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.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Today was a lost day - I wound up spend almost the entire day getting the Kiwanis registration ready for the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs. This is the part beyond converting our information into their format, and it wound up two pages longer than the standard form. There were not enough spaces for me to list all the officers and board members, so I just used two copies of the one page. The other extra page was for a list of how all our service money was spent. Then I crossed out all the n of 8 at the bottom of all the pages after page 2, and made it n of 10, and changed the 8 to 10 for the first two pages. All that's left to do now is get an affidavit notarized, another signature on the check, copy everything, and mail the whole mess off. I should be able to get that done before December without any trouble.
I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I also have the signature sheets for everyone who will handle money this year, so all that stuff is taken care of except for the IRS. They want a report by 1 January, but I should be able to do that without any real trouble (I hope).
Now that I recall, I did take the BW to JC Penny's this morning, then to Home Depot. Then I glued glides to the couch and footstool, all before 11:30, so I guess I only spent about five hours on the registration. Then I had to run to Sweetbay for medicine and groceries. We needed spaghetti pasta for supper.
Now I want to take an hour or two off and just read my book. I finished the second one of three last night and started the final one. When I looked at the library slip, I took six days for each book, which is two or three days longer than I usually spend with a book. I have been goofing off.
PS - I got 7 spark points for logging in today, but the pointer stopped next to a 1000 point cell. I normally would consider 7 pretty good, but I felt let down today.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Well, it's Friday, and the AC is running again. I noticed that it was 82 inside a few days ago and changed the thermostat from heat to AC, and we normally keep the inside temperature at 78 degrees. That may be the same as the outside temperature, but it always feels cooler inside because it's dry. We're having a cool front today, only 78 degrees predicted, but then it goes back into the 63 low, 82 high range again for as far as the eye can see. Also, no rain predicted forever. Apparently it was too cold last winter, too wet last summer, and predicted to be an especially dry winter - maybe another drought starting right after the last one ended.
I attended that Kiwanis meeting at Dockside Wednesday evening, cleared the garage and received the new dryer Thursday morning, and worked on getting the Kiwanis books and P&L statement clean and complete for several hours yesterday. Today I had a bunch of chores, including doing my laundry. Yesterday the BW pointed out a special buy dryer at Home Depot that was normally $400, now $250 - a Maytag stripper. When I looked at the details of what it does I think paying more for the one we have is definitely a good idea (at our point in life). We're past buying the basic stripper for normal appliances. If we aren't now, we never will be.
I got the three Service accounts to match the P&L and bank statements without any trouble, but had $63 too much in the P&L statement, but the check records, receipts, and bank records all matched. . In looking for the trouble I spent a few hours until I found two errors. I had taken the top number instead of the bottom one from the final 2010 P&L (our fiscal year starts 1 October) which accounted for exactly $23. Then Marty had recorded $40 as Mike's dues paid in 2011. I had recorded his $120 check in 2010 (September 28) so the P&L showed $40 too much for that. Between the two corrections, everything matches again.
Today I did a bunch of chores, including my laundry, and went to lunch with Jack, who has dropped out of Kiwanis and is now a volunteer - in other words, he will help with the service projects but not come to the meetings. I sympathize with him, because the meeting Wednesday night ran two hours without a board meeting added on. If they do that twice a month I am tempted to drop out myself.
Jack and I had two of the one dollar beers - and he had a hamburger and I had some french fries. We agreed that we need one or two more guys to make a good group. with five or six you get two conversations going at once and it's not as satisfying a meeting. I'm going to pick him up again next Friday.
Now I need to call the sister-in-law that we are going to meet next Thursday to agree on a time because the BW hasn't done it. We know the day and the place, but to eat out on Thanksgiving I think you need a reservation. I hope Betty made one.
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