Millions of turkeys are murdered every year for Thanksgiving dinners. The least we could do is respectfully use as much of the turkey as we can. So after it’s been carved and the leftovers have been stored for the next week’s meals, use the carcass and make soup.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Lots of water
4-8 celery stalks
2 russet potatoes
2-4 garlic cloves (optional)
A couple bay leaves
~2 tsp thyme
~1 tsp sage
~1 T dried parsley (or ~3 T fresh)
salt & pepper to taste
whatever other herbs/spices you like
1-2 c dry noodles or pasta (or 1/2 c uncooked rice)
Put the turkey carcass (no I will not stop calling it a carcass, that’s what it is) in a bigass stock pot and cover it with water. Add your bay leaves. Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce heat & simmer. Now would be a good time to chop the carrots, celery, & onion to whatever size and shape you like. If you’re using fresh garlic, grate it or chop it finely. Peel the potatoes but leave them whole. Now would also be a good time to dance around your kitchen like an idiot to Christmas music.
After the carcass has simmered for about an hour, remove it from the pot and set it aside until cool enough to handle. Congratulations, you just made turkey stock. Taste it and add salt as needed. When the carcass has cooled a bit, carefully separate all meat that’s left on it from the tiny, skin, fat, cartilage, and other mysterious bits. Take your time, haste really does make waste. Honor this once-living being by not wasting him. You can probably get at least a couple cups of meat. Obviously the amount you get will vary, but just do your best and don’t be afraid to get a little messy.
Chop or shred the meat. This makes it go farther and also helps find any lingering bones and bits.
Skim any fat off the surface of the stock and put the turkey meat and vegetables in. Cook about a half hour or until potatoes are cooked through. Taste again and add herbs/spices, more salt if needed.
Take out the potatoes and cut them into whatever size you want. If you’re serving with rice, cook it separately before combining with the soup. If you’re adding noodles or pasta (I like no-yolk egg noodles best for soup), add them to the stock and cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente. Skim broth again & remove bay leaves before serving.
Keep some in the fridge now and freeze the rest in containers filled to the top.
Best serve with a shake of seasoned salt and a side of bread & butter. Yum.
P.S. If you really want to use every bit of the turkey and have a dog and/or a garden, google how to pressure cook down the bones for dogs to eat or how to effectively fertilize with them. Do NOT give your pets poultry bones unless it is absolutely impossible for the bones to get caught in their throats and/or pierce their organs.
“Nelly Peg” is not my real name. If you can believe that. Nell (Ellen) and Peg (Margaret) are my grandmothers. Grandma Peg passed when I was 10, and Grandma Nell when I was 16, 7 years ago almost to the hour.
Grandma Nell was a WWII bride. She married my grandfather, a New Yorker from a Sicilian family, while he was stationed in England. He had already returned to the states when she had their first child. She and my aunt came by boat when all the war brides were finally able to cross the pond after the war.
Grandma Nell had so many stories and talents. She was so sweet and hated for the family to fight. She was half Swiss, after all. She was supportive and funny in her way. The last conversation I remember having with her was the day I got my driver’s license, about a month and a half before she died. I called her and told her, “Grandma I just took my driver’s test and got my license!” and she said, “jolly good!”
I’ve lived in the Midwest pretty much my whole life while my extended family is all out east. We would drive out once or twice almost every year until Grandma Nell died.
Sometimes when I think about my grandmas, I feel cheated because they both died before I was old enough or mature enough to fully appreciate them and what they had to offer. They were both crafters and both introduced me to foods that other kids probably would’ve hated (cooked spinach, okra, curry, etc.). My heart aches with loss, probably more now than when they passed because the more I learn about them from my family, the more I understand the depth of losing them.
If you’re lucky enough to have a grandmother in your life, call her up and don’t just tell her about your life and that you love her, learn about her life. If you wish you’d gotten more of a chance to do that, get to know her through your family.
I miss you so much, Grandmas.
Need a great drink for your Thanksgiving celebration? I came up with this seasonally appropriate toasted spice cider punch for a Halloween party and it was a hit.
8 oz bourbon
20-24 oz apple cider
Brown sugar simple syrup (process below)
2 cinnamon sticks
8-10 whole cloves
6-8 allspice berries
2 star aniseeds
~1 L club soda or seltzer
coffee filter or 5”x5” cheesecloth
Yield: Depends one your serving size, but enough for a group.
For the simple syrup: Combine 1/2 c brown sugar and 1/2 c water in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium low heat and cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool completely.
In a dry pan over medium low heat, toast spices just until you can smell them. They burn easily so toast with care to avoid bitterness.
