Tenderizing Turkey: TOLT

I’m Thinking Out Loud about how grateful I am to my blogger friends (again), PRs (again, in case you missed it), and, of course, Bandit. Someday I’ll be able to stop posting updates on him because he’ll just be part of the pack!

Too busy to link up
Seriously, I was so busy all day on Thanksgiving that I never actually got around to linking up last week’s TOLT post (which you can read here, if you’re so inclined). I wrote it, I posted it, I just never got around to actually linking it.


How do coaches work?
It wasn’t that long ago, in a TOLT far away, that I wrote about my coach FOMO (you can find that post here).

The other day I was thinking again about some of my friends who have been so successful working with coaches (but I also know some who haven’t been as successful).

I got to thinking — is it really the workouts that are making the difference? Or just the fact that you have a cheerleader in your corner to push you and celebrate with you, or dissect the bad races for you?

We all know that racing is as much, if not more, about our mental game anyway. Just food for thought.

Remember when packing was easy?
Well, maybe never easy, but man, for a simple sport, running makes packing hard for me! If you follow me on IG, you know I’m a #shoeaddict. I usually try to keep it down to a couple of pairs + my running shoes.

But those running shoes take up a lot of space — and no, I actually don’t travel in them. Then there’s fuel, and water bottles, sports bras, my racebelt if it’s a racecation, a visor/hat/beanie . . . it seems like the list goes on and on and the space just disappears!

Guys, this might be TMI
You know how I’ve been saying I’ve been feeling meh, on and off, the last few weeks? Then there was the huge cystic pimple that erupted out of nowhere on Thanksgiving. Lovely timing (it’s still there). And a couple of days ago my boobs were sore.

Then it happened . . . my period started. Keep in mind I haven’t had a period since July 2015, although there was a tiny bit of spotting last year around this time, and it remains to be seen whether or not that’s all this is.

Keep in mind I’m also much closer to 55 than 54. And let’s not forget that the timing couldn’t be worse, what with traveling limiting access to bathrooms and a half to run.

But that at least explains why I’ve been having mild flu-like symptoms — I am one of the lucky ones that happens to before her period.

My simple Thanksgiving turkey recipe
I am not a turkey person, and neither is Mr. Judy. Although I really did enjoy that turkey sandwich on Monday . . . but I digress.

Turkey is also not my specialty, although I’ve made a few. I haven’t made a whole turkey for the last two Thanksgivings. I prefer to make a deconstructed turkey: a breast, several legs, and a couple of wings.

Takes less time to carve and you got your white meat and your dark meat (I’m #teamdarkmeat, by the way).

I don’t know how well this will work for a whole turkey, but it works for me and results in tender turkey:

  1. Brine the turkey the day before. Start the brine early in the morning — it takes forever to cool down and you don’t want to cook your turkey in the brine. I bought brining mix and bags in the grocery store, by the way — trust me, the brining bags are worth it. Much heavier duty and larger than ziplocs.
  2. Take turkey out of the brine, wash the brine off, and pat dry.
  3. Smear with butter.
  4. Season with poultry seasoning and some sea salt.
  5. Put into pans and back in the fridge overnight.
  6. Take turkey out to come to room temperature at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 (my oven is weird — for most ovens 350 is probably good).
  8. Put in the breast (I had a 5 1/2 lb breast) about 2 1/2 hours before serving. Pour in a little chicken broth into the pan — just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  9. After half an hour, put in the legs and wings (also with a little chicken broth in the pans).
  10. Check after an hour or so to make sure the skin isn’t browning too fast; if it is, cover with foil.
  11. Take everything out of the oven when done and cover with foil about 10-15 minutes before slicing/serving.

While this may seem like a lot of steps, it really isn’t. And everyone commented that the turkey wasn’t dry.

Something is better than nothing
It is oh-so-easy this time of year to believe that if you can’t do your regular, full length workout, it’s better to do no workout at all.

Many of my workouts are quite short. That’s why I can get multiple workouts into one day. 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there . . . you’d be surprised at how just a little bit can keep your fitness going.

Next time you’re tempted to skip that run or workout because you can’t finish what’s on your schedule, don’t! Do something:

Trust me, by New Year’s, if you follow my advice, you’ll be thanking me.

So far, so good, except Bandit keeps taking Lola’s beds!

Bandit update: Thanksgiving edition
I talked briefly about Bandit and Thanksgiving in this week’s Weekly Wrap (you can read that here).

Mr. Judy had the dogs gated into our downstairs when my family arrived. Lots of barking, of course, which is fine. After coats had been taken and people had settled in, I had Mr. Judy bring up Bandit, on leash.

I could see that he was doing just fine, so I had Mr. Judy take the leash off. Of course we’ve traded growling at people for jumping up on them for attention, but the tail was wagging and he seemed just fine with very tall people and very old people and canes and everything in between.

My BIL, unfortunately, spent some time teasing him. Most of this I didn’t see, because of course I was busy in the kitchen much of the day. Apparently he pulled his tail at some point — I don’t know how hard — but aside from a yelp, nothing happened. In fact, later Bandit was sitting on my BIL’s lap; and my BIL was handling his paws. I asked him not to do that, since most dogs are very sensitive about their paws, but he continued to do it.

This was the first day we allowed Bandit on the furniture since that first week way back in July when we got him — when he growled and lunged at both Gizmo and Lola while on furniture. He was fine, and seemed to lap up the extra attention.

Again I didn’t see this incident, but apparently my Dad started to get up at one point and my BIL got up very quickly and Bandit barked at him. Everyone assures me that that’s all that happened. My BIL is about 6′ tall, by the way, and you know I’m short — as is Mr. Judy.

I’m giving Bandit an A-. We are slowly moving along with allowing him more freedom in the house. We don’t keep him off furniture anymore (except one recliner and our bed), although sometimes he still chooses to curl up in his bed on the floor near the couch. Other times he does use the bed on the couch. As long as he isn’t guarding it (and so far he isn’t, knock on wood), I’m fine with that.

When I’m downstairs, though, I still gate the stairs so he has to stay downstairs with me. I don’t want him wandering around upstairs solo yet, especially since I don’t want him on the bed right now (maybe never, we’ll have to see how it goes). When I’m upstairs, though, he doesn’t go downstairs, so he can be where he wants to be.

Gizmo has been dealing well with Bandit so far, too

The only problem with gating the stairs is that Gizmo’s litter boxes are downstairs, although he’s realized he can get on the little shelf by the stairs, go to his cat tree, and jump down from there. It’s still not ideal, but it’s working for us now. For a young cat it wouldn’t be a big deal, but he is 15 and he does have some arthritis.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Any turkey cooking secrets you care to share?

Have you considered hiring a running coach?

What stops you if you considered hiring a coach, but haven’t?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

3 thoughts on “Tenderizing Turkey: TOLT

  1. No, to all the questions. Doesn’t it suck to think you are done with periods and then one shows up?Boo!! At least I hope that’s all it is. Yay for Bandit doing so well….an A- is very good. BIL gets a much lower grade from me. I’m glad that Lola and Gizmo are doing well with Bandit, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As far as coaching goes, everybody is different so everybody brings something/needs something different from the relationship. I’ve had several coaches and trainers. They’ve all been beneficial. Some moreso than others, probably due to chemistry. Totally agree with you that brine is where it’s at with turkey.
    Sorry your BIL teased Bandit. I can’t imagine an adult doing that.


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