I did it!

Phew! The day is over and the house is clean…ish.

My husband’s family came over today for our Christmas get together.  I have never hosted a party or a gathering this large at our new house.  I have never cooked a turkey but I did it!

I stayed up until about 1 last night baking desserts and cleaning the house.  I decided to brine our 12 pound turkey and I am sooo glad I did.  It was so moist! Yum! I used this recipe – it calls for apple juice, water, kosher salt, and garlic.  I didn’t have any garlic but it wasn’t bad without it.

I did have some issues though – imagine – carrying a thawed turkey like you are holding a baby with a stinky diaper (under the armpits and as far away as possible)… yeah that was me when I realized my pot full of brining ingredients was too small.  I was carrying a soaking wet, cold, dripping turkey around my kitchen trying to figure out where to put it. oh geez.

I’ve read where people put the turkey in a cooler full of ice with the water and salt and all but I didn’t have a cooler – scratch that. I didn’t have a cooler I felt was clean enough to do that. Instead, I filled the roasting pan with the ingredients and then round two. I grab the turkey and set it in the pan and… all the fluid overflows onto my counters. I can’t catch a break!

After cleaning sanitizing all the counters and soaking up all the moisture, I try again.  This time I had to take about 3 cups of liquid out of the pan to make room for the turkey and avoid spillage.

Round three worked out fine… Third times a charge, right?

After getting the turkey all covered up and secured in the fridge I felt like it was time for some baking!  For desserts I went the easy route – sugar cookies (made from a tub of cookie dough), lemon cheesecake pie, Oreo cheesecake pie, symphony brownies, and an apple pie (bought from the store).  I’ll share my super easy, super yummy recipes for the pies in a later post!  No major issues there; but, here is a tip: if using two boxes of brownie mix to make 1 batch of brownies, get a box that has cooking time for that situation.

I think there were more dessert options than casserole options…  Maybe i overdid it with the desserts??? hmm – nah!

When I think about family gatherings for holiday events like Christmas or Thanksgiving, I think about turkey or ham and TONS of casseroles! Sweet potato casserole, squash casserole, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, cornbread casserole! Then you gotta have some deviled eggs and some really yummy rolls.

I’m beat! Going to bed and then getting up for church and then another family Christmas gathering.  I’m looking forward to my Granny’s Christmas tomorrow!  I think I will be taking some of my desserts to share.

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