The Eagle has Landed……

If you have never brined a turkey in a buttermilk brine, you’ve got to try it.  I can’t think of any other reason that a 42 pound turkey would have a chance of being as moist and delicious as this one was.  We have so many leftovers, I’m going to be coming up with new recipes for days.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Happy Thanksgiving

It’s almost 10:00 in the morning and I’ve finally got a chance to sit down for  a few minutes.

…..and so the saga of the Giant Turkey (42 pounds) began……

6:30 am:  rolled out dough for pumpkin pie, blind baked, messed up, started again

7:30 am: pumpkin pie redone, apple pie rolled out, filled and in the oven.  Yams peeled and into the slow cooker

8:00 am: turkey (pterodactyl) out of the brine, rinsed, stuffed with herbs, butter under skin

8:15 am: pumpkin pie out of oven

8:30 am: apple pie out of oven

8:45 am: stuffing started – mushrooms and herbs sautéed, sausage browned. Turkey into oven with customized drip guards

9:00 am: living room straightened up

9:30 am:  a little rest


A Honey of a Store in Gladstone

Today I found a great shop in Gladstone selling honey and bee supplies.  Ruhl Bee Supply also carries wax, oils, candle-making and soap-making supplies.  I picked up some almond oil along with a Columbia Gorge Wildflower Honey to make my first batch of lip balm.

2 T beeswax pastilles
3 T sweet almond oil
.5 T honey

Melt the oil and wax in the microwave with 30 second bursts. Add the honey and stir to combine.  Spoon into tins and allow to cool.

Thanksgiving: T-18 hours

Tonight we brined the turkey (more like a pterodactyl).  We made a brine with brown sugar, salt, juniper berries, bay leaves, pepper, red peppers, star anise, garlic and ginger.  After heating to dissolve the sugar and salt, we let it cool and this evening, added it to a gallon of buttermilk, and put the turkey to bed for the night with it in a cooler on ice.  The turkey’s giblet’s and neck went onto the stove with onions and carrots for stock.

I made up a batch of pie crust this evening so it’s resting in the fridge over night.

I sliced up a loaf of kefir-milk bread this morning and put it into a low-convection oven to dry.


Thanksgiving: T-46 Hours

Oh boy, Thanksgiving and Christmas, this year’s turkeys came in at 22 and 42 pounds.

Researching the Brine

2 2/3 cups Morton’s kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1 teaspoon dried juniper berries
4 bay leaves
5 stems fresh thyme
3 stems fresh sage
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic garlic, smashed
peel of 2 oranges or lemons
1 gallon boiling water
8 pounds ice cubes


Combine the ingredients (without the ice) into a large stock pot. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, remove from heat.

After removing from heat, steep the mixture for 45 minutes. Add enough ice to bring the brine amount up to cover the turkey.  Allow the turkey to soak in the cold brine for 12-24 hours adding ice to keep the temperature below 40 degrees.

Planning a Thanksgiving Supper

This year we have somewhere between 7 and 15 people coming for supper.  My oldest son will be home from the University and I told him to bring along some strays that need a Thanksgiving supper.  He’s not sure how many that will be, but the more the merrier – I’ll just throw on more potatoes and make extra gravy.


  • Turkey with herb butter
  • Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Mushroom and sausage stuffing
  • Green beans
  • Yams with orange glaze
  • Cranberry relish and sauce
  • Kefir rolls
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Apple Pie

Shopping list

Turkey – to the processor on Saturday evening, pick up Sunday
Herbs – back garden
Butter – Haggen’s ($1.88/lb)
Potatoes – Pantry
Mushrooms – ???
Scallions – back garden
Sausage – Stroup Family Farm (groupon)
stale French Bread – Albertson’s?
Green beans – Spicer’s produce (groupon)
Yams – Spicer’s produce
Cranberry relish and sauce – Vina G and pantry
Kefir rolls – homemade
Pumpkin – New Seasons (from Halloween)
Cream cheese – ???
Apples – orchard
Pie crust – homemade
Cream – ????

Wine – homemade – open them and try them? Fig, Berry, Apple, Ruhbarb, Cider, Beer