Blogs » Learning in Freedom » I did something new for Thanksgiving this year.


A few years ago, I met an amazing homeschooling family. They had moved to Victoria from a northern state. You could tell that the mom wasn’t from around here because she had this innocence about her. She always smiled. It was the smile of a woman who had dirt on no one. (Or maybe it was the smile of a woman who had sold off a company allowing the couple to retire in their mid-thirties.)

One day we were enjoying tea as the children socialized when she said something I had never heard another woman say. She said that her “turkey was brining.”


The whole process sounded strange and foreign and I dismissed the idea as a Yankee thang. “I’m a southerner married to a fire fighter (industrial) and we fry our turkeys here!”

It took me six years to entertain the notion of brining a turkey.

This Thanksgiving I brined my turkey before I baked it.

The results? Let’s just say that the meat fell off of the bone. It was the juiciest and most tender turkey I had ever tasted. It was so delicious that I have vowed to brine a turkey for Christmas and every Thanksgiving here on out!

How to brine a turkey*

-Place (almost) thawed turkey in a clean plastic unscented trash bag

-Pour about a cup of kosher salt over turkey

-Pour a container of apple juice over turkey

-Add some water

-Add too much garlic powder, much onion powder, some chili powder, some turmeric, a little paprika… (I got crazy with the spices and I might have added some rosemary, too. Maybe some secret spices. “Secret” because I forgot which ones.)

*This is how I brined a turkey, I am not sure if there's a better way. The domestic goddess in me is not bothered with details, like measurements, when it comes to cooking.

-Place bag in roasting pan so that it doesn’t pop and spill toxic turkey juices all over the refrigerator. Tie the bag up after pushing all of the air out of the bag.

-Allow turkey to “brine” (marinate) for two to three days in a cold refrigerator.

-On baking day, remove bag from roasting pan, remove turkey from bag, and place turkey back into roasting pan. Bake as you would normally…

Actually, the whole brining process brought back memories of when we mummified a chicken for history. =P