Put spices in a coffee filter or in the center of a 5x5 square of cheese cloth. Gather the edges/corners and tie with kitchen twine. Drop the spice bag in a large container and add bourbon, cider, and syrup. Chill for at least a few hours, overnight is best to let the flavors come together. Discard the spice bag and add club soda, a 1:1 ratio of club soda to cider mixture works well. Serve in a punch bowl or in individual glasses over ice. Garnish with thin apple slices and just a tiny love tap of ground cinnamon.
You can leave out the bourbon for kids/non-drinkers, just let the spices hang out in the cider mixture longer since it won’t have the alcohol to help extract the flavors.
Also, you can store the cider mixture in your fridge for a couple weeks if you just want to have it around for a glass here and there. Just leave out the club soda and add it to each individual glass.
my mountain goat, my fluffernutter, my brave goofy ozzie
Here are the dates to our first FULL US TOUR!
(All ticket links coming soon! Dates are Facebook Events, please RSVP!)
11/19 - SNEAKY DEE’S - TORONTO, ON (19+) w/ !Attention!, Brutal Youth, Dead Weights
12/01 - BEAT KITCHEN - CHICAGO, IL (17+) w/ KOJI - TICKETS
12/02 - THE COMMONS - OMAHA, NB w/ KOJI, Farewell To Freeway, Brighter Than A Thousand
12/03 - MARQUIS THEATER - DENVER, CO w/ KOJI - TICKETS
12/04 - KILBY COURT - SALT LAKE CITY, UT w/ KOJI - TICKETS
12/05 - SHREDDER - BOISE, ID w/ KOJI, Red Hands Black Feet, The Green Zoo, Michael Limbert - TICKETS
12/06 - HIGH DIVE - SEATTLE, WA (21+) w/ KOJI & MANSIONS - TICKETS
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12/08 - **VENUE CHANGE** FORT RYLAND 2000 - RENO, NV w/ KOJI, Our Devices, Codex Red
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12/10 - TBA w/ KOJI
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12/12 - SODA BAR - SAN DIEGO, CA (21+) w/ KOJI -TICKETS
12/13 - GASWORKS - ALBUQUERQUE, NM
12/14 - CONSERVATORY - OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - TICKETS
12/15 - DOWNTOWN MUSIC - LITTLE ROCK, AR
12/16 - ESCAPE ALLEY SUNDRY - MEMPHIS, TN
12/17 - THE FIREHOUSE - BIRMINGHAM, AL w/Truth Inside, Frames, The Fourth Estate
12/18 - THE PIT - JACKSONVILLE, FL w/ Rebels & Rogues, Destin For Florida, The Pinz - TICKETS
12/19 - THE DRUNKEN UNICORN - ATLANTA, GA (18+) - TICKETS
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12/21 - DC9 - WASHINGTON DC - TICKETS
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1 packet of hot chocolate mix + 1 peppermint teabag = mint chocolate bliss
- just came back from a brief visit with dear friends in Detroit. they are getting married soooo soon!
- i have chocolate Silk in the fridge
- i got a bunch of free green tomatoes from someone on my friend’s block
- i have season premieres of good shows on the dvr waiting for me
- i have an amazing new candle that smells like actual apple cider & makes fire noise
- made it home safely to my snugglefaces!
- Went to the fitness center. Shooting to go at least 15 times this month.
- Was semi-productive workwise.
- Started taking baby steps towards actually using the recording equipment I invested in a long time ago. Can’t wait for someone else to help me with it anymore, lest it gather another inch of dust. It is scary and frustrating but hopefully it’ll pay off in the long run.
- Made a dent in the muchi curry that’s been sitting unused on my spice rack. I really want to get rid of it and use the jar for some other spice that I actually use.
- Made up a song and a video concept for it that makes me laugh a lot.
- Threadbanger is back!
Good things for the past couple days:
- Hung out with my friend Kevin today, whom I hadn’t seen in a couple weeks. We watched The Princess and the Frog. (see post title!)
- Registered to try out a park district gym for September. While I dread it, it is a good thing…I guess. I really could use some help in the motivation/accountability department, ha.
- Our still unnamed new fishy survived a cat terrorist attack today when Ozzie somehow knocked his bowl down and it shattered. I thought the cats had eaten him since I didn’t see him in the wreckage the cats were really interested in, but he was lying still (looking dead) and ignored 2 feet away. Now he lives in a 2 quart mason jar fortress with a screen lid.
- My kitchen floor is the cleanest it’s been since we moved in last year.
What are your good things?
Ha, already slacking!
Been busy with relatives who were in town but now they’ve gone home to a slightly damp (thanks to Irene) Boston.
Good things from the past few days:
- Spent time with family.
- Learned a little bit about my exciting geneology.
- Free stuff from the conference my aunt was in town for.
- Watched some hilarious hamsters (they didn’t even look real, they were so funny) at a pet store today, where I got a
- Beautiful new betta fishy. Not sure what we’ll name him. Oh the possibilities.