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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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and lo, the turkey is brining
brothers grimm
I'd like to say that my initial preparations for turkey have assured that no is going to suffer a hideous poultry-related death at my hands, but frankly, I'm skeptical. I am doing the brining, probably the single most traumatizing cooking experience of my life, in which I mix things that *should not go together* in this world or the next and then rinse my turkey with my hand in unmentionable places, then lower it into the soup of iniquity.

The worst part is that it keeps floating to the top, and I'm holding it down to make it take water, and I'm thinking, yes, this is how I saw myself in my youth. Drowning a dead turkey. This is my dream, and I am living it.

Seriously. *Brining*. Brown sugar and water and Black Sea levels of salt and fresh (not dried, why make this easy on me?) thyme and an entire *bottle* of dried rosemary. It looks eerily like a beach gone bad with oil spills. Now it rests in the refrigerator overnight until I take it out and do frankly *sick* things with herbed butter and apricot glaze and pray that I get a good lawyer when they bring me to trial. Cause seriously. Ewww.

On the upside, I got to go to the grocery store and giggle myeslf into a hernia looking at the mini-gangbangers, out in gear, seriously debating which onions to buy and carrying around baskets of produce. I just--it's a total spirit of the holidays thing. I don't know. The older I get, the more freakishly weird I get about holidays and tradition. My mother's corn pudding--I can't stand it. It's corn and it's pudding and in no universe I have lived in, written, or read about should corn be involved in anything called a pudding, but she makes noise like she won't make it I'm in tears. I was in literal tears about four years ago when the subject of a Thanksgiving Roast was broached (to this day, no one has ever dared so much as breathe that a turkey won't be on our table. Fear of Me is strong here.) It's Thanksgiving. There will be turkey, there will be cranberry sauce, there will be rolls and butter and a cherry pie and godforsaken corn pudding and by God, that's how it is. And gerkin pickles, apple rings, and green bean casserole. There will be all day grazing later, in which I pretend that I have no food rules, mix my dressing and turkey and cranberry sauce on a roll, dump it in a bowl of gravy, and *enjoy*.

It's got to be the food. When you're a kid, you eat your own weight at the speed of sound. You can't really *love* it like an adult can, who lives with carbohydrates and fear of hypertension and the word cholestrol hovering in the air. Then it's almost a fetish. You look upon the Thanksgiving table and pretend that you don't know any multisyllable health words and just enjoy it. Revel in it.

Then again, I have similar reactions to the mention of candy, chocolate, and coffee, so maybe it's just me.

In other, less intersting, but strangely entrancing news, I am getting vaguely attached to the copier/fax/printer we have at work. I have low tolerance for multifunction devices--they seem to break too often and one function goes, everything goes. But this sucker makes faxing easy. And it has a touch screen, and I love touch screens. I may be pickng up a sadly understandable fetish for office equiptment.

I haven't talked a lot about my job these days becuause there's nothign to say. I mean, the bathrooms are *amazing* and always have sufficient toilet paper, there is hot water like there is no tomorrow, hand lotion for use after, paper towels that absorb, and the stalls allow one room to well, do your thing. And you see why I started talking about the bathrooms as a highlight of my day, becuase I'm bored out of my mind. And I don't say that lightly, because I make boredom an art, but the best part of today was the thirty-something page letter we got from someone who is actually crazy, in the needs-medication-now way. I wish I could transcribe this sucker, because it was--beyond stream of thought surreal. This is stream of thought surreal after a hit of acid and some shroom action. I read every word, hypnotized. I can't even prove there were sentences. But wow.

Work is boring, yes, and I suppose after a year and a half of frantic activity, that's not the worst thing in history ever. But I honestly have one of those jobs that has no reason to exist. On the other hand, I spend all my free time--and it is a *lot*--replotting everything I have ever written, and I was actually sitting there, sketching out the HTML and CSS to recode my site on a pad, because it would take longer than typing. And require the aid of a cryptologist to read.

Many and varied are the reasons I type everything I can, and speed is a lot of it, but also the fact I cannot cannot cannot write legibly to save my life.

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I cooked my first turkey today, and all I could think about when I was doing the stuffing was, "This is so wrong. I am shoving bread crumbs and lettuce and onions up a dead turkey's ass. This is soooo wrong!"
My mom kept asking what I was giggling about.

*snorts* I'm totally with you. This will be my first turkey too.

I kept thinking, will this help me understand some genres of slash better?

Then I realized what I was thinking and thought about crying for a little while.

