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+++Enter At Your Own Risk+++ At the gentle nudging (I said gentle y'all) of a few friends, I have started these blogs in order to share my culinary goings-on and daily misadventures through my own brand of humor (ok, sarcasm). I just write about stuff! At 50, I have learned that living has gotten in the way of life - and I am going to blaze my own personal trail to fun (hopefully)! If it is feminine, great. If it is not, so much the better! Hopefully fun that does not land me in jail............

Monday, November 28, 2011

What I learned from Brine Time in Tennessee… aka, If there is no light in the fridge, is the turkey really brining?

The best plans can go awry – this scenario was slightly complicated by the fact that I had planned on ‘smoking’ the turkey breasts once they were brined for 8 hours. The smoking process is fairly involved for one person to do – as a super novice. Read is “first time smoker alone”.

Here is a blow-by-blow
My Original Plan Was:
  • Get off work at 12:30PM because that is when my work traditionally sends us home the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
  • Feed the dogs so I do not have to do that after dark – thus lessening the chances for screaming “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”.
  • Throw all the ingredients together in a pot and bring to a boil so it can be cooling.
  • Head out to my mom’s for my family’s traditional “day before Thanksgiving” meal.
  • Upon arriving home after Thanksgiving-eve dinner – I would rinse the turkey breasts, toss them into the food grade bucket – pour the brine and ice in and go to bed. Let the dark of night do the work.
I did not get off work until 4:15

New Plan:
  • Gather the ingredients together, loaded the water with the cloves, peppercorns, salt and sugar then brought the start of the brine to a boil.  
  • Feed and water the dogs without incident. 
  • Boil then cool the brine solution.
  • Head to mom’s. 

What Happened:
Came back and realized that if I put the turkey in the brine at 9pm, I would have to be up rinsing it by 5AM. NOT happening.

New Plan Part Deux:
  • Set my alarm for 2AM thinking I will get up – set the brine bucket up and get up at 9AM to start smoking the meat. 
  • Go to eat supper at mom’s. 
  • Rinse and start smoking. 
What happened:
  • Slept through alarm. 
  • Woke up at 8AM, panicked

Plan Part Trois - The Final Destination: 
  • Started brining at 8AM 
  • Called mom – went to eat lunch instead of supper - allowing brine to work. 
  • Came back after 8 hours and rinsed the turkey breasts. 
  • Started the smoking process (another blog entry).

Decision on Brining:

The meat was tasty and moist. I would not say juicy – but definitely not dry.
The best Turkey I have cooked – and I bought CHEAP BREASTS ($1 hooker breasts, not Playboy model breasts) so this is a huge deal – so to speak.


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