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I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving with all of the food, friends, and family you knew what to do with! LOL

I want you to know how thankful I am for you.

Thank you for being a part of my tribe!

I love being able to share with you. Whether it’s a health challenge, a fun new gadget, a funny story, or a moment of sadness, we are here TOGETHER! We definitely cannot do life alone, so thank you for coming along on this journey with me!

I want to know about the traditional recipes you made, the new recipes you tried, the funny things that happened and a memory that you made!

We always do this Brined Turkey recipe every year (at least for the last 10-15 years). I sometimes try to talk the family into trying something new, but they always seem disappointed, so we end up making it again! But, IT IS DELICIOUS, so I don’t mind!

I think it may also be something to do with the coke in the recipe too! If you know me, you know… I don’t drink soda or keep it in the house… so they get their fix at Thanksgiving time! LOL

I also make the same dressing (stuffing) every year. My mom’s recipe has been handed down, so it’s a tradition that we love to continue.

I wanted to share our tradition with you, so maybe you can try it at Christmas or next year!

Brined Maple Turkey with Cream Gravy


Brine Ingredients:

8 quarts water (4 cups=1 quart)

3/4 cup sea salt

3/4 cup maple syrup

3 Tablespoons black peppercorns

8 garlic cloves, crushed

1 lemon, thinly sliced


1 12-pound fresh or thawed frozen turkey

1 cup coke (Zevia)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme

1 Tablespoon dried rubbed sage

1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 onions, quartered

Gravy Ingredients:

2 cups or more of chicken broth (from the giblets and the turkey)

1/2 stick butter

2 Tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


To Prepare brine:

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large stockpot, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove and reserve giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold water. Pat dry. Trim excess fat. Add turkey to pot (or large cooler), turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning occasionally.

The next day:

Preheat oven to 375'.

Bring coke and 1/2 cup syrup to a boil in a small saucepan—Cook for 1 minute. Turn off and let sit.

Next, Combine thyme, sage, poultry seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Remove turkey from brine. Pat dry. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks. Rub thyme mixture under loosened skin and sprinkle inside the body cavity.

Place 4 garlic cloves and onions in the body cavity.

Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over the back. Tuck under turkey. Place turkey on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert a meat thermometer into the meaty part of a thigh, not touching the bone—Bake at 375' for 45 minutes.

Pour cola mixture over turkey. Cover with foil. Bake an additional 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the thermometer registers 180'.

Remove turkey from pan, reserving drippings for gravy. Place turkey on a platter. Cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove twine and discard skin.

Prepare gravy while turkey bakes, combine reserved giblet and neck and the broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain mixture through a colander into a bowl, discarding solids.

Add 1/2 stick of butter to skillet and mix in 2 Tablespoons flour. Stir, stir, stir.

Add broth and continue to stir.

Bring to a boil—Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Mom's Stuffing Recipe


5 to 6 cups cornbread (1pkg seasoned stuffing)

1 cup celery

1 cup onions

2-3 teaspoons sage