Thursday, November 25, 2010
Yesterday we drove down to Largo, making a big detour around something involving a lot of cops on Starkey, a very busy four lane street. We had lunch at Freda's Cafť and Bakery. The BW found that they didn't have cranberry sauce on any sandwich, but the did have a hot turkey sandwich on cranberry bread, pressed like the Cuban. She went for the straight turkey sandwich, and I had a chef's salad in honor of Walt Wooster.
To get home we drove over to Indian Rocks Beach, where ordinary people live, then up through Bellaire Beach, where the millionaires live, Sand Key, which is covered with giant condos 20 or 30 storied high, and then through Clearwater Beach with the world class beach, tourist traps, hundreds of cabanas, and tourists even at this time of the year. That was about the top 10 miles of the 30 miles or so of barrier islands along Pinellas County.
Today we drove up to I75 and Route 50 to meet the BW's sister and husband for dinner. We had a fine turkey dinner with all the trimmings, even pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and no leftovers. The dinner was more than big enough, but I ate all mine, and so did everyone else. The only problem was the noise - the place was full all the time, and it was noisy even outside on the porch where we spent another hour and a half afterward.
The BW asked where her camera was, so I gave her the only working one we have left. I gave away all the film cameras, and she dropped the Cannon just once, which was fatal. She practiced and between her (A) and her sister (B) they took the following pictures:
This is me and A on the porch. The following is Rich and B on the porch. A is reflected in the window behind them.
It was a good satisfying visit, and long enough to suit everyone. We have gifts brought home which include some pumpkin soup that B made, but we weren't sharp enough to think about trading gifts.
PS - I didn't think it was that much, but I just finished listing everything in the thanksgiving meal, and it came to 1100 calories. I'm still in my calorie range for the day, but fortunately I'm still not hungry seven hours later. I think I'm sort of like a boa-constrictor that eats only once a month.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I skimmed the fat off of the stock this morning, which was pretty easy because the stock had jelled hard. The only tricky part was the center of the pot, because I could work against the sides pretty easily, but the stock wiggled like a hula dancer every time I tried to scoop some fat off of the middle. The fat went into the garbage bucket on top of some other stuff, and I tied the grocery bag shut hard, then put the mess in another grocery bag and tied that shut too before dropping the mess in the trash container.
I just picked up some meds for the BW, and when she gets going we will go down to Largo to visit her favorite bakery (for some pastries she wants) and to have turkey sandwiches for lunch. She said she saw some guy eating a turkey sandwich there, and when I asked how she knew it was turkey she said it had cranberry sauce on it. Weíll see what happens.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The turkey seemed thawed this morning, but when I cut it out of the plastic bag it had ice in the middle and I couldnít get the giblets out of the cavity. So I soaked it for about another hour, and everything seemed to be fine. According to my favorite cookbook The Joy of Cooking (1975 edition) it should take four hours to roast a 16.39 pound turkey. Just to be safe, I went with five. The 1975 edition tells you how to do everything, and itís like an old fashioned ďCooking for Dummies,Ē except that it had dictionary and procedure functions for everything too. For one thing, it sounds as if it was written for someone on a farm, or who might butcher their own animals.
You are supposed to rub the fowl down with shortening or butter, and to baste it every 10 minutes. If Iím not careful my glasses fog up when I open the oven door, and basting the thing 24 times is something I know the BW has never done, or any of the women in my familyís last two preceding generations. Fortunately I have a nice big stainless steel roaster with a non-stick rack to keep the bird out of the juice. All you need to do is take the top off for an hour if you want the skin brown, and it works just fine.
I let the bird cool for 40 minutes before ďcarvingĒ it, but most of the carving was just to slice up the breast. I did cut the thighs loose, but the joints just came apart with no help from me. I did cut the meat with a sharp knife, but some of it just fell off.
I paid 59 cents/pound for a 16.39 pound turkey, and I got 5.25 pounds of turkey meat from the bird. I weighed the meat in three separate batches and added up the totals to find out how much turkey we got. That works out to $1.84 per pound, which is pretty good. If I had paid 33 cents per pound it would have been $1.03 per pound. I think skinless, boneless chicken breast for $2 per pound is good, and it shrinks when you cook it, so I donít have any complaints.
