Monday, November 21, 2005

Mom's Thanksgiving

Mom will be hosting the festivities this year. She inherited the mantle from Grandma 3 or 4 years ago, when the annual 30-something gathering began to overwhelm.

Not much has changed, aside from the location, about 3 blocks east. The turkey is still a tad dry, the green vegetables cooked to a lifeless gray, the sweet potatoes sticky with brown sugar, honey, and marshmallows, green bean casserole bubbly and topped with crisped onions.

This year, I asked mom how she planned to do the turkey. "Why, I'll roast it, of course."

Have you thought about a brine, I asked?

"No, I don't think we'll need that."

But it really makes the bird taste great - keeps it from drying out, too.

"No - we'll do fine."

No changing Mom's ways, I guess.

I brined our bird last year. And I smoked it over hickory. Twelve hours. Damn, that was the finest turkey I've ever had.

But my family has its ways, and will keep them. That's okay with me. At least I won one culinary choice - the jug of Gallo Rose will be replaced with some nice, chilled Beaujolais Nouveau.

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