Thanks to Sicorra @Tackling Our Debt for organizing today’s blogging party post! You can check out the entries from all the participants back at Tackling Our Debt.
As a child of immigrant parents, we did not celebrate Christmas as part of our ethnic culture. However, my parents were always proud to say that we were Canadian first and everything else second. They jumped wholeheartedly into the Christmas tradition, putting up a tree, lights, and even personalized stockings by the fireplace.
There were some dull spots, to be sure. No one liked going over to my uncle’s for Christmas dinner and my mom never liked seeing piles of wrapping paper destined for the recycling bin. But all in all, my memories are hazy and pleasant.
However, my favourite memories of Christmas definitely came later as an adult. After I met Brian, I was introduced to the wonders of turkey. Up until then, I had only ever had slices of turkey on sandwiches or as part of a restaurant meal. My family never made a turkey for Christmas! After enjoying a holiday dinner at Brian’s parents’ one year, I excitedly told my family that we should do our own turkey.
For my mom, cooking a turkey sounded like a wonderful novelty. My dad was intrigued by the mechanics of cooking a giant bird. Now, keep in mind, my parents are not the most internet savvy people. They’ve gotten quite a bit better over the years, but they don’t generally mount a massive google search when they want to do something like cook a turkey. But they assured me that everything was under control and that they could handle it, no problem.
When I arrived for dinner, the turkey was in a giant bucket of 7-Up, sprinkled with a few orange halves.
Uh mom… what’s going on.
Well, apparently, they had heard of the dry turkey phenomenon and decided to remedy it with a brine. A 7-Up brine. To this day, I am not sure where it occurred to them to use 7-Up. After soaking, they removed the turkey and proceeded to empty the contents of their herb drawer into a bowl full of butter and stuffed the aforementioned butter into the turkey. They added a few oranges into the cavity for good measure (“Why not!” remarked my dad) and put the whole thing into the oven.
Keep in mind, this was their first attempt at making a turkey… ever! I was somewhat skeptical.
Three hours later, out came the bird. It was browned. It sizzled. We cut into it… And it was good… damn good! Even Brian had to admit that it was one of the best turkeys he’s every had. Moist, sweet and flavourful. Who would have thought!
Ever since that one random venture into turkey cooking, my family has made a turkey each Christmas. Their recipe is actually the basis of the turkey recipe that Brian and I use at home. And to this day, my parents continue to brine their turkey in 7-Up. *shrugs*