Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wellness Wednesday and Turkey

Well, the scale didn't budge even though I walked 3 miles this last week. I would have been walking more but my family decided to hide all my exercise DVDs from me! I was not a happy camper. It wasn't on purpose but it was very frustrating! It takes a lot of mental energy to get yourself back exercising after a long break and I certainly don't need help finding ways NOT to exercise! LOL The DVD was found last night, all was forgiven and my girlies walked with me this morning. While I have the physical energy to push ahead further and do 2 miles or more, my knee begins to complain by the time I hit one mile. Not so sure I can keep heading off that surgery. Sigh...

Monday I made our turkey. A lot of people think that is strange I know, but we don't have anyone coming over to see what it all looks like and it takes a lot of pressure off me to do it ahead of time and then I can enjoy Thursday more. I tried cooking my turkey breast down this year to keep the white meat moist and it seems to have worked.

It doesn't look very glamorous I know! :o) I make a paste by melting 1 stick butter. I've tried olive oil but it just doesn't taste good for turkey. In my cuisinart mini chop, I chopped up one bunch of fresh Rosemary (leaves only) and one bunch of fresh sage. Hmmm... this smells so good. I couldn't find fresh Thyme so I put in some dried Thyme, salt, pepper and about 6 garlic cloves. After this is chopped I add it to the butter and even if the butter is still warm and liquidy, it returns to solid state when it touches the cold turkey. I slather the outside, the cavities and underneath the skin of the breast on each side.

We couldn't afford an organic turkey, so I bought a "natural" Kosher turkey at Trader Joe's. That was the CLEANEST bird I have ever cooked! But if you use giblets, there won't be any - they're not Kosher! No issue for us.

I carved the turkey Monday night and made a packet of white and dark meat for Thursday and put it in the freezer. I will rewarm this, likely in the oven with a pan of water below it to steam it and keep it moist (we don't generally microwave). The other meat I divided into quart freezer bags in meal sized proportions - sandwich slices, meat for stir fry, meat for a casserole or enchilada, etc.

Next I took the carcass... half went into my 8 quart pressure cooker and half into the roasting pan on the stove. Because of the large quantity of fresh herbs, it really flavors the broth. It tasted so good without the need of adding any bouillon or flavoring except salt. The meat juices and broths I let cool over night. This way I can remove the fat.

Yesterday I made soup. It was a huge hit with my family... everyone except my son who doesn't eat much of anything... I'm not sure he will even eat turkey for dinner! LOL I used my 5 liters of broth which I made plus 3 liters of organic, free range chicken broth from Trader Joe's (I just didn't have enough of my own for the amount of soup I wanted to make). I cleaned out the freezer - a package of corn, peas left over from stir fries and rice and a package of "California Style" veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and green beans) which I chopped a little smaller. For a little flavor kick I added some of my chopped up and frozen red peppers. Then I added some fresh onion and garlic, chopped up turkey and 3 cups of Pearl Barley.

I love Barley. As a child when my Mom and I were moderately poor, I loved Campbell's Scotch Broth soup. What an odd choice for a child, but it was my favorite. I don't use boughten soup now due to the MSG and other chemicals, but I haven't lost my taste for Barley. In the past I have tried brown rice, white rice, macaