By: Revanche

Thanksgiving weekend recap and links

November 26, 2012

This Thanksgiving was a stay under the radar sort of weekend as far as people. There are just too many stressy and difficult emotions left over associated with this time of the year. The prospect of an extra long round trip drive thanks to holiday traffic to navigate family dynamics, juggle one family then another, then try to cram in all the non-holiday family obligations – we decided that it made more sense to have a quiet dinner early and only have one of us do part of the whirlwind.

Roasting the turkey and whipping up the rest of the dinner was surprisingly manageable spaced out over about four hours with some breaks even without my expected sous chef. With only two planned sides, mashed potatoes and stuffing, adding an impromptu cold broccoli salad wasn’t terribly challenging.

I’m the winner of turkey roasting this year because after all the worrying over how it’d turn out, having forgotten how the roasting went last year, the turkey was absolutely perfect. Even the white meat was tasty and I’m a strict dark meat eater.

While I insisted on having a bigger turkey this year because I just love eating leftovers for days on end, PiC’s not such a devotee so I didn’t want to break him. I made a few different meals from the turkey and froze half of them for later. It’ll be good for us: there will be a few meals less to cook later and we’ll enjoy a little bit of Thanksgiving not in November! <3

New Turkey Meals

1. Turkey burritos: We picked up some tortillas and wrapped up turkey dinners into burritos and soft tacos for lunch. PiC added scrambled eggs to his.

2. Halal rice and turkey, revised from this recipe:  Without Greek yogurt, again, I left out the white sauce but I whipped up the rice and turkey portions. It was delicious!

I approached it as two mini recipes:

Rice – Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups long grain or Basmati rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add the turmeric and cumin and cook 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook, stirring freqently, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, season to taste with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring to boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes without disturbing. Remove from heat, keeping the cover on, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Turkey- Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup turkey drippings (or chicken broth)
2 pounds cooked, leftover turkey, shredded

Heat butter in a large saute pan or frying pan over medium-high heat. When bubbling, add in the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the turkey drippings (or chicken broth) and bring to simmer. Add in the leftover turkey and cook for 1 minute to warm.

White Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients. Half of the sauce is mixed with the turkey, half is served on top of the turkey or as a dressing.

3. Turkey stew (planned, variation on chicken theme): I didn’t pick up any heavy cream but discovered that if I “overcook” the potatoes by about 10-15 minutes, it breaks them down into a great almost-pureed creamy potato base. I’ll do half the potatoes for that extra time, and the rest for the normal cook time so they stay firm.

4. Tur-cken Stock: Not a meal but after all that work!  Simmered the turkey and two frozen chicken carcasses for hours to make way too much stock (at least 2 gallons). I keep making the mistake of using too much water because I don’t measure it out – I have got to quit doing that. It’s still tasty but it’s an annoying mistake. Part of that stock went into the stew, the rest goes right into the freezer. I suppose that saves us about $2-3 per 4cup container, and I put up (5) 4-cup jars, and (1) 5-cup jar. Only used half the veggies (3 celery stalks, 2 carrots and half an onion) I might have for the carcass ratio. I don’t actually do it to save money, more because I like getting every little bit of use out of a thing philosophically. It’s satisfying. But I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t save money because it takes a lot of time and effort.

~ * ~ * ~  Other fun links via Twitter ~ * ~ * ~

via @zenvar, How to transform plain yogurt into Greek yogurt.  And he says that if you keep draining it for an additional hour or two (total 4-5 hours), it becomes cream cheese.

adding to that, @kristenmchugh22 says that after draining it that long, add a little sweetener and flavor and you can bake it almost like a ricotta torta! Amazing.

I love repurposing a single ingredient that I wouldn’t otherwise buy because I don’t use it that often. I don’t eat plain or Greek yogurt or cream cheese because we don’t use any one of those regularly so they’re single use for cooking irregularly, so unless I can use it several ways, it’s no good.

Also via @zenvar, no bake peanut butter pie! And see? Cream cheese. Cream cheese that I would normally not have on hand but if I had plain yogurt, I could just make it. Brilliant.

For entertainment purposes only because I am not hunting this down: Sasquatch and DNA sequencing?  Aside from my general skepticism, the fact that there’s a press release while the purported paper’s still under peer review seems less than kosher. But it doesn’t mention the supposed journal that’s reviewing it which may or may not lend veracity to the whole thing. Either way, it tickles Neil Gaiman and it should tickle all those who love the idea of Bigfoot.

