Saturday, November 30, 2013

How I Made Turkey Soup

After hand picking the bones of all little bits of meat, I broke up the carcass in as many pieces as I could. Of course I have already saved the skin. Yes, this is a greasy project, and I had paper towel ready.  I then put the carcass and skins in a large heavy pot, filled it to the top with water and brought it to a boil. I covered and simmered the pot for about four hours. I added nothing else.

The cooked potful was then dumped into a colander which was placed over a large bowl. I used a plastic bowl because it isn't as heavy as my glass or pottery bowls. When the pot was empty, then I brought the colander, filled with the cooked stuff, back over the pot and drained it well.

(I threw the colander contents away in the trash because poultry bones choke dogs, we don't have a compost pile, and no burning today - it's too windy.)

The potful of plain and concentrated broth was placed outdoors to chill and even freeze. I Did NOT add water! Yes, I did cover the pot.

I went back indoors and washed those dishes. I do wonder how people can cook without a very large kitchen sink like mine. 

Then the fat was easily picked off of the top of the jellied broth!

I washed and cut up several stalks of celery and the tips of about a dozen carrots. The celery tops, leaves and all were chopped. A couple of onions were diced and added.

The only other ingredients used at this point were pinches of black pepper, parsley, and basil. The broth was then brought to a boil and tempered down to a simmer and cooked for about 2 hours. (You don't see much of the carrots here because they sunk to the bottom.)

A cup of brown rice and small turkey pieces were then combined and cooked until the rice was tender. It all was ladled into storage containers to freeze. I used to can but now prefer freezing soups. 

This is my routine and I'm sure you have yours. Whatever works is the rule, just as long as it turns out to be nourishing and delicious!

I already have another project in mind to use the extra carrots! Stay tuned.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Well.....Amusing and Enticing


Did you know there is a toilet seat art museum in Texas? Yes! According to my source, the November/December 2013 issue of the Saturday Evening Post, page 26, "Barney Smith, 92, opened his museum to the public 21 years ago. The retired master plumber using mostly found items has immortalized everything from Mount St. Helens to John F. Kennedy."

It is located at 239 Abiso Avenue, San Antonio, Texas. Contact: 210-824-7792 and the cost is Free but call first.

I would like to visit there, wouldn't you??

Click on the link below to see more:

Toilet Seat Article from Roadside America

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving With a Bang

Thanksgiving morning, 2:45 AM The Mister heard the heater blower go off and then come right back on. He looked at his dresser clock and it was flashing. That meant we had a power failure, this time only for a couple of seconds. The next thing was that he heard the coffee pot gurgling. It was making the coffee! I heard it too and said to myself, "Why did he turn on the coffee at this hour?" I prepare it with the necessary water and coffee every night before I go to bed so all he has to do is flip the switch in the morning. I did think, however, that maybe he wanted to have it all ready for when he got up and, if we had no power, he could just pour it in a pot and put it on the propane grill to heat. That would save him the rigamarole of setting up the generator and getting it running when it is so early and cold.

When I got up this morning at 7:15, I asked him why he made the coffee so early. He replied, "The darn thing started itself, I didn't turn it on!" We figure that the power surge must have started it. Wow! We could have had a fire if it wasn't filled and ready to go! Never again will we leave it plugged in when we go away. In case you were wondering, It's a 4 cup Cusinart that is about 8 years old.

A few months back, when we were in SC, our daughter did a run-through of the cabin just to make sure all was OK. When she called, she told us the small Y2K computer screen was lit, but she left it alone. Well, we knew it was off when we left. I hadn't used that computer for over a year! It was plugged into the power surge bar, though. We almost didn't believe her, but now we do!

When The Mister drinks his morning coffee, he watches the news on TV. Nope! Not today! We don't have TV, telephone, or internet and it is now 1:35 PM. Why! you may wonder . . . well, there was an airplane crash - clean up efforts being reported on the police scanner. WHAT! Yes, it seems that a small single engine plane must have tried to land on the hard road at the end of our lake and that was the cause of the power and Time Warner service problem.

Twice he has driven there to see when the service will be back and sees no activity. He took these photos of the damaged plane that has been placed on a lot at the side of the road.

