This Thanksgiving, the Frink Four packed up Phyllis (what we fondly call our vehicle) and headed north - to Cleveland, Ohio, to be exact - to visit my sister-in-law and family. I think it's fun going up there, there's snow, Trader Joe's nearby, and we do a lot of cooking. This year, Melissa ordered a fabulous turkey (Tom) from a local farm and there were grand plans of brining Tom.
We did all those things you are supposed to do to a turkey - untied the legs and pulled out the innards. You know, engaging in a good old fashioned anatomy lesson. Reminiscing about the time I was in Paris and ate a chicken heart, thinking it was a potato (it was delicious, by the way.)
So, to brine a 23lb turkey, you need a brining bag (cause that bad boy ain't fitting in a big stock pot.) This was a thin, flimsy bag - you'd think that 3 college-educated individuals would have seen the error in this plan when we opened the bag box. Nah, we just pressed onwards, like the newbs that we were.
Once the ingredients were added, we were instructed by the fine folks at Williams-Sonoma that we needed to add water until Tom was covered.
Now check out Brian's hand there...see how much plastic is leftover after filling it up with like 3-4 gallons of liquid? That should have been clue #2, but again, no, onward-ho!
A regular trashcan tie didn't cut it. We had to break out the zip ties - clue #3 right there.
Because we were smart enough to put Tom (and his bag) in the sink to add the liquid, we somehow had to get him from the sink to the pan (to take downstairs to the basement so he could bathe in an apply bath for 24-36 hours!). And by we, I really mean Brian, as is evidenced by my poor photo documentary skills.
You have to say this next part in the voice of Judy Gellar on Friends...
It did not.go.well.
Why yes, that is 3-4 gallons brining juice all over the floor. Why yes, it was a huge sticky mess. And we couldn't stop laughing.
So, the next day, we got a REAL brining bag...and since time was of the essence, as we lost out of 12 hours of pertinent brining time, innovation was necessary to get the liquid cooled in time. Good news - it's 22 degrees out - cooled faster than the fridge ever could.
And when one does things correctly, with the correct materials - it all works out according to plan.
Tom cooked well, tasted delicious, and made from some of the best tasting gravy ever. In typical form, I was too preoccupied with eating to actually take a bad iPhone photo of the finished product, but I'm sure you have an idea.
So it was said, and so it was done. The story of Tom the Turkey.