I'm sure it has something to do with the size of our home. We have enough space for the two of us. We have enough space, almost, for 2 guests. But even at 2 guests, it gets a little crowded. Now we look at a new range and little rearranging of the kitchen, and suddenly I am going to have 4 people over and prepare a post-Thanksgiving meal for everyone. Fortunately, no one is bringing their children (they will be at a different location with pizza). I honestly couldn't imagine 6 adults and 7 kids at the house. There would just not be enough room to move, let alone prepare a whole meal for everyone.
So there are a couple of firsts here.
- I have never hosted a large dinner like this before. For one thing, I have never had to feed 6 people before. I generally cook for 2, maybe 3 on occasion. But now I am preparing a full meal.
- I am brining the turkey. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of brining, I'll discuss it in more detail below.
- I am actually cooking and carving a turkey. I have cooked chickens before; however, it was on a Ronco Rotisserie (which I was able to "set and forget"), so I don't think really counts.
The brining is really a brainless process. They idea is simply this: submersing the bird in a sort of marinade. There is a lot of salt in the marinade which opens the bird up and allows the marinade to seep deep into the bird. So this will, for example, leave the breast meat extra juicy, which I typically find to be rather dry. This process doesn't make me nervous at all. In fact, this part of the planning stage I find to be the easiest.
Last is actually cooking the bird. I need a roasting pan, since I don't have one right now. I have a meat thermometer, which I will insert into the thickest part of the thigh. I plan to brush the skin with a light coating of olive oil (which should create a nice golden color as it cooks). And after a few hours of cooking, we'll have a veritable feast. After that, there is the carving of the bird itself. I'm not too scared of this. I have sharp knives and a little skill in carving, I just hope I don't crack under the pressure.
So, we go shopping tomorrow. It should be a pretty good weekend.