The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Preparing my Life, Brining my Bird

November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving is almost here! When I first moved up to New York, I told my parents I wouldn’t be coming home for Thanksgiving anymore. Having little money and being so close to Christmas, made this teeny little holiday not really worth the plane ticket. That lasted about two years and now they come here instead.


Our visits are always delightful. We do things I wouldn’t normally do like take the big red tour bus and see the Adams Family on Broadway. And then we go shopping at Target.

I would like to show them a bit more of Brooklyn this year. Unlike the rest of the world, they don’t really seem that into it. They have been growing heirloom tomatoes since before they were heirloom so I can’t really blame them. But I have hopes (!) and reservations for Vinegar Hill House on Tuesday night. M and I are very excited about this. I have already planned out my meal and am toying with dessert option. Now I just have to figure out how to get there without getting lost.

I’ve been a bit sleepy this year in terms of planning. My freezer is not mother friendly right now, I haven’t mopped my floor in weeks and I still have not decided what to do in terms of me needing a new bed, a new TV and my yoga membership being up next month.

I panicked and asked my parents if they wanted to get Chinese food instead. This was promptly shut down which I suppose is for the best. I’ve ordered my turkey and it will be hopefully be delivered on time Tuesday morning and plopped directly into the brine that’s on the schedule to be made Monday night.

Which brings me to the topic of this long-winded, windy post. Brining! Here are a few great options for brining. For those of you who do not know and have been living under a rock for the past five years, brining is a great step to making a delicious moist bird.

Over Christmas we brined the Butterball for 3 days. I spent the two days before that chastising my mother for buying actually Butterball. (I have dreams of buying a heritage turkey but the $100 price tag is something I have a bit of a problem with so I stick with the young turkey raised with no antibiotics.)

This year I’m going to be going with Alice Waters 72 hour brine that I found on NYT. I’m going to be a little short of 72 hours but my bird will be a bit smaller and I think it will be just fine.

One of my favorite resources for the brine is Alton Brown’s “Romancing the bird.” S introduced it to me a few years ago and it’s still our go to reference when this day rolls around. Here’s also a great article from the Times that will give you a few options and answer a few questions that might be burning a hole in your roasting pan.

Will you be brining? What’s your favorite recipe?

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