LOL! The really sad thing is, I kept thinking, "Gods, Rodney would be having a fit, and John would be teasing him no end!"
How sad is that?

i am about to start my BRINING experience in a couple hours (don't even asking me why it has to happen at two in the morning, long story). this is the first time i've a) cooked an entire turkey and b) brined the turkey before cooking it, and i was trepedacious before, but, oy, now i'm sort of terrified. i'm using, um, salt, crushed chilis and panela, and i read somewhere about just putting the whole business in a very sturdy garbage bag becauuse i don't have a bowl/bucket/item that's big enough. eh? eh? best of luck to you in your murky indeavour, of course.

*raises hand* I'm jenn and I, too, am a virgin to the brine. Garbage bag works. We got an industrial plastic paint bucket. I'm pretty much terrified about what I'm going to see when I open it in the morning.

Go with God, my friend, and if you stuff, try not to connect it to any slash stories you've read recently or you will never, ever be able to look a turkey in teh eye again.

In my endless quest to avoid washing any dishes on Thanksgiving day, I function as my mother's assistant in all Thanksgiving cooking and we do brining as well - for the last few years, in fact. Except ours is white sugar, salt, all spice berries, cloves of garlic, juniper berries, allspice berries and thyme. And the garbage bag totally works - we do garbage bag inside bucket, really - and then, you know, leave in the basement all day since the basement/warehouse area functions as a refrigerator.

Do you do the quick cooking thing as well? We do this thing where it's only in the oven 2 hours and 5 minutes and yet it is never dry. Or undercooked.

*memories under "reason #76 why I love Seperis"*

For the record, Greg does all the cooking. Usually this is a good thing, however... two years ago, he did not listen to thawing directions and we had 1 1/2 inches of cooked turkey surrounding salmonella DOOM. Last year, he did not listen to "shop before Wednesday" advice and while the turkey did fully cook, half of it went to waste because all they had left in the stores on Wednesday were the MOTHERFUCKING HUGE ones. This year, he shopped early, thawed thoroughly, and cooked it today to leave the oven open for other dishes tomorrow.

But we have not attempted brining. *fears*

(On the stuffing issue? I... Food 911 scarred me for life, for life. Tyler Florence is such a good (also hot) Southern boy, so watching him in the kitchen of his father's Baptist church skewering the ends of pork roasts, widening the holes with his fingers, and then jamming in a pastry bag and squeezing to fill the hole with fruit stuffing... SCARRED. Also, I fell clear off the couch laughing.)

*chokes* OMG that is--I don't even have *words*. But your description is traumatzing enough.

*memories under "reason #76 why I love Seperis"*

You mean my plunge into necrophiliac bestiality fisting? Yeah. I'm going to go lie down and carefully cry. Perhaps talk to myself.

It's just--I have been a slasher too long. Even dinner is no longer sacred.

"Really work your fingers in there, stretch it out good...."

I think I just love you for the whole thing: the trauma, food issues, hatred for corn pudding and all.

You know, that could be the title for a very cracked out AU fic.Just saying!
Good luck with the brine. I tried it with pork once and it was not successful but you sound a lot more thorough than I was. Let us know how it works.

I sympathize with the traumatic brining experience, but oh my ... *cracks up* why you gotta make the trauma hilarious? I'm in charge of making the desserts, and grumbled throughout the 6 messy hours of chocolate-melting, egg-beating horror this evening. Now I'm going to go hug my flour-covered oven and be secretly grateful.

wtf? I'm *coughs loudly * a lot older than you peeps and never * once* have I ever bri ned a turkey.

This is why I only buy Kosher turkys. They don't need to be brined. The koshering process achieves the same affect and a rabbi somewhere or something does it for me.

Baby. You and me, we're together on this. I'm not so much with the corn pudding, but every single year my mom starts whinging on about how she's not going to make the green bean casserole and I flip out. Because you cannot HAVE Thanksgiving without green bean casserole, man! It's axiomatic! Even this year, when I'm not even at home, when my dad called I was like, "Did she make it?" and he assured me that she had, so all was well.

Tradition is key.

There was brining this year for us as well. I-- when birds take over the planet, there will be trials and we will all be named as war criminals.

Possibly public flogging. Or maybe public brining?

I mean-- god. Who rips off somebody's neck and shoves it up their ass?

In a partially related sort of thing, the turkey was fantastic. I will see if I can interrogate until victorious request the recipe for you.

And you see why I started talking about the bathrooms as a highlight of my day, becuase I'm bored out of my mind. And I don't say that lightly, because I make boredom an art, but the best part of today was the thirty-something page letter we got from someone who is actually crazy, in the needs-medication-now way.

Made any cheese arches yet? :-)

hmmm. Jumping from one thought to another is a symtom of schizophrenia. Or ADHD. One slightly more serious than the other.

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