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The mountains up near Winthrop, Washington

Here’s a shot of where we were last week. That’s what took us out of town and left our bird in the freezer. But now, finally it’s turkey time. I’ve got it all, including a wonderful order of green beans, shallots, stuffing mix, carrots, celery and oysters. Not to mention a turkey from Abundant Acres Farm in Toledo, Washington. Not only is my family coming over, but it’s one of my best friend’s birthdays. Not that celebration really needs an occasion, but it helps.

Next week’s box is full of fresh farm goodness –

Russet Potatoes
Romaine Lettuce
Rainbow Chard
Navel Oranges
Honey Tangerines
D’anjou Pears
Braeburn Apples

I’m thinking of things that will go with turkey leftovers, so a Mexican hominy soup sounds tasty, especially with the cilantro and avocados. Organically grown cilantro has a stronger flavor, which for a coriander lover, such as myself is great. Though others that may not be so disposed may want to lessen the amount some.

Another thing I’d like to do is an arugula and citrus salad, maybe with one of the tangerines and the other avocado. Arugula has such a great peppery flavor that pairs well with the slight sweetness and tartness of citrus, especially when tempered by a bit of honey.

Russet potatoes mean I might just need to take another swing at gnocci. The last ones I made were good, especially with the spinach, but were still dense. This time I’m going to put them through a food mill and use rainbow chard that has been steamed quickly but well drained and see if I can get another, lighter version.

Broccolini is great just sauteed as a side or tossed on the grill and seared. This may just have to share a plate with straight up turkey leftovers, mashed potatoes and gravy. I’m hungry already.

I’ve got quite a build up of fruit lately, so might trade out my apples and pears for more greens. I seriously cannot eat enough kales, chards, and now that arugula is back it’s time for some pie – and by that I mean pizza!

I was going to take a picture of my turkey in brine this morning, but I was running late. So instead I’ll share my brine recipe. It’s extremely simple, as brining should be, and can basically evolve to match any wild flavors you feel inclined to throw at it.

1 gallon water
1 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 T molasses
3 bay leaves
2 T peppercorns, whole
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t coriander, whole
1/2 t allspice, whole
2 apples, cut in chunks
2 T truffle salt (optional)

Put half the water in a large pot, add salt, sugar and molasses. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. When boiling add all spices and remove from heat. Let sit and cool for 30 minutes. While you prep your turkey. Add remainder of water, I used half water and half ice to help it cool the brine quickly. The brine should be tepid by this point, add truffle salt. Place turkey in a large pot, breast side down, fill with brine and place in refrigerator. Brine for 8-16 hours depending on size. This will make enough brine for a 14-16 pound bird. For larger or smaller amounts keep the ratio of salt to water, but everything else can be approximated.

Wish me luck. I should have some great pictures for you next week!