Cooking Housewife Confessions

Cry Over Spilled Turkey Brine, Do Not.

I shouldn’t be writing this. Honestly I don’t have time to write this… but if I don’t there’s a good chance I’ll go completely insane. You see, a couple hours ago I was sitting in my kitchen floor covered in three gallons of homemade turkey brine… Actually, a majority of the brine was on my freshly mopped hardwood floors.

You see, I got up at 4:00 this morning to make three gallons of fresh, from scratch, apple-cider-orange-rosemary turkey brine for my 18-pound Thanksgiving turkey. My plan was to make the brine super early so my turkey could soak in it for 24 hours… My turkey would be ready for the oven at 6:00am tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day), absolutely perfect timing.

So, I made the brine, and it was flawless… Food Network Cooking Competition flawless. Then, while I waited for the brine to cool I made cornbread for my dressing, and fresh cranberry sauce. I was like a culinary rock star!


Next I put the turkey in a brining bag, and retrieved my brine from the refrigerator; perfectly, on schedule. Then, somehow, between the fridge and the countertop, the stock-pot and brine ended up on the ground… all of it. It was like an avalanche of apple cider, salt, and broken dreams.

I watched as orange peels, rosemary, and cracked peppercorns cascaded across my kitchen and living room… then, I watched, in shock, as my beagle puppy ran through it, tracking residual brine around the rest of the house. The brine levee had officially broken, along with my spirit.


As I sat there, in the floor, covered in salt, with a now empty stock-pot by my side, I asked God to give me patience… because if God had given me strength I would have thrown the stock-pot through the wall…

A lot of questions ran through my mind; (1) How in the world will I clean this up? (2) Can I order carry-out fried chicken for Thanksgiving dinner? (3) How am I gonna clean this up? (4) Why is the dog rolling in it? (5) Why haven’t I stopped the dog?

But then my questions were immediately replaced with laughter. You see, my beagle puppy ate some peppercorns off the floor, and started sneezing uncontrollably.

So, I sat there… in the floor… half crying… half laughing… holding a sneezing puppy… both of us covered in brine.


Then I rallied… Like a Housewife Champion! I cleaned up the brine with rags, gave the puppy a bath, and mopped the floor. The cat even came out of hiding to visit and laugh at me…


… then I put on clean clothes, said a prayer, and started over on the brine.


And this time, the brine made it inside the bag…


Sure, the turkey won’t soak for 24 hours… and it might end up being a culinary failure that rivals a National Lampoons movie… But no one ever remembers the turkey, right?

When my family and friends gather tomorrow we will eat turkey, sure… and it could be fabulous turkey, or it might be awful turkey… but that doesn’t matter, not really. What matters is that we pray together and love each other… that’s what they’ll remember. Hopefully.

But, now I’m way behind schedule… so I guess I’ll get back to it. God Bless.

Sincerely, the Uncustomary Housewife

5 comments on “Cry Over Spilled Turkey Brine, Do Not.

  1. Sidney JANE bailey

    Sounds like a scene from Saturday night live….but you can’t make this stuff up….my Mom caught the oven on fire one time and a friend was there and he thew baking soda all over her turkey …ruined the bird…she cried….I laughed….we had fried chicken instead…oh well..

  2. rackinghorse

    Not to worry! All will be perfect tomorrow as it always is! You Rock Girl !

  3. Madison McDonald

    I just did this…but it was after it brined overnight… so it had been sitting in the turkey for 12 hours…fun clean up

  4. I just had a similar fail. My husband’s family celebrates Thanksgiving the Saturday before. His grandmother asked me to take over making one of the two 25lb turkeys this year. Never have made a turkey before but she said, “You’re a great cook, you will do fine”. I researched online and found that it is best to brine a turkey. Great, I purchase the bag and a turkey and do all the prep for the turkey and the brine. I begin to fill the bag with brine and because no one is awake at this late hour to assist in holding this basically huge ziploc bag, the brine spills all over my countertop, drips into the drawers directly under the countertop, and all over my kitchen floor. Thankfully, I was able to grab the bag and seal the rest of the brine in the bag. Im taking a break from mopping the mess, thinking to myself why I didn’t just do this in my sink. My mind says that the roasting pan, that they say to put under the bag for support, is too big for the sink. Trying to convince myself that I didn’t have a choice, but to do it the way I did it and that it’s understandable why the situation played out like it did. I appreciated you sharing your story. I don’t feel so horrible now. I’m still a bit upset about all this cleaning I have to do before heading to bed.

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