat of the turkey will look a little pink under the skin because of the smoke from the charcoal so use a meat thermometer to make sure the bird is done.
The rest of the meal was Garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn on the cob, fresh baked bread and punkin pie. Though neither Mom or I had pie as we sort of filled up on the turkey. Paper plates and plastic utensils kept clean up super easy though I do have a couple of pans to wash. I got to try out my Black & Decker toaster oven baking the pie and it did a good job, there does seem to be one hot spot in the oven that browned a part of the crust a little extra. I can fix that by rotating the food at the half way point or dropping the cooking rack one level. We finished dinner early and I got a good nap that helped erase some of my tiredness.
Mom brought over a small load of stuff and got her room sort of organized, while I tended to the turkey and bread. I have a small kitchen so it is easier for one person to do most of the cooking. Plus Mom doesn’t know where most of the stuff is at in the kitchen yet! My system isn’t the same as her’s but she will catch on after she moves in. Her coffee maker is all setup, Mom likes flavored coffees and I like very strong black coffee, so having separate coffee makers makes sense. I think she is going to like the flexibility of the toaster oven compared to just a toaster. You can’t bake a punkin pie in a toaster! I don’t have room for a dinner table, but next year I hope to replace my broken dishwasher with an 18 inch wide model and rearrange the kitchen to be more efficient if not an larger. Then I can add a small dinner table to the kitchen.
I moved a few light weight things of mine in the shop to give Mom a little more room for storage. Some good news maybe, on moving the chicken pen. Dad emptied his trash trailer and might help us move the pen to my house. That would be a huge help to me with setting it up and save Mom a little money on renting a pickup truck to move the last few items. I understand that emotions are a bit strained between them but if Dad can help with the last few items that will get them apart so emotions can cool down some between them. Once the chickens are moved Mom can officially move in.
I want to pick up some winter boots Friday though I really hate the idea of Black Friday shopping. If I find the right size I’ll get a pair but the store has New Balance sneakers on sale for $30.00 and I would not mind having another pair of sneakers to switch out daily to make them last longer. I brought up a pair of my Army galoshes and have a nice set of slippers that I can use to make a warm snow boot. Plus I kept my old army Goretex boots and while not stylish they will work for a winter boot.