Thursday, December 8, 2011

To Brine or Not to Brine . . .

Luke 22:8
Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."

Parties are only as successful as the planning and preparation that goes into them.

Weeks before we are to have the families to Thanksgiving, Danny purchases a festive, fall tablecloth, new napkins and rings, and a centerpiece for the table. Splendid!

He finds a bargain on two, sturdy, wooden folding chairs so there is seating for all. That's a relief!

When he shops for the trip we took recently, Danny also brings home a fresh, 21-pound turkey. Enough to feed an army!

As he rearranges the freezer to make room for it, I have a thought.

"Do you think the pan you bought to cook it in is big enough?"

"Plenty big," he grunts as he lowers the enormous bird into the bottom drawer of the freezer. "It's how I'm going to cook it that worries me."

Danny is an outstanding chef. But, turkey has rarely been part of his repertoire. If it were up to this Italian, we'd be eating lasagna for Thanksgiving!

But, not this year.

This one has to be traditional. Just like the feast my mother always prepared.

Turkey. Stuffing. Green beans. Mashed potatoes. Squash casserole. Cranberry.

And, gravy. Lots of it, made from scratch.

Danny wants it all to be perfect. Especially, the bird.

"I'll just do some research on the web," he says, confidently.

But, after an hour of browsing, he is more confused than ever. The "experts", as it were, all have different takes on how to cook a turkey to ensure it stays moist, juicy, and properly roasted.

Different cooking temperatures. Different cooking times per pound. To baste or, not to baste? To brine or, not to brine?

Who will save the day? Or, at least, Danny's sanity?

Enter the quirky, the savvy, the unsinkable Alton Brown! Food Network's intrepid icon.

And, the man of the hour . . .

Or, should I say "hours" as Danny spends so many viewing and reviewing Alton's turkey tutorials.

He follows all directions to the letter.

And, when we all gather at our decorated Thanksgiving table for our meal, not a palate is disappointed. Danny has cooked the most delicious turkey (sorry, Mom!) any of us have ever tasted.

His careful, thoughtful, painstaking preparations make all the difference . . .
During this season of Advent, are you making careful, thoughtful, painstaking preparations for the coming of the Lord?

Let's go to God in prayer:
Heavenly Father, prepare us for the coming of Your beloved Son into this world. Make us ready to welcome Him with open arms and humble hearts. As we celebrate Jesus' birth, may we be ever mindful of His coming again in glory. Amen.

Psalms 37:1-18 or 37:19-42
Isaiah 7:1-9
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Luke 22:1-13


  1. I really really enjoyed this post Martha...the story and the analogy. Thank you for such a well written, humorous and thought provoking piece!

  2. Hi, Colleen!
    I'm so glad you enjoyed today's devotion. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. They are much appreciated!

  3. Oh - and we did brine the bird, in case you were wondering.

  4. Great post Martha and the turkey looks delicious..I admire as to how to manage to convey such powerful messages through your stories..

  5. A great reminder Martha! May we all prepare our hearts for the deep meaning of what is celebrated at Christmas. ~many blessings

  6. Martha - once again, your sharing has perfect timing for me! I am so thankful God uses you and your gifts to encourage, and guide. See you guys Sunday!!!

  7. Yet again... A personal experience with humor but always ending with a life meaning... Have a wonderful time with the family

  8. Hi, everyone, and thanks so very much for stopping by today!
    @Danny - You sure did! :)
    @Alpana - Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. They are so appreciated! The turkey was awesome!
    @Jessica - Yes, I pray we are all doing that very thing! Blessings back!
    @Constance - I'm so happy to know this post spoke to you today. Thank you for your sweet words, too. I'll be looking for you on Sunday!
    @Savira - Thanks so much for your kind, encouraging words. Yes, we had a great time and are looking forward to another family gathering a week from this Saturday.

    Blessings to you all!

  9. Go Danny, go Danny, go Danny!
    That is one good-looking turkey.

    ~ Peace and joy

  10. Thanks, Debra!
    Yes, he out-did himself this time and, as you can tell from the post, we were a most satisfied crowd.
    However, for the Christmas crowd, it's lasagna! :)
    Blessings to you always!

  11. That turkey surely looks, hats off to Danny for taking up the challenge.

  12. Thank you for stopping by, Sukanya! It was yummy, and I will pass on your kind words to Danny.
    Blessings to you!

  13. Am a deep fried turkey guy since Guy Fieri is my favorite "chef"!! ha! Long live America's greasy spoon diners, drive ins and dives!!


  14. Great point Martha.

    In this Blessed Season of anticipation, it's important to prepare our spirits for the wonder and majesty of the coming of the Christ Child.

    Have a Blessed Day!

  15. Hello.
    WoW! Danny should be proud of his work. The turkey looks delicious. I haven't the foggiest how to cook & won't even try. My wife is the cook in the family & I never have any complaints. I agree homemade gravy is to die for.

    Lovely post & ending message, Martha.
    Thanks for sharing & visiting.
    Thanks also for your very kind words on my latest post. I truly appreciate your sentiments.

    For ref:
    My Wife, My Priceless Jewel

  16. My sister-in-law, Nancy Roberts, who cooks turkey at Thanksgiving now serves lasagna on Christmas Day because her aunt used to serve lasagna either on Christmas Eve or Christmas night. By the way, Ned and Nancy live in Kennesaw.


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