Happy thanksgiving. Tonight I write the obligatory what am I cooking for Thanksgiving blog entry. I am hosting 8 of my relatives tomorrow and we will be feasting on predominately locally sourced food. I am supplying the Turkey which is a 22 pound pastured raised certified organic bird raised here in Preble County by Dale Filbrun. I am brining the bird as I write this in a solution of 3 gallons of water, 2.5 cup of table salt and 2.5 cups of sugar. He will sit in that bath until 5 am or so, than be removed, rinsed and allowed to dry for a couple of hours before going into the oven to cook for 5 hours (basting every 30 minutes or so after the 2nd hour).
I am also making dressing/stuffing that will use organic bread cubes (which I already made this afternoon), organic celery from Kroger's (our celery got nuked several weeks ago by frost), our celeriac, our onions, our leeks, our apples, our pears, walnuts, the turkey stock I am making right now, parsley, sage , rosemary and thyme from our farm, mashed potatoes from our taters, Spring mix we grew, steamed chard we grew, biscuits and Eugene is making 2 pies-strawberry rhubarb and apple all with home grown fruit. My brother Scott is bringing a pumpkin pie from the Motor City, otherwise Eugene would have made a squash pie.
My sister in law, Doreen, is bringing Mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole with the marshmallows.
I have the silver polished up. It is my grandmother silver and I am also planning on using the chine she bequeathed to me. It is referred to as "The Spode". I seem to have 7 complete place settings and 8 big plates so will have a bit of mix and match in the table setting dept. Same with the silverware. There should be 12 settings but a lot of salad forks are missing along with a couple of dinner forks. Hmmmm...
So there will be a mix of really fancy silver and not so fancy silver. And a lot of great food plus various libations such as home pressed apple cider, home brewed beer, other beer, Oban scotch, water, wine
So you might be wondering about the title, Brining Birdzilla. Birdzilla came into being back in the late 1980's/early 90's. A friend of mine named Amy bought a turkey for Thanksgiving. Amy was (is) a person when food buying tended to go overboard. So for a party of 6 i believe she bought this huge turkey, maybe 30 pounds and put it in a mutual friend, Bitt's, fridge because it had nothing else in it and Birdzilla fit in his fridge. I did not partake in that first birdzilla feast as I had family obligations that year. But after that whenever I got a huge turkey (anything over 20 pounds) I have referred to it as Birdzilla. The biggest birdzilla was over 30 pounds. It barely fit in the oven.
This year Birdzilla is 22 pounds. Dale told me when I went to pick up the turkey at his farm (where I watched the flock of Christmas turkeys roam around with 3 chickens) that because of the long Indian summer the turkeys grew a lot bigger than expected so instead of getting a 15 pound bird I got a 22 pounder. He said I could have gotten a 40 pounder if I wanted (no thanks been there, done that). Birdzilla is brining for the next 10 or so hours and by this time tomorrow he will be history, and a tasty one at that.