Daily Blog #95: Monday of Holiday Prep, dry brining a turkey, all while in blogger limbo.

The weird limbo between posting the content people need the day it should drop for it to be topical, and sticking to your usual “in the moment: style. 

Meet: Abbi’s planned chaos.

This is the blog that needs to go up on Monday morning, to outline the Monday Prep I do for Thanksgiving, and also follow my usual work day posting schedule. So, to keep my in the moment blogging feeling, I am going to discuss what is happening, while I prep this section, to help people also know what to do before it needs to be done. No point in putting up a how to do a three day dry brine blog the day after it needs to be started.

It is currently Saturday night and I am hard at work blogging my ass off to be ready for the week, and also trying to do some NaNoWriMo writing. The concern with my blog made me turn to writing and updating it, however, forcing me to not only finish and post a blog, but write the holiday prep overview blog for tomorrow, and then start this one, for Monday. My goal is to have one blog to get people a chance to go grab a turkey and their brine supplies, and be ready to go on my time line on Monday.

I also have two skin care blogs I can edit and post, and a third I have pictures for and can write quickly enough.

I have no small amount of writing on the NaNoWriMo to do, but as I mentioned, I have blogging looming over me, and as I did not mention, but will do so now, I am having trouble with which way to go next on the story line, and a bit of what I call writer’s laziness, because I keep not writing scenes I know I need to write because they are heavy with dialogue and major story plot development, and require me to be more attentive with my writing.

Literally, too lazy to write the stuff I need to write so I write other parts of the story instead.
But, alas, I know I need to write it. I also know how I think. So, to remove any of my excuses, I am physically removing them, by catching up the blog to the point of “okay now I have to write.”

I already removed many of my prep and chore excuses so…All in all it is working well… considering I used prepping for the holidays and chores around the house to keep me from blogging, and I am knee deep in blog catch up and writing for the upcoming week…so…he heh he I am great at playing against myself.

Worthy Adversary….Lol myself.

The key is having a worthy adversary. 

Onto the Monday of Thanksgiving week prep:

But, not the Monday of my week. I will be doing this in a few hours, after this blog is posted, and in that one, I will discuss the prep for tomorrow, which you will read again, before I do it…hence, the weird blogger limbo I am in if I want to be topical.

Monday is for the brine.

I like to do a three day brine on my turkey. I know there can be many schools of thought about brining, but I have read most of them, and from my reading and my turkey experience, which is now more than decade, I can safely say, I trust me with turkey cooking.
Brine your damn turkey.

You don’t even have to do it my way, but, reading this will help you find a way that works for you.

Picture of what this looks like when I am done mixing it, down below.

First, I do not do a wet brine, because I seriously do not have space for that, and I honestly think I a dry brine is nicer.

I use salt, brown sugar, dry and fresh herbs for my dry brine. Because I use a lot of brown sugar, I do tend to do a light and safe rinse.

How light and safe you ask? Very. And it is a constantly evolving to make it safer process.

But, I have done it in the past, a full rinse off and out, and it has led to great turkey. Just be clean and safe.

Anyways, back to putting the brine on.

I mix a ton of salt, brown sugar, pepper, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Sometimes I will use some fresh herbs, but I always add fresh onion and garlic to the dried versions with the dried herbs, brown sugar, salt and pepper.

This is my turkey, which I will be dry brining.

I coat the entire bird in the dry brine, and make sure to work some of the fresh herbs, garlic and onion, under the skin. I make sure to form a thick paste of the dry brine on the top of the turkey, and this is, I suspect, a key part of the breast meat on my turkey staying juicy.

I cover the entire bird with the dry brine, I put the fresh ingredients under the skin, and fill the cavity with fresh onion and garlic. I also press some dry brine on the inside of the turkey cavity and it yields great results.

Once the brine is on, I put the turkey in a baking bag. I don’t use the bags for baking, but they keep the turkey safe from contaminating other items or getting anything on it. Some people say you need to dry the skin out to get it brown and crackled but with my brine I never have a problem with it, and the bag keeps it safe.

Said pan I will be roasting in. We have a new pan this year, upgrading from disposable ones that are harder on the environment and always make me worry they are about to break and drop the turkey everywhere.

Then I put the turkey that is in the bag, in the pan I will be roasting it in. If I worry it may leak out of the bag, I will line the pan, but either way, the turkey and the pan it will be baked it are brining in the fridge by Monday evening, to make for a juicy bird on Thursday. Storing it in the pan lets me account for the pan and keep it with the bird to prevent anything from happening to the pan.

You never know. I have read horror stories.

As I have mentioned, I like this holiday, and I have worked hard and read a lot to master the art of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. One day, someone will hand me a credit card and say “Host a Thanksgiving dinner in my large home” and I will be over the moon.

