Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What a goofball!

Okay, I decided after browsing Food Network's website that I would brine my turkey for Thanksgiving before I cooked it. It's supposed to keep the meat totally moist. Emeril does it and so does Alton Brown. I don't care for Emeril, but I like Alton Brown. I trust him. So I made this brine - with salt, sugar, water, cracked peppercorns, bay leaves, etc. and boiled it to dissolve the sugar and salt and then had to let it cool. 4 hours later, it was finally cold enough to put the bird into. Well, the bag that I had put it in sprung a leak, but no problem, I had another oven bag so I had my husband hold that bag open while I put the leaky bag inside it - whoosh, the inner bag broke. No biggy, we're still inside the good bag - until I looked down and their are multiple spouts of brine shooting out all sides of the "good" bag. We were suddenly swimming in gallons of brine. It was all over the floor and countertops. What a horrible mess. Fine, no brine. But now, I have a naked turkey - Or course, I had to take it out of it's bag to put it in the brine, right? Now, I have no brine and a naked bird that is going to dry out before tomorrow morning when it goes in the oven.

Next, I decided to make some cheese straws - a la Paula Deen - you know, something for the boys to snack on while waiting for the dried out naked turkey to be done. I bought reduced fat sharp cheddar - (I have to do my part to keep my figure) and it was supposed to form a ball of dough. I think there wasn't enough fat in the cheese or something, because it never formed a ball. Just a crumbly mess - so I added some butter til it formed a ball and instead of cutting little 1/4 inch pieces like Paula said, I had an inspiration. I decided to roll the dough out and cut shapes of autumn leaves and pumpkins. Clever, right? I have these wonderful Wilton cookie cutters, so delightful. So I cut my shapes and the first batch came out okay on my Silpat so I put the second batch in but only have one Silpat. No problem, I have some parchment paper. They are gorgeous leaves. Light golden brown and smelling so delish. Then I tried to pick them up - I found out I used freezer paper by accident. The boys will just have to snack on waxy cheese-flavored autumn leaves and pick the paper out of their teeth.

Here's hoping the bird doesn't make us sick. I bought a fresh turkey 4 days before Thanksgiving. But I see now that Food Network - did I tell you I love that site? - says that you shouldn't buy your fresh turkey until 1-2 days before you plan to cook it. Oops. Then, 3 days into the refrigeration I found out my refrigerator isn't set to 35, but somewhere near 42 degrees. On top of that, I accidentally left the door to the refrigerator open so I'll let you know if we live through this Thanksgiving dinner.

But I'm thankful. . .

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