Okay, there wasn’t as much madness at the Park Slope Food Coop on the day before Thanksgiving as one might have thought. In the early afternoon, there was hardly a line. Three people stood in the express line, a dozen or so in the regular line. Everyone was polite and courteous. What kind of pre-Thanksgiving shopping experience is that?
Perhaps people were tired from the exhaustive lines anticipating and in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Or maybe people have left for the long weekend, and it is only those who stuck around who are patronizing the Coop. Or it might be that people have done their holiday shopping early. In any case, the Coop is no madhouse.
That is, it’s no madhouse unless you want a turkey. Then you’re in deep trouble. No turkeys to be found. Even ground turkey meat was in short supply. Last-minute turkey seekers hopefully went to DiPaola’s at the special day-before-Thanksgiving Greenmarket at GAP, which is now, sadly, closed.
The lines may be longer this evening, but judging from today’s anemic turnout, you should be okay. The Coop is open for shopping tomorrow from 8am until 2:30pm. The office, however, is closed.
If you bought a frozen turkey yesterday or today, here’s a way to defrost it overnight.
How are you making your turkey? If you want to avoid dry white meat, brining is a good option. My favorite brine is 1 cup of table salt, 4 or 5 smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of sugar, and dried spices, like rosemary or a bay leaf. Combine with a half gallon of boiling water to dissolve sugar and salt. Let it cool. Put the turkey in a vessel which can contain it, like a large pot or, worst case scenario, a couple of garbage bags. Pour in the flavored water and fill the container the rest of the way with cold water. Let brined turkey sit in the refrigerator for a day.
To cook: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Take the turkey out of the brine and put it in a roasting pan. Cover with spices, like herbs de Provence. Follow cooking directions (stuffed turkeys take longer) – but don’t feel compelled to baste the turkey. The brine will keep the moisture in.
When the turkey reaches the right internal temperature, take it out and let it sit for 20 minutes before carving.