I am trying to master my winter holiday dinner in the same way, but I haven’t locked down that menu. It is a bigger holiday, and Bret and I are trying to create our own traditions, and the holidays have so many as it is, so we haven’t isolated that just yet.

But, I bet we will get there, eventually.

So, that is how I start my dry brine turkey. I try to do this no later than Monday night, but I prefer to do so on a Sunday night. An ideal dry brine is between 1-3 days, and I like to be as close to 3 as possible.

I am trying to take lots of thematically appropriate pictures for the blog. This was the cover photo for yesterdays blog.

But, if you read my prep overview, you may recall that I plan on prepping on turkey on Wednesday. I am doing this because the turkey still gets a three day dry brine, even with the brine being gently rinsed/removed from the bird, and the bird redressed with the rest of the fresh mix of herbs and seasonings, with no brown sugar and less salt, than the dry brine has. This way, any rinsing isn’t done when the rest of the prep and tools are out, at the night, before I disinfect the surfaces, and the bird is fully prepped for baking the next day, getting the best of both styles of dry brining, a preseasoning that sits for three days, or a dry rub coating brine, like I do.

Now, back to present tense, to avoid more Blogger limbo…

Currently, I am catching up on blogs, finalizing my thanksgiving prep, which means a few lists and timelines, and trying to catch up my writing, and also get ahead on my writing, for NaNoWriMo. I was proud to be ahead, but I am now behind once more, and am rapidly running out of time to finish NaNoWriMo, before the holidays arrive, ruining my chances.

We are DAYS from the end of the month, and I need to finish NaNoWriMo before the weekend is up, because by the end of next weekend, I will be out of time, and have no time to finish it.

So, it is with that urgency, that I will be forcing myself to write the hard stuff in the NaNoWriMo  story, or write something at least, to catch up and get myself in gear. 2020 is going to be my year, and that starts now.

I think we all know what will be fueling me….

I am 32 now, I can do this!

Also, if I can prep this kind of Thanksgiving masterpiece, I can definitely finish NaNoWriMo too.

Because Blogmas is RIGHT AFTER THAT, and I am pretty well ready for Blogmas, so why not finish NaNoWriMo up well, so I can say that I completed all my writing challenges I gave myself.

All while kicking the holidays square in the nads.

So, until later, when I finish this blog and edit it, I bid you all adieu.

Sunday Night

Greetings and Salutations again, sweet blog readers! I am just checking in with you all to finish up this blog. I just posted my Sunday prep blog to encourage you to all follow along with me at home to prep for the holiday and now I am finishing this blog off and trying to get some photo’s taken to allow me to have some original artwork with this blog…tricky considering I will not be brining my turkey until later in the day on Monday, and this blog is going up Monday Morning.

My goal is to take as many pictures as possible during the process, and I will post them to my socials and on the blog, so I will also have them next year. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see my videos on it.

Now I am watching some YouTube content from a zombie heavy creator I like, and wrapping up some blog needs, before diving back into the Kaya story to finish up my NaNoWriMo.

I also want to mix up the dry brine ingredients so I can take a picture of that, and post that for this blog as well, to show what my dry brine ends up looking like…and also because I suspect that letting the flavors all meld together for a day may help the brine along, and I will also take any and all extra helps to really knock this meal out of the park.

I love cooking for my friends, and this meal is such a great chance to bring people together and share in good foods and nice times.

I hope you are planning a celebration of fun. I know for some people this holiday is just another chance for family drama, and for others this is just another reminder of a messy history we refuse to reconcile…And it is those things. But it can also be a day for you to start your own traditions.

Hell, you don’t even have to make turkey. I make turkey because I love turkey dinners. I love this meal. It is delicious.

Behold, my dry brine. Before I brine it, I will smash up and mince some garlic, and some chunks of onion, to add some aromatics to this mix, but both are represented in their dried powder form.

Anyways Tomorrow is Monday, and I only have a two day week this week, at work, but I have blogging every day, and of course every day of Blogmas, and I have NaNoWriMo to finish, so all in all this week looks to be crazy busy.

So, I think I will wrap this blog up here, so I can go take a picture of my dry brine mix for this blog to help anyone following along at home. I hope you do decide to follow my timeline for the prep of the holidays, I really do believe this method leaves tons of time for you, and leaves you time to enjoy the meal you made.

Because you should enjoy this meal, not be bitter about it.

Be sure to check back each day this week to prep along with me, and see how I approach grocery shopping, my big prep day on Wednesday, and the big day itself.

Happy Monday!



One thought on “Daily Blog #95: Monday of Holiday Prep, dry brining a turkey, all while in blogger limbo.

  1. Pingback: Daily Blog #265: Turkey Day (Thanksgiving / Friendsgiving) in the times of Covid-19. – Abbi Grasso Blog

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