Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Turkey Time

So I recently got into smoking meat. It's fun, and it gets me outdoors, though it provides just as much exercise as watching TV - teehee. So for Thanksgiving this year I offered to smoke a turkey.

My mother said "Nah, it's too much trouble."

I said I'd like to try, we all like store-bought smoked turkey. So she said OK, and so I went off to plan. I have a book I call my 'BBQ Bible', and while I don't agree with 100% of the book, the recipes are great. In the book, the author lists a few things that need to be done to the turkey before smoking - first a 24 soak in a brine because smoking can dry meat, and then a 12 hour rest in the open air of the refridgerator to let the turkey gather itself together and let the cells come to an equilibrium of salt and other compounds.

"Nah, it's too much trouble," my mother said when she heard my plan.

But I continued onward, gathering up the ingrediants for my brine. It was a recipe out of my book, a Maple Sugar brine, sounded good especially mixed with the Maple and Cherry wood the book suggested to go along with it. But the recipe calls for a lot of REAL maple syrup, something that's very expensive around here.

Quoth the mother "Nah, it's too much trouble."

Despite this, I persevered. Of course, we, as a family travel to our ancestral home in Texarkana Arkansas, a 6 hour trip from here, which meant I either had to take the smoker or take a pre-smoked bird. My wife and I decided to take up the pre-smoked bird, so even if it wasn't fresh, it'd still be smoked. My mother however, had already planned to bake her usual Turkey recipe and my smoked turkey wasn't really needed.

"Nah, it's too much trouble," she said.

Still, I wanted to try. So I brined the bird, let it rest, woke up real early the day we were going to drive up and smoked the bird. Here is the result:

Smoked Turkey'd!

I let the bird rest a bit and then put it in the cooler to transport. After putting in some ice and the rest of the food we were taking, we left.

Then Thanksgiving came. The family all gathered together, everyone had their part to play. My mother made her stuffing and managed my father baking her turkey; my Aunt and cousins made the family fruit salad that I love so much. And somewhere in there my turkey got reheated in the oven next to the baked bird.

In the end, my turkey had been totally decimated. My mother's turkey? Nearly untouched. And who kept going back time after time for seconds and thirds and fourths of my smoked turkey? My mother. She's beginning to wonder if I shouldn't start doing the turkey for thanksgiving every year.

Mom has even asked me to do the Turkey for Christmas, too.

"If it's not too much trouble."

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