Once upon a time a girl named Anna made the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner almost all by herself. Okay, not so much. But it ended up being the best turkey we've ever had!
The REAL star of the show is the brining mix I bought at Williams-Sonoma:
All I had to do is boil it until all the salts dissolved:
Then I let it cool a bit, poured it into the cooler outside on the deck (okay, so Scott did, since it was heavy and he's a strong man-type person), and then put the turkey inside (once again, Scott did the lifting):
We secured the cooler with bungee cords in case of raccoons:
Then we let it sit from Saturday night until Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning, checking every day to make sure it was still cool enough in there and adding ice when necessary.
THAT, my friends, is the secret to making the best turkey ever.
After we pulled it out, I rinsed it very thoroughly, put it in a roasting pan, completely covered it with foil, and roasted for several hours at a low temperature. Then I pulled it out of the foil, increased the temperature, stuck in a meat thermometer, and started basting it with melted butter every half hour until it was heated to the right temperature and nice and golden on the outside. Kwiddens helped quite a bit, too! Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished turkey...but it was pretty.
Now, Buster got his very own Thanksgiving feast, as well. The turkey came with a little packet of guts, of course, so we boiled them and then stripped the meat off the neck:
Buster was a very good boy and waited until we said it was okay to eat his treat:
And then we said "Okay!" and he ate them all in about a minute. I think he was pleased.
Also, the day of Thanksgiving, he got three cans of wet food instead of his normal dry food. Happy Thanksgiving, Buster!
And the tardiness of this post can be attributed to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which makes me want to lay in bed all day and hibernate.