Macy's Day Parade! Football! We want our TV back! 

We had our turkey dinner to the tunes of Floyd Cramer, The Platters and Patsy Cline played on the computer. After nap, we were delighted to find all service back in working order. Thank you to the men who worked at least 11 hours in 18 degree cold with strong winds!

News Article Link:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'Twas the Day before Thanksgiving...

Today is kind of miserable but it doesn't bother me at all because I'm BUSY! The Mister went outdoors to unfreeze the truck tailgate. He forgot to apply a bit of antifreeze on the gaskets and I need a loaf of bread. Yes, the truck bed is storage for bread until I can find time to make room in the refrigerator freezer. It works well as an extra freezer for us. He also used up an entire container of anti-freeze pellets around the perimeter of the truck and we'll need to replace it soon; we have only one backup container left. Winter has begun at Lake Chrisann.

 I had just finished breakfast and was in the midst of oatmeal raisin cookie preparation when I looked out the window and saw the Great Blue Heron. He comes to our beachfront often. Since I wasn't prepared for taking pictures, a quick hand washing was in order and I grabbed up the camera and took a shot through the window. He saw me and immediately flew away! Back to cookie making.
Please click on photos to view larger.

Near the end of the batter mixing, I have to call for help to stir in the oats and raisins as the batter is too stiff for me. He is so willing, it makes me laugh. He must want cookies! Ya think?

Well, the project of the day is completed.
72 cookies! 

And Pal begged and begged but never touched them and can't eat them anyway, He is one of those dogs that has a sensitive stomach and both he and we would have to pay the price if he were to take a bite! His birthday is coming soon - Dec. 2 -  and he will be 14!

 "Hey, Mom! did you bake cookies - AGAIN?"

 "They look good"

 "They smell good!"

"Are you SURE I can't have just one?"

Yes, it has been a good day.

We wish everyone we know and those we love to have a very happy Thanksgiving Holiday. Pig out! Enjoy your lives together! BE THANKFUL!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hanging Out With the Heater

Well we have been keeping busy here, occupying ourselves doing mundane chores and just keeping on the move. Husband was bored and has almost completely vacuumed the walls and behind and underneath everything! He has pulled it all out and away and then put it all back.  I have washed and/or dusted all furniture, trinkets, hangings, plates and lamps-possible. Everything sparkles. Believe me there was all sorts of moovin' and groovin' and improvin' goin' on in this ole' cabin!

This morning the outdoor thermometer showed 10 degrees lower than on the 4th. It is going down, down down!

The gas propane fireplace insert is working well. It is our only heat besides the oven when I bake.  We had it put in here in 1998. Wood just couldn't produce enough to suit us. It was dirty and labor intensive and we are not able to manage it any longer. 

This morning I baked an apple crisp but don't have any cream whip or ice cream to top it so it will have to wait…well after a small taste! I added raisins just to use them as they were left over from a while back. I'll pick more up soon because I have yet to make my oatmeal raisin cookies. I was waiting for us to empty the jar of the peanut butter ones and it now contains only crumbs.

The turkey breast is almost thawed so I'll just bake it on Wednesday. Left overs will last through the weekend and then it's on to making a kettle of turkey rice soup like Mom always did.

I made a mobile to hang outdoors using a few old cd's. I like to watch the reflections as it spins. There is no sun to reflect rainbow shades today, but I can wait.

Tomorrow is our trip to Walmart to replenish supplies so we won't have to go again for a few weeks. I'll think about Christmas after all of the Thanksgiving exertions are spent and hustles have slowed. We will expect to see some family members over the weekend - if the weather is good for travel. We stay home and they come here. 

Well car races are finished for the season and football has now taken over the TV. That's a good thing because the man of this home has a case of boredom until it snows. The lady has no problem finding things to do. 

We are thankful for ALL we have. All we have is all we need. YES! 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cooking Fool

This is just an explanation of how I make the applesauce - my old and longtime method.
Click on image to view larger
 First I wash them and then cut each into quarters...

 Next, I core them and cut into eighths...

 A large pot will hold a peck of cut apples - skins ON, of course!