I cooked the giblets separately, and the BW feed some of them to the dogs tonight, after supper, which was turkey sandwiches.
The tail and neck went into the stock pot along with the remainder of the carcass. When Iím making chicken soup I make broth (by cooking the chicken in the stockpot with onions, carrots, garlic, celery, etc.) but when we want to eat the meat separately you have to settle for stock. I used three of the large onions from Costco (it was six dollars for 10 pounds), four large celery stalks, three large carrots, a large head of garlic cut in half, a turnip, and some left over Bok Choy that I threw in. I also gave it three bay leaves, some black peppercorns, some rosemary and thyme. The spices give a little better flavor. I cut the other vegetables into fourths, but didnít peel them. Then I added three quarts of water to get it to where I could see a little. After it was all boiling, I turned the heat down, covered it completely, and let it simmer for about two and a half hours before separating the liquid from the solids and cooling it down. Itís in the refrigerator now, and I have a lot more than three quarts. Tomorrow Iíll skim the fat off the top and see if it has jelled. Iím sure it will be good.
Depending on how the BW feels about it, I might use four quarts of stock and four cups of chopped turkey along with some vegetables and noodles to make turkey soup. Alternatively, I just put one cup in a sandwich bag and seal it until I get it all bagged up, put the sandwich bags in gallon freezer bags, and freeze the whole mess. Otherwise I usually freeze some of the soup.
Monday, November 22, 2010
After I got up, cleaned up, fed the dogs, read the paper, etc., I visited my local bank to cash a check and get an affidavit notarized. I called Papuga on his cell phone, but it turns out he is in Atlanta, so we agreed to meet on Sunday, when he gets back here.
Then I goofed off doing little chores for a while.
We went down to COSTCO in the late morning. The BW had a doctor's appointment at 3:45 and she was trying to get my hearing aid batteries for the little reading light she has and we were running out of egg beaters and my decaf coffee. She also felt like scanning their supplies to see what struck her toiletry needs. It was an OK trip for shopping, but not so good for the free lunch. Usually, if you get there around 1:30 or 2:00 they have a couple dozen free sample people working the crowd, and you can have a free lunch. One lady was setting up for something that I wouldn't touch anyway, but the only goodie I got were some kettle chips. About a tablespoonful.
The good part of the trip was that we were driving around with the windows open and no air conditioning. The sun was shining, and we took the scenic route home, across the peninsula from Tampa Bay to the Gulf, then up along the Gulf all the way home, through Clearwater, Dunedin, and Palm Harbor to Pennsylvania, then west to our house.
After I unpacked everything and put new hearing aid batteries in the light, the BW wanted to know when I was going to cook the frozen Publix turkey, which is in the freezer, and I put her off. Then I went out and bought another from Sweetbay (for the same 59 cents per pound) and filled one of the sinks with cold water. I have been changing the water every 30 or 40 minutes since 2:15, and the water isn't so terribly cold at 7:30, so I think I can put it in the fridge overnight, then roast it tomorrow. I bought 10 pounds of potatoes and some smoked turkey drumsticks while I was at the grocery, and wished that I had bought 10 pounds of onions at COSTCO for $5.00.
I spent the rest of the day here, and she went to see one of her doctors. Then it turned out that I was supposed to make tuna salad for supper, so I knuckled down and used two cans of albacore to make enough for both of us which she toasted bread to make sandwiches.
Tomorrow I'm going to roast a 16 pound turkey, which out to give us five pounds of meat, and go back to get the onions and carrots to make some super turkey stock. I can eat turkey at home and something else at the Cracker Barrel if necessary.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Today was sort of a day off. We read the Sunday paper, washed the dogs, cleaned house to get rid of the mess washing them made, went out to Honeymoon Island State Park and watched the sun set over the gulf, bought a sub and some ice cream at Publix for supper, and decided to just sit around and read for the rest of the day. I did have an accidental nap just before lunch.
I'll call Papuga tomorrow and see if I can get the solicitation registration in the mail. Later on I might have an ice cream cone.
I hope everyone else had a lazy day too.
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