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And so it begins

Brining the turkey

As disgusting as it might look, this turkey in a brown sugar, cayenne, garlic, and dijon mustard brine smells wonderful. J.P. and I are hosting Thanksgiving for the very first time tomorrow, and the turkey has to go for a little swim before we plop it into the deep fryer for its 44 minutes of cooking.

We've been scouring magazines, cookbooks, and the web in search of good recipes. And I hope we've found some that will please our guests. One of them is a friend I've known for more than 30 years. We grew up together in Minnesota and then moved in different directions, she to Seattle and San Diego, and I to Pennsylvania. But now we live within 30 minutes of each other, and I'm really glad we'll be able to get together.

But see, our tastes have changed a bit since we were kids. She's bringing pumpkin curry soup. I can only imagine what my uncles would say if a bowl of steaming pumpkin curry soup were set in front of them.

I emailed her last week, because I wasn't sure where she stood on the cranberry issue. Should I go for nostalgia and the can-shaped glob with the indentations? Or would she be looking for a more Martha-esque version of the old standby? Her response: "Martha all the way. This is the northeast!"

Toto, we're not in Minnesota anymore.

Wish J.P. and me luck. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Oh, and stop by on Friday for some leftovers, wouldja?
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