 Then the apples and I take a break - I'm already tired...

 About one quart of water is added and they are boiled down and mashed, stiring regularily...

 The Foley Food Mill is placed on a large bowl and is ready for action...

 After bringing the kettle over to the counter near the bowl, the hot apple slurry is spooned into the mill and ground. This procedure is repeated until the kettle is empty.

 The glass bowlful is poured into a larger tub when the sauce reaches the bottom of the mill. This was done about three times. The mill will only have a small bit of skin debris left when finished. Just a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon are added and stirred in. 

A soup ladle is used to fill containers to about 3/4 inch from the top. The plastic ones are 'burped' after lids are applied. This batch made another gallon+!
The cleanup begins...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Baking Has Begun

I've been baking. Wish I could share! Peanut butter cookies from scratch using my Grandma's recipe. Made 76! They are ALWAYS delicious!

We made apple sauce last week and I have another batch do do tomorrow. If we had a freezer, I would make more! This year was an excellent year for apples here. They are outstanding. I've also make 3 apple cakes - we ate one! Oatmeal-raisin cookies, ginger snaps, lemon sugar cookies and fruitcake baking are all still on my agenda. I also have a large pot roast to bake (in my OLD cast iron covered kettle) and a pork tenderlion to roast. I haven't yet bought our turkey breast for Thanksgiving, but will. 'Tis the time of the season to be in the kitchen! The oven running helps keep the cabin warm and the aromas of good food are pleasant!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In Again - Out Again - Home Again!

It's been one busy week after a long 13 1/2 hour trip from South to North. As we age, the trip that we take 3 times a year becomes an endurance test. We've been doing this for over 14 years. It's always good to be here and it's always good to be there, but Oh! the travel is now an exhausting experience. You see, we bring back and forth all foods and seasonal clothes. We continue to leave our places with clean beds made, no laundry in baskets, and rooms fully polished and cleaned. It's a wonderful reward to return to find things just as left and ready for re-occupancy. Just packing is exercise to the extreme. It didn't seem to be difficult way back when…..Now don't get me wrong, we already know we have the best of both worlds - sea and mountains and time and health to enjoy both. 

Monday: We put away all and put up containers in storage areas. Then a trip to town for monthly refilling of prescription drugs for husband, pick up of post office mail that is held, filled artesian water jugs for our coffee and tea. We experience the shock of filling the gasoline tank - I say shock, because it costs more here - much more - It is the day we later catch up on mail and paperwork.

Tuesday in November is husband rearranging and servicing the snowblower, quad and generator in preparation for winter. It is a day of his cutting and removing dead foliage and plants from flowerbeds and raking leaves. It's a good thing for him there is no snow covering it all. I don't do any of these chores, but I keep busy nesting.

Wednesday was a trip to town for a few groceries. Then we took a break and relaxed.

Thursday entailed a 30 mile one way trip to nearby town for more groceries and sundry items at Walmart. This was after Time Warner serviceman came and set me up with WiFi internet on my laptop. It's getting too cold in the bedroom to work in there now.

Friday I made a large pan of Rice Krispy Treats and a delicious pork tenderloin meal for dinner. He rested.

Saturday I baked and cooked meals ahead and froze them. I made pizza from scratch for dinner.

The lake was very calm with beautiful reflections this morning - BUT there has been something going on way over there! We don't know what yet. Yeow!

Today, Sunday We made delicious MacCoun applesauce! I forgot how labor intensive this is, using my treasured old utensils.  I also got a minute to check computers and move more music files from one into the other. 

Tomorrow is a laundry trip to town or we'll be without underwear! and socks! Well….almost.

The next days ahead will be baking cakes (apple), pies and cookies (all varieties.) This is a great time to bake as the oven helps us stay warm.  I might make fudge - maybe. We both share chores indoors and then we go our separate ways - me on computer, he watching big screen TV. Life is good. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I'll Return Soon....

Hi! Just in case you were wondering, we are preparing to leave the south and head north and I'll be back with all y'all soon!
On the road again'''''''''''''''''

And...I'll now share some pictures of the American Heart Association Beach Ride that was held here!