Get ready for Thanksgiving with brined and butter-basted turkey

Thanksgiving turkey

Because Thanksgiving will be with us in less than four weeks, we wanted to give you a recipe we found in Field to Feast for Linda Hart’s Herb Butter-Basted Turkey. This wonderful book was copyrighted in 2012 by Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand, and Heather McPherson.

Linda Hart grew up on a farm near Paris, Texas, where home-cured bacon, fresh eggs, and raw milk were the usual fare on the breakfast table. Her first chickens, a trio of bantams, were acquired when she was six. In 4-H, she showed rabbits and beef cattle. After high school, she pursued a career in surgical nursing and later attended Texas A&M University for preveterinary studies.

Her career brought her to Florida and a chance to return to her farming roots. “Sustainable agriculture is how I wanted to farm but at the time we didn’t even have a name for it.”

Today, Linda Hart’s Crazy Hart Ranch in Fellsmere produces pasture-raised poultry, including heritage-breed turkeys, using sustainable farming methods. Animals are raised humanely in a natural environment, and the result is a superior quality and taste.

Joan Taylor’s Sweet Potato Casserole looks wonderful. It will be a great dish to serve with your Thanksgiving turkey or ham. We thank the Apopka Historical Society for sharing this recipe in Preserving the Big Potato.

Ginny’s Potatoes is a recipe from Mary Land Miller in Preserving the Big Potato. We think you will love this dish.

Savannah Style is one of the cookbooks in which we find sublime recipes. The Chart House Bleu Cheese Dressing is one of those recipes, and we present it to you here. Thanksgiving is deserving of this wonderful dressing. The recipe calls for “scant” partial teaspoons of ingredients. That just means a little less than full measure.

Louise Ustler’s recipe for Double Layer Pumpkin Pie is taken from Northside Baptist Church’s book of recipes. It looks wonderful, and it really doesn’t take that long to prepare. Refrigerate the pie for four hours before serving.




Recipe from Field to Feast

1 (14- to 15-pound) pasture-raised turkey, rinsed (giblets discarded)

1 cup coarse salt

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

3 fresh or 2 dried bay leaves

6 whole sprigs fresh thyme

3 large sprigs fresh rosemary

2 gallons cool water

4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

1 cup homemade or good-quality organic chicken stock

Place turkey in a large, deep stockpot or another large, lidded vessel that will hold it snugly. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Lightly crush thyme and rosemary sprigs with your fingers, then add them to the mixture. Add water and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.

Pour brine over turkey. If needed, add additional brine until turkey is completely covered. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, combine butter, dill, thyme, sage, and stock in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove turkey from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Dry well with paper towels and place in a lightly oiled roasting pan.

Roast uncovered, for 30 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue roasting turkey for 2-1/2 hours or until an instant-read thermometer registers 161 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.

During the last hour of roasting, baste turkey with butter-broth mixture every 15 minutes.

Let turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving. Drizzle remaining butter-broth mixture over turkey before serving, if desired.

NOTE: Brining is one of the oldest methods of flavoring foods. The brine seasons meat and poultry right down to the bone and keeps it moist when cooking. If you find you need more brine, use 1/2 cup coarse salt and 1/4 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.



Recipe from

Apopka Historical Society’s

Preserving the Big Potato –

A Collection of Potato Recipes

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (canned, baked or boiled)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs or egg beaters

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup melted butter

Mix sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, milk and butter with blender or mixer and place in a buttered casserole dish.

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup melted butter

Mix brown sugar, flour, pecans, and butter and spread over top of sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



Recipe from

Apopka Historical Society’s

Preserving the Big Potato – A Collection of Potato Recipes

4 to 6 medium potatoes, russet or all purpose white

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 to 1/2 cup butter or margarine

Peel potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in cool water until ready to prepare.

Mix cheese and flour in a bag or large container. Melt butter in 2-quart casserole in low temperature oven. Drain potatoes and pat dry. Shake potatoes a few at a time in flour/cheese mixture. Place in casserole with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle any flour mixture that remains over potatoes. Stir a bit.

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until potatoes test done. Stir gently every 20 minutes. Stir before serving. 4 to 6 servings.



Recipe from Savannah Style, a Cookbook by The Junior League of Savannah, Inc.

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt, scant

1/3 teaspoon garlic powder, scant

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1-1/3 cups mayonnaise

4 ounces Danish bleu cheese

Blend all ingredients except mayonnaise and bleu cheese at low speed for two minutes. Add mayonnaise and blend 1/2 minute at low speed, then blend two minutes at medium speed. Crumble and add bleu cheese; blend at low speed no longer than four minutes. This dressing must sit 24 hours before serving. Refrigerate.

Comments: A specialty of The Chart House restaurant. Yield: 2-1/2 cups dressing.



Recipe from Northside Baptist Church cookbook

4 ounces cream cheese, softened (Philadelphia brand)

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1-1/2 cups Cool Whip

1 6-ounce Keebler Ready Crust graham cracker pie crust

Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Gently stir in Cool Whip. Spread on crust.

1 cup cold milk (or half-and-half)

1 16-ounce can pumpkin

2 packages (4 serving size) Jello instant pudding, vanilla flavor

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I use 1/2 teaspoon)

Pour milk into bowl. Add pumpkin, pudding and spices. Beat with wire whisk until well mixed. Mixture will be thick. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for four hours or until set. Serve with additional Cool Whip.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Refrigeration time: 4 hours