Amid the joyous hubbub of Thanksgiving Day, you can practically feel the excitement in the air as holiday preparations are in full swing. The lively conversations and laughter of loved ones, the cheerful sounds of pots and pans clinking, and the irresistible aromas wafting from the kitchen create an atmosphere of warmth and togetherness.
But among all these sensory delights, there’s one secret ingredient that truly elevates the Thanksgiving feast at our home… My dad’s custom Turkey Rub. It seriously transforms the turkey into the masterpiece at our family Thanksgiving.
I recently sat down with my dad, the mastermind behind this exceptional turkey rub that has our family and guests returning for seconds and, in some cases, thirds of his juicy and delicious turkey.
I asked him about the origins of his passion for creating custom dry rubs, and he surprised me by taking me on a journey through his culinary history.
He shared, “This Emily is the most fun question for me. Back in the day, my father loved to grill. He did not have a fancy grill, just cement blocks and a simple grill setup. He worked for Pearce Packing Co. out of Billings, Montana, and as a result, we always had a steady supply of steaks.”
My dad’s upbringing was not limited to just steaks, as he fondly reminisced, “My father also raised rabbits, and we always had rabbit to eat. It tastes like chicken.”
These family meals, prepared by his father, left a lasting impression on my dad, as his father would mop the meat with vinegar. He added, “I mean mop! He would sprinkle on salt and pepper, but the mopping and smell of the vinegar was a major part of his SHOW. There were no fancy rubs involved. The use of vinegar came from his family roots in Texas.”
Dad revealed that as he grew older, his desire for more than just vinegar, salt and pepper on his meat led him to experiment with various ingredients and rubs. Although he admitted to facing numerous failures in his early attempts, these experiences were vital in shaping his culinary journey.
He mentioned his turning point came when he served in the National Guard, where his fellow buddies introduced him to their own homemade rubs. He shared, “These rubs featured an array of spices, including paprika, cumin, coriander, and more. It was during this time that my love for dry rubs truly flourished, and I began to explore, creating the perfect blend.”
As he and my mom have ventured abroad over the years to immerse themselves in various cultures and their culinary traditions, my dad always seeks out different grilling techniques and rubs. “We have a custom rub which I blend from what I learned in Bulgaria,” he proudly shared. “I could go on and on about rubs from various countries, and I honestly find immense joy in chatting with our customers at The Spice Tin about their own rubs. I’m always eager to learn from their experiences.”
My dad’s culinary journey, rooted in family traditions and ignited by the aroma of vinegar-infused grilled meats, has led to the creation of many of his own small-batched custom rubs that you can find at The Spice Tin…
However, for this story, we’re featuring his coveted Thanksgiving Turkey Rub.
When I asked him about the secrets of his famous Turkey Rub, he was pretty tight-lipped and only shared some key ingredients that make it a standout.
He said, “The key to this rub is the Hungarian paprika. The stunning color and sweet flavor.”
He disclosed the Hungarian paprika combined with sage, mustard seeds, minced garlic, and onion powder transforms a Thanksgiving turkey into a succulent masterpiece.
However, when asked for more details, he said, “That’s it! No more information from me.” Keeping his finest ingredients and exact proportions a closely guarded secret.
Jan’s Turkey Rub has cultivated a loyal following, with customers eagerly awaiting its arrival each year. He said, “Normally, I begin blending it in November; however, this year, I had to begin creating my blend at the beginning of October since our customers were begging for it! I’m truly grateful for the loyal following this seasonal rub has.”
An eager and early customer for Jan’s Turkey Rub shared, “At the heart of every Thanksgiving table, the turkey is the centerpiece, and it’s no wonder that crafting the ideal bird can sometimes seem like a daunting endeavor. Fortunately, Jan’s Turkey Rub creates a flavorful, juicy turkey that will have your guests going back for seconds.”
And on a personal note…as we celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving, my dad shared his favorite part of the holiday, resonating with the sentiments of many, “It’s all about family. I cherish the moments spent watching my family come together in the kitchen, cooking, sharing laughter, and creating a symphony of sounds and aromas that truly embody the heartwarming essence of this special day.”
Dad, your dedication to perfecting the art of grilling and crafting exceptional rubs with the finest ingredients has made our Thanksgiving feasts unforgettable. It’s not just a seasoning; it’s a reflection of your passion and your love for family and tradition.
Your commitment to creating exceptional flavors has cultivated a tradition that extends far beyond our family, enriching the celebrations of your loyal customers and their loved ones. Thank you for sharing your passion with all of us.
Now, we extend an inviting hand to all of you, our cherished readers and loyal customers. We invite you to stop by The Spice Tin and buy a bag or two of Jan’s Turkey Rub. This seasonal blend is available in limited supply, so don’t miss out on the chance to elevate your Thanksgiving feast with the addition of this extraordinary rub—an infusion of both flavor and tradition.
Here’s to another wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter and extraordinary flavors.
With warmth & gratitude, Happy Thanksgiving!