Thanksgiving 2011 Extravaganza!

Here in America, this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, which also happens to be my favorite holiday. It’s food-centric, takes place during my favorite season (and I don’t mean football season…), involves being near the ones you love, and our loud noise machine of a culture hasn’t figured out how to completely prostitute this day for profit. Except those wily heritage turkey breeders…I just paid out the nose for an heirloom turkey! That bird better taste good.

And chances are, it will. I’m trying out a new recipe this year, but that should be beside the point. To me, it’s all about technique, because you should be able to season that bird in nothing but salt and have it come out tasting great.

The Techniques

How, you ask? The secret is brining. If you don’t brine your turkey, there is no compound butter in the universe that can save it. The gist is this—bathe the sucker in salted water for 24-48 hours before the big day. You can add herbs and flavorings to the brine, but that’s really beside the point. It’s all about the salt.

I also roast it tented with tinfoil until the last 30 minutes of roasting. Then the skin can get nice and crispy, but the meat stays moist.

The Menu

I’m trying Cider-Brined-and-Glazed Turkey this year, minus the stuffing of course. I have some local, unsweetened apple cider for the brine and glaze.

Then Bourbon-Pecan Sweet Potato Mash. The original is with walnuts, but I’m doing pecans.

Just some steamed or roasted broccolini for the obligatory green veg. Bathed in organic, pastured butter.

Some homemade cranberry sauce. I’ve seen several recipes online, but I think I’ll just wing it with some orange zest and juice, some honey, and maybe some ginger if I’m feeling fancy.

Two desserts: this pumpkin pie (though I may sub one of Elana’s pie crusts) and something else. I haven’t decided yet…I was thinking Elana’s spice cake with pears on top. But I can’t decide if I should do something chocolatey…let’s put it to a vote!

The Verdict

I’m excited for my first Primal Thanksgiving. As far as the food goes, I consider this day my culinary Super Bowl. I’m aiming for decadent and gluttonous, but Primal-compliant.

I have much to be thankful for this past year. My family, my friends, my life. The restoration of myself, my health, my vitality, my sanity. A professional spark that allows me to put all this lifestyle and nutrition knowledge to use for others. The confidence to run a strenuous race and to wear a bikini again. A renewed sense of engagement with my life.

What about you?

What’s your menu this Thanksgiving Day? And for what are you grateful this holiday season?

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