Saturday, November 15, 2014

Miss MoneyPenny Talks Turkey Again

Isn't it wonderful what cold fall temps do to the colors of what is left in the garden??  This sedum is called "Autumn Joy" and it certainly is.  The flowers start out green in early summer and continue down the pinkish color chart to this gorgeous magenta.  If I remember correctly Miss Judith gave me my first sedums and I have shared them with other gardeners that need a perfect spot of beauty in their garden.  They are very easy to grow and only require a pinch (prune in June by at least a third) to keep them from getting the floppsies.

Okay - let's talk turkey.  Lucky for me my son the plumber cooks Thanksgiving at their house.  Unlucky for me because I don't have leftovers but that is easily remedied by roasting up a turkey breast.

I'm assuming, and I could be wrong, but I think that QFC will be putting turkey on sale this coming week.  If they aren't on sale until next week there would not be enough time to thaw your bird.  I've done a little research and have come up with this formula for safely thawing your turkey in the fridge:

For every five pounds - allow 24 hours thawing time

So for a 20 pound bird (20/5=4) it would be four days.  Just to be safe I would start the thaw on Sunday.  A thawed bird is safe for at least two days in the fridge.

Miss MoneyPenny used to be famous for her dry turkey until a very sweet lady who used to volunteer at the library told me her secret and I have never looked back.

Yep - a cooking bag.  These things are genius and so easy to use.  All that you do is shake a tablespoon of flour in the bag.  Place it in a roasting pan.  I then add celery and onions.  This is a good place to use your homemade herbed butters to slather the turkey over and under the skin and all around and then place it in the bag and tie it up.  Cut six slits in the top of the bag and tuck the ends.  Roast at 350 as per the chart that comes with the bag.  Totally easy peasy.

When the turkey is done carefully remove and pour out all the juices for your gravy.  I add this to the giblets that I've been simmering on the stovetop.  My son takes everything from under the turkey including the veggies and zips them up in the food proccessor for a base for his gravy.  I've never had such good dark and full of flavor.

To stuff or not to stuff - that is the question.  I say no and the government backs me up on this but if you can get your stuffing to 165 on your meat thermometer (of course, your turkey will be like the one in the movie Christmas Vacation)...rock yourself out.

That being said I make crazy good stuffing and my sister has taken it to new heights by adding fried oysters.  Here is what we do (remember we are talking holiday cooking here):

1.  Melt one cube of butter in a large saute pan.

2.  Add chopped onion and celery and cook until translucent.

3.  To stuffing mix add beaten eggs (4 to 6) and lots of poultry seasoning.

4.  Mix everything together wetting as needed with turkey or chicken stock.

5.  If using fried oysters (flour, egg, cracker crumbs) layer with the stuffing and bake (350) until done
     and crispy on top.

The Bradster and his brother the Dougster went on a European trip and he brought me back this beautiful scarf from Venice.  This picture does not do it justice but it is Cashmere and is wide enough to be a shawl.  I was going to iron it but I'm afraid I might scorch it so I'm gonna just wrap it around my neck and body heat will take care of it.  It is so fine that you could probably get it through a ring.


Don't forget the hummers and the other birdies.  During this cold snap I have awakened to the poor little things trying to get at the frozen feeder.  I have two feeders so my remedy is to switch out the frozen one for the thawed one.  I set the frozen one in my laundry sink to thaw.

My recipe for hummingbird liquid is one cup of sugar to four cups of water.  I boil one cup and add the sugar, then add to the rest of the water.  This way it is not so hot and you can use it right away.

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