SewPetiteGal’s Buttons to Jewelry Tutorial gave me a brainstorm. I have some inherited (… it suddenly occurs to me that’s what the buttons left from Mom’s sewing kit are…) buttons from both my surrogate family and from my Mom’s old sewing kit. It might be a fun new project to make something nice with those buttons. I wonder if I can do that without getting a whole lot of tools, though – I’d rather not pile up a whole lot of crafting things.

Nicole and Maggie (or one of them really) is dealing with a bully at work.

~ * ~ * ~

I didn’t stir out of doors for Black Friday even though it’s been less than madhouse-y up here in the Bay Area from what I recall. I did, however, realize that there was a multi-day business meeting confirmed for which I’ll have to attend in semi-formal attire and my wardrobe’s not precisely up to par.

My trousers are mostly make-do trousers: shabby or oddly enough, the non-shabby ones don’t fit. I usually wear dark wash bootcut trouser jeans and that won’t cut it for a business meeting. My one really nice blazer is getting worn to nubbins and needs an understudy, and I’ve never picked up more than one nice blouse. So I ordered (on sale, from J.Crew, NY&Co, and Banana Republic): 2 blazers, 4 trousers and 1 cowl neck blouse. With any luck, I might get at least 1 from each category that fits closely enough to tailor and keep. May they be the best deals and fabrics!

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was a blur of cooking and nursing. PiC brought home the plague, and I was putting up stew and stock while taking care of him around the clock.

Doggle was hilariously attentive and “helpful”. He was as glued to our sides as much as possible, checked on PiC huddled on the sofa every couple of minutes, and checking in with me every time I went to check on PiC the rest of the night.  He just wore himself right out with being concerned, falling so deeply asleep he was sleep-barking in minutes. He made the whole caretaking thing fun/funny, with his exaggerated sniffery examinations of his Daddy every few minutes, his lounging against the feet, the quick abandonment for a walk and his exuberance going outside. There was something remarkably Zen about it: I care while I care but I love my life too. Or you know, a simple dog’s life without thumbs is just simpler.

(I love dogs, this is no surprise. This is why I want Funny about Money to have a second dog.)

How was your long weekend if you had one?  Was there more fooding, shopping or family involved?

4 Responses to “Thanksgiving weekend recap and links”

  1. Michael Martin says:

    First off, if you try the pie before I do, please let me know how it turns out. 🙂

    I had a GREAT weekend. Lots of cooking, including a very tasty chicken and noodles meal that started rough but ended very well. A bunch of firsts for me too. Also, did lots of small projects and a couple big ones (made 2 dozen candles as thank you gifts for all of the people helping me out while I am with out a car)

    I even had a visitor which was GREAT! To explain, in the 7 years I’ve lived here, I’ve had approx 15 visitors. But my brother in law came to visit, which was super nice.

    Well, hope PiC feels better soon and that Doggle shadows you a bit more obviously. 🙂

  2. Your holiday sounds nice and relaxing. I love dogs too… they are so open with their emotions.

  3. Katie C. says:

    This Thanksgiving was so weird without our usual family get-togethers. With being in Arizona, Mom didn’t get to cook the traditional meal, but we’re making up for it by having a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday this weekend. I totally respect making several different meals out of the turkey, but I am such a sucker for just plain ol’ leftover Thanksgiving turkey. I always take a large Ziplock baggie of it home from Mom’s dinner and just munch on it cold from the bag until it’s gone. Mmmm! Also a simpleton when it comes to sides. Give me turkey, mashed potatoes, and some bread – I’m set! 🙂

    I hope PiC gets over his cold soon! And without subjecting you to too much more god awful TV.

  4. Shelley says:

    We had Thanksgiving on Saturday (it not being a holiday here in Britain). 25 or so folks came for dinner. It was a bit mad, but I’d started cooking on Tuesday, so it was all under control. We had my Mom/Grandmother’s Thanksgiving menu: relish tray, veggie salad, turkey (one L, one XL), cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, green beans, pumpkin pie (all from scratch, ie real pumpkins – they have no tinned pumpkin here 🙁 ), apple crumble. We don’t generally do bread rolls/biscuits here and I forgot to put out the cranberry sauce. I rested Sunday!

    I’m, envying you your doggie!

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