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Friday, November 14, 2003  
Turkey soup, revisited

Speaking of the Soup Lady, my own soup endeavors turned out all for the good last night. From one smallish (12 lb) turkey, a few onions, some celery, carrots and whatnot, I ended up with two gallons of mighty fine soup that needed no additional salt whatsoever.

Soup like this requires a bit of pre-planning. Roast the turkey. While that's happening, simmer the neck and parts (not the liver and heart of course -- you roast that and reserve for the felines). When the turkey's done, deglaze the pan and keep the simmered broth and pan additions until you're ready for the next step.

Remove the meat from the bones, removing the legs, thighs and wings at the joints. I cut most of the meat in big pieces, setting aside the leg, thigh and wing meat and smaller pieces for the soup itself. It's possible to break a turkey carcass in half just rear of the rib cage. That usually helps it fit better in even large pots. Place the carcass along with leg, thigh and wing bones and the wing tips in a really large pot. Put in

  • 2-3 whole onions
  • 5 whole celery stalks
  • 4-5 carrots cut in half if you like.
I use a "mulled cider" teaball like thing to make a sort of bouquet garni -- the ball is about 4" across and holds
  • 5 or so whole garlic cloves (skin and all)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • a tsp of whole peppercorns
  • a handful of parsley
Bring to a boil and simmer until all the veggies are limp and the bones are well-cooked with the meat coming off. Probably 2 hours or so. Skim off any foamy stuff and you can corral as much fat as you like at the same time.

Strain the stock into a clean container and discard the bones and veggies. This is a good stopping point if you're doing this over a couple days. If you refrigerate the stock at this point (which should be golden brown and yummy all on its own) you can remove more fat if you like. Starting again, add

  • 2-3 onions diced
  • 5-6 carrots diced
  • 4-6 stalks celery diced
  • refill the teaball thing with fresh garlic, bay, peppercorns and parsely
Remember that now you're really making the soup. Before you were making stock. While the veggies are simmering in the stock (you can choose to saute them before adding to the stock but I don't do that) cut up the meat you're going to add. Make some rice to add later. when the veggies are cooked but firm, add the meat and simmer for awhile longer.

Warning: you can end up with a lot of soup so have a thought to what you'll store it in, how you can freeze it, whose life you can improve by gifting with a quart of good soup.

More important warning:

  • One of the worst things you can do while making stock is boil it. It must take something from the bones after awhile. The soup will be cloudy at worst and have a different flavor. Better to bring to a boil and then simmer. Ditto with the soup itself. No need to boil it. Keep it well heated but not boiling.
  • Add the meat towards the very end. It's already cooked and cooking too much long will dry it out.
  • Don't store the rice or pasta in the soup. Add it before serving and heat through or if it's hot, put it in the serving bowl and add the soup to the bowl.

Written at: 8:22:53 PM

Thursday, November 13, 2003  
It's cold, it's blustery, there's that snow stuff going on. So that must mean it's time for a good hearty soup. I'd made a small turkey the other day with the express intent of making soup so the whole house smells good at the moment. The turkey carcass is simmering with some onions, a whole lotta garlic and some celery and carrots and in a bit I'm going to strain it and put some nicely chopped veggies in along with the chopped turkey meat. I will make some nice rice and put that in at the last moment to heat through. And what's not to like about that. It's a good winter meal, even if winter's not really here yet. The weather says otherwise. And I think the Soup Lady would agree - it's good for you, body and soul.

On a different note, I got my reading glasses and they do indeed work for sewing. Saturday I'll get my new lenses for distance viewing. I can see a real advantage to bifocals, but I will tell any and all of my displeasure with the brief attempt at "progressives." What a joke. Oh yeah, they really improve your vision as long as you don't need more than about a 10" field of vision. I couldn't see much of anything. Not even both sides of my 12" powerbook screen. the floor moved. the cutting board wiggled like a circus funny mirror. Not good. And forget about seeing the horizon. Oh well. Does anyone really get used to that? I just like to see the world around me as it is and as much of it as possible.

Written at: 11:47:54 PM

here's how NOT to get customer support:
  • Call what should be not your first stop in getting phone support.
  • Talk very fast and resist any attempts by the person on the phone to get answers to questions like "what sort of computer?" "what operating system?" "Did you do this xyz?"
  • Say in a hissing kind of way "get me someone on the phone who knows something."
  • When asked "what?" repeat the previous statement.
  • Hang up when the support person puts you on hold to see if they can get an answer for you.
y'all have a nice day now.

Written at: 7:41:52 PM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003  

Here's where I was last night at the end of the night with about 10 columns still to lay out.

Written at: 8:09:52 PM

Monday, November 10, 2003  
I'm about done laying out all those small squares. I know deep in my heart that a normal person probably wouldn't do this, but I think I prefer to get an idea of the color movements beFORE I start to sew it all together. And I did replace one of the blues, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. Film at 11.

Written at: 11:29:13 PM

Sunday, November 09, 2003  
iPod baby. That's all I have to say. iPod. eye-pahd. iPOD. iPodiPodiPod. ok. I have more to say.

Jumping-up-and-down-oh-my-gawd-10gig-3G-iPod. Thanks Steve. You rock.

Written at: 11:01:58 PM

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