I don't know if you can tell much about what's going on in this photo, but that's my Thanksgiving turkey inside two turkey-size Reynolds oven bags. It’s been on brine since Monday. (Brining = soaking in a mixture of water, salt, maple syrup, turkey stock, herbs, and spices.) My plan is to brine for 48 hours, drain, pat dry, and chill it uncovered overnight tonight. Then I’ll cook it tomorrow.

There’s just one hitch: I’m driving to Texas today. It’s an eight-hour drive from Birmingham, AL to Longview, TX, and that’s where I plan to cook the bird.

It’s a big enough undertaking just to brine a 12-pound turkey. For example, I had to remove a shelf from my refrigerator to make room for my largest roasting pan, the only vessel I own that’s large enough to contain the floating fowl. I tried it in two different stock pots and various coolers I had, but in the end I lost sleep over the bird hovering in the danger zone—above 40 degrees—for various reasons.

Now there’s the issue of transporting it across three states. For that I purchased a new larger cooler on wheels. The car and cooler are packed and I’m shoving off for my turkey day adventure.  I’ll check in with updates along the way.

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