Thanksgiving preparations begin on Monday with the gathering of all we need for a meal that will last us the weekend. Wednesday becomes the day of earnest as I pick up the turkey from our local butcher. Around four in the afternoon I prepare the brine for the bird. This consists of boiling a half-gallon of water and adding a cup of salt with half a teaspoon of sage. I pour the brine into a five-gallon pickle bucket and dilute with water and ice until half full. The main event of Thanksgiving dinner enters the brine until ten o’clock the next morning.
The stuffing begins with a pound of smoked bacon rendering all the fat out of it. Then a pound of onions and celery with four cloves of garlic, sweat until onions are translucent. Add a half teaspoon of sage, parsley, a copious amount of black paper, and salt to taste. Cover with 48 ounces of chicken broth and bring to a boil. In a large mixing bowl add a pound and half of dried bread crumbs. Pour the boiling hot mixture over the crumbs and thoroughly mix.
While the still hot fill the main cavity of the turkey. This should require a glove since you want the mixture over 160°F. Then in the neck skin stuff the remaining stuffing filling it. Pull it shut and put the bird into a 350°F. oven until the bird’s temperature reaches over 160°F. This should take a minimum of two hours for a 12-pound fresh turkey and longer for frozen store-bought birds.
My wife prepares mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, and green beans. My daughter has a soon-to-be-famous pumpkin pudding she makes every year and dinner rolls. We set the dining table with fine dishes and sit down to feast. We shared this meal in the past with my parents, but I have lost them now. My in-laws join us for dinner and any siblings that are alone.
Did I mention, my dog is a Karen? Ginger’s job on Thanksgiving is to be in the way whenever possible. Being the ultimate Karen she puts her two cents into everything. Marty her trainer when she was a pup says do not be afraid to step on her toes, she will learn to stay out of the way. However, Marty is not aware of her being a Karen and did not count on her need to be underfoot at all times.
Her Karen-ness comes out most spectacularly as I clean the carcass after dinner. There she sits with her lying eyes stating she has not eaten in over a month. If that does not inspire morsels coming her way, she starts moaning and groaning in displeasure. However, cleaning the meat off the bones is messy and occasionally a piece flies across the kitchen onto the floor. I can be messy as the finer remnants come off the bones.
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