Traditions make the most of the social fibers that string us all together. They connect friends, evoke culture, and normally share culinary delights with the power to forge bonds between even the biggest Debbie-downers. Hailing from a family that lacks our own, I’ve taken it upon myself to create a few original traditions to pioneer forward. May I introduce: The Thanksgiving Redo.
This tradition actually grew from tragedy. After a visit to a friends the night before Thanksgiving, I started cycling home. Only a block away from my apartment, I simultaneously turned to check a car behind me and hit a crater of a pothole. My feet were still on my petals after I flew over the handlebars and stopped rolling down the street, but my collarbone was in pieces. After immediately ensuring the three girls that witnessed the accident that I was perfectly fine, I went home and passed out.
The following day was spent in the ER, following a quick trip to Hubspot.tv for a quick beer and taping. Thus, my holiday was stolen, and I was ripe for revenge. I returned to Boston with one arm, and prepared an entire Thanksgiving dinner to feed friends. The Thanksgiving Redo was born.
The week following Thanksgiving provides the perfect storm of elements to create a holiday party. Friends return to their routine home, people normally need to recover from their relatives, and, most importantly, all Thanksgiving food goes on severe discount. A quick trip to Market Basket provides $10 turkeys, cheap herbs, potatoes galore, and discounted fresh cranberries.
Here are the secrets to preparation: Always get fresh cranberries, they go quickly. Three bags are ideal, two will suffice. Add some fresh orange juice and zest and you’re golden. Brine the turkeys. It makes the juiciest turkey you could imagine, brings out the flavor of the meat, and makes the cooking time only four hours. For our redo I cook two turkeys, brining them for 24 hours beforehand as they defrost. Follow the brining mix below, invite all your friends over, and prepare to hear all the stories of drunken relatives.
- 6 Quarts of Chicken (or vegetable) broth
- Fresh Thyme
- Fresh Sage
- Fresh Rosemary
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- Salt, Pepper, and Lemon Zest