So a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, my local grocery store was offering a free 9 lb turkey with the purchase of a ham.  I wasn’t certain at that point if I’d be making my own Thanksgiving dinner without my mom and sister, so I went ahead and got the ham (and the turkey!).  I knew I’d plan to cook the ham around Christmas or New Year’s, but wasn’t sure what I’d do with the turkey.

When it turned out that mom and sis were planning to have dinner in town and not out at my sister’s place (like they did last year), I thought I’d offer my turkey to the family dinner.  But sis had other plans, wanting to get a smoked turkey instead.

So the turkey sat in my freezer.  And sat.  And sat.  The ham got cooked in the week after Christmas, and the ham bone went into my New Year’s Day 15-bean soup (so yummy!).  And the turkey was still in the freezer.  Out it came, and into the fridge to defrost.

Yesterday was a very busy day for me and the girls – no time to cook a turkey.  Today, on the other hand…  That turkey needs to be cooked, or it will go bad.  So today’s the day.

I’ve never roasted a turkey before, so my first step was to look online for some directions.  I found many sites that had tips and suggestions, and I think they’re all quite helpful, if occasionally conflicting (to brine or not to brine, to baste or not to baste, whether or not to rub butter on the outside of the skin or just under the skin…).

I just put the turkey into the oven about 30 minutes ago, and I’ve got some side dishes to prepare for dinner (which is probably about 3 hours away, given time for the turkey to rest after it’s cooked).  I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out, and I’ll share my report with you.