Cider Brined and Glazed Turkey

Cider Brined and Glazed Turkey

Everyone has a different opinion on how the best way to make your Thanksgiving turkey is.  I have heard of deep fried turkey, and it does sound amazing however, it is quite dangerous to deep fry a turkey if you have never done it before.  I have tried many, many ways over the years but the best way for me is to brine the turkey…and I’m going to show you how to do this.

One recipe that I found this year used apple cider so I decided to give it a try.  It seems quite easy once you read the recipe.  All you do is simmer 1 qt. of cider, 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt, 1/4 cup whole allspice and 8 bay leaves until the salt dissolves.  It should look like this:

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Stir this occasionally while it is trying to simmer.  Once it is mostly dissolved, remove from heat and let it cool completely.  Once its cool, you will want to pour the brine into a 5 gallon bucket, add the other 3 qts. of apple cider, 4 qts of water and the turkey so all the cavities on the bird are submerged.  Put a lid on it and refrigerate overnight.

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Making Pumpkin Puree

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

This year, since I grew pumpkins in the garden, I decided to learn how to make my own pumpkin puree for the Pumpkin Mousse that I will be making for Thanksgiving.  Originally, the pumpkins were for the kids to carve but somehow they never got over to them.  I figured this was the next best thing.

These are the pumpkins that we will be using.  They were the decorations on the front porch through Halloween and now will become part of dinner.

One of them didn’t come out the way a pumpkin should so it looks funny to me.  The fruit of the pumpkin will be awesome though.


First thing we need to do is to cut the top off so we can scrap the seeds and membranes out.  img 0281This part is easy, we’ve all been carving pumpkins since we could walk.


I kind of like doing this part.  It wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t get deep into the guts of our food when we prep it.  It gives you a whole new appreciation for food.


To make puree, obviously, the pumpkin needs to be cooked.  Once you get the pumpkins gutted, brush some melted butter all on the inside, including the top, and replace the lids.  Put the pumpkins on a shallow roasting pan and bake in the over on 375 degrees for an hour and a half.  It should look like this:  img 0282

When the pumpkins are done, they will be nicely caramelized and look like this:

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Once they cool enough where you can handle it without getting burned, you will want to peel them with a knife and puree the pieces in a blender until smooth:

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You will want to do the pureeing in batches then pour it into a sieve over a large bowl to drain.  Cover it with some plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to use it, preferably the next day.

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I plan on making Pumpkin Mousse with mine.




Table Set

During this time of year, everyone’s thought is on Thanksgiving.  table-set-webEach day this week, I myself will be prepping something, or creating a dessert that I have not made before.

It’s all in the prep.  I hope.


#cooking #thanksgiving #food photography

The Lazy Cook – Along came Tummy

Continuing on in my quest to finally learn to cook, I had met someone special.  My third love.  It wasn’t until this period in my life that made me realize that there has to be more to cooking than just making food to eat.  Food is important.  It nourishes the body, gives us energy, and generally helps us live.  But then again, it can help you feel sick too.

My mother used to tell me not to eat to much applesauce, chocolates, or whatever else because it will give me a tummy ache.  She was right to a certain extent since too much of anything isn’t good.  The one piece of information that was always missing was the “Why?”.  I would ask her why and should would simply tell me “because I said so.”  That’s no reason.  But if you are trying to explain your reasons to a five year old, it seems logical that that’s the best answer she could give at the time.  How am I, at the young age of five, going to understand the complicated workings of the human body when I can’t even spell.  So with virtually no information on food, what it does for the body, or the best foods to eat to help your body function, I was sent off to provide for my family, kids, and relatives (during bbq’s and such).

When I met my third and final husband, it seemed that things would continue on the way they always have: eating out, frozen foods, etc., until he got sick.  I don’t mean the flu, a cold, or a stomach ache.  I am talking chronic stomach problems and all the pain, nausea, vomiting, and hospital visits that came along with it.  I knew I had to do something other than just toting him around from hospital to hospital, doctor to doctor.  I started reading about probiotics.  Not just the pills you can buy over the counter…real probiotics from food.  It began to become very apparent that issues with the human body usually start with what you eat.

Natural probiotics come from fermented foods, or at least all the ones I know about.  Yogurts, kimchi, and sourdough bread all are good examples of fermented foods.  I even tried making homemade quick kimchi which, in my opinion was really good, but I couldn’t get Tummy to eat it.  I bought a scoby and made homemade kombucha, nope, Tummy wouldn’t touch it.  Kefir, definitely not.  That left yogurt and sourdough bread.  Now he will eat yogurt, occasionally, and sourdough bread, definitely, but the best way to help a bad tummy with sourdough bread is to make the starter from scratch.  I really did try to make the starter, twice.  It takes a lot of patience and time, of which I rarely have, and both times I failed to follow the instructions precisely.  If you are miss one day, or forget to feed your starter, you might as well start over because your starter can die.  And mine did just that.  But if you are successful in creating your starter, then you will be able to make fresh sourdough bread for the rest of your life with this one starter…as long as it doesn’t die.