The Turkey is in the brine. I use about a cup each of Kosher salt and Brown sugar dissolved in hot water to start the brine. The bulk of the liquid is real Apple cider. This year I’m trying something new in the brine with fresh lemons and lemon zest and the 3 garlic cloves pealed into the brine. Peeling garlic cloves is not a fun job! Add in some peppercorns fresh herbs like sage rosemary and thyme and that is the brine. Mesquite charcoal adds a lot of sweet flavor to the turkey. I think the lemon will make a nice counter point to the sweetness of the charcoal flavor. Two days is fine for a turkey brine. I just like three days to give the turkey plenty of time to soak up the flavors. I use a 3 gallon food grade bucket to brine the turkey. The bucket fits in my shop fridge so it is in a temp. controlled environment. I’m looking at a 3 hour cook time for the bird so I start the charcoal an hour ahead of time. let the bird warm up at room temp. for about 30 minutes before throwing it on the grill. I rotate the bird every 15-20 minutes and make sure that the last bit of cooking is Breast down and the bird rests for 30 minutes before carving breast down. That will ensure all the juices flow into the breast and keep it from being dry. I’m going to buy another turkey this month while the prices are low so I will have a turkey for next year.
I ran the lawnmower across the backyard lawn to pick up the leaves. Now these are mostly from black walnut trees and these leave tend to kill all plants so to eliminate competition. These are not the leaves you want to mulch your garden or use in your compost beds. But they make a great killing mulch for weed areas without killing the soil. If you have a black walnut tree clean up those leaves and use them like you would use a weed killer. I like using my lawnmower to chop up and bag the leaves in the bag and then spread the mulch in my alley way that is all weeds.
I have watched my neighbor spray round up/chemical weed killer every year and they never fix the problem of weeds. I use 30% vinegar and black walnut leaf mulch and I might have a few goat heads. My problem is in eliminating “cheat” grass and Foxtail weeds. I think I can start adding in plants I like to the alley way beds.
The winter birds are returning to my bird feeders. Placing rocks in a water feature might be great in summer but Ice freezes to those rocks and makes clearing the ice a chore. Perhaps it is a bit silly but I like seeing the birds come back to the feeders.