One very good reason for not doing a practice-run Christmas is that it leaves you in absolutely no mood for actual Christmas. I've had enough of Christmas, now. And certainly had enough of leftovers. God turkey is such nasty stuff.
It doesn't help that it was buggered and all my fault. We brined it, you see, and I bumptiously insisted that the quantity of salt doesn't matter and just poured a lot into the brine willy-nilly. Some ghastly chemical reaction must have taken place because it was dry as a bone.
Although what we did learn from it, is that it doesn't matter if your turkey is dry, because once you slap it on a hot plate and cover it with a lot of gravy (which you will have) and a lot of bread sauce (ditto) it doesn't matter.
But, as my husband said, there's no point in it actually being dry, so if you are going to do a brine this year, make sure you do the exact measurements the recipe recommends. For example Nigella says 6 litres of water and 250g sea salt, like Maldon or 125g table salt, like Saxo. Then other flavours you want to add to the brine are up to you - parsley, bay leaves, allspice berries, mace blades, garlic, whatever. Nigella, again, recommends a star anise but just personally I think it makes everything taste like a Chinese takeaway.
And then beyond that, with turkey, it all just gets too mind-bending what with the Shall We Cook The Legs Separately Or Not? question. And the How Much Longer Should I Cook It If It's Got Stuffing In It? conundrum and THEN there's the thing about temperatures and whether or not you've got a fan oven. And by then, I have to confess, I feel like I am back in double History before lunch and can barely keep my eyes open.
So really the purpose of this post is to say: it's anyone's bloody guess. Have a fair crack. Try not to get bogged down in detail. Don't be scared because even if it's burnt to a crisp the gravy and bread sauce will save the day.
I told you I was bored.