Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Feast from Leftovers

I think one of the greatest things that comes from Thanksgiving, aside from family time and reminiscing, is the leftovers! Who doesn't love hot turkey sandwiches, slathered in gravy, turkey ala king over biscuits, or turkey potpie, and batches of heartwarming turkey stock? That was my mission yesterday. Mom gave me the carcass from Thursday's dinner, and since there were only six of us for dinner, that bird still had quite a good bit of meat left on it! How lucky was I?

I pulled out my big roaster (since my stock pot somehow ended up as a rain catching bucket that Tucker's drug from one end of the yard to thinking soup in that might not be the best idea...) Parked it across two of the stove's burners, filled it with one carcass swimming in clear, cold water. I cranked the heat up to boil as I chunked in carrots and celery and onion, a couple bay leaves, a healthy heap of garlic, a smattering of peppercorns and--I'm so excited!!--a good palmful of Crazy Jane's pepper mix. A friend from TN, who's owned his own restaurants, shared that secret with me a while back, but I couldn't find Crazy Jane's anywhere--until this year! I happened upon it at Friedman's of all places! I had forgotten I'd run out of bay leaves a while back and there wasn't any chance of getting me into Walmart mid-afternoon on Black Friday! So I popped into the grocery store instead and, viola! There sat Crazy Jane--I could've sang a chorus of hallelujah right there, but Michael was with me and he's at that age where he embarrasses easily, so I did my best and contained myself until we got back out to the car and I bounced gleefully in my seat the whole way home! Yes, I am that's part of my girlish charm...

After the roaster's goodness had come to a boil, I turned it all down for a nice, slow simmer for the next few hours. The house filled with the heavenly aroma of turkey-fied deliciousness. Tucker would sneak in the kitchen, his nose all a-quiver...Sorry puppy love, this soup is not for you...No soup for you!! Poor Tuck...

Bill and I are still fighting this miserable cold, but fortunately Michael seems to be over it. What better for a winter's cold than a steaming bowlful of homemade soup? The Mr. requested turkey rice. I had attempted to buy him chicken rice the other day, but it was cream based instead of brothy and he didn't like the wild rice, and complained that it was bland. So turkey rice I made after divvying up the simmered down stock into four more separate containers to stow in the freezer downstairs for future meals and cold care. He must've liked my version better than the canned, he ate two bowlfuls. Makes a mama happy.

We still have a fridge stuffed with more turkey, stuffing and gravy. Sounds like an easy dinner for tonight or tomorrow. I have no idea how the slice of pumpkin pie managed to survive this long...though it won't now that he's had a reminder that it's in there waiting for him. All I want is the whipped cream--mmm!! Aaahhh, next up: cookie time!

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