I’m sure you are all tired of my tips every year, but I’ll say it again: if you plan to brine your turkey, you need to start right away, probably today. Wednesday night, take it out of the brine, rinse it, blot it dry, and let it air-dry in the ice box overnight before roasting. This will solve the rubbery-y skin conundrum that brining the turkey brings.
(My brine: besides the salt/sugar uses juniper berries, bay leaves, and a smokey dried pepper.)
Also/Too: if you do brine your turkey, it assuredly will produce very salty pan juices for making gravy. You should plan to make gravy by another means (dark roux, baby!), but I can assure you that a succulent, well-seasoned turkey is worth the extra thoughtfulness required when it comes to making a more deliberate gravy.
(And once again, I am making Julia Child’s deconstructed turkey, which is flawless and cooks in about half the time. This also lets me make the turkey stock tonight so I will have it for the gravy on Thursday.)
If you plan to make a stuffing for the turkey, consider cutting up the bread a day or two in advance. The drier the stuffing, the more moisture from the turkey it will be able to absorb. I will be baking a very plain cornbread tomorrow to become the basis of the stuffing.
And of course, Tante Marie gives us the best advice of all: Put the f***ing bird in the oven:
I mention these things only because I am doing them too. This year, I’m having an new friend over for dinner who is more-or-less as a consultant in the Seattle food world, and while I’m not doing anything particularly unusual, I hope that what I do make will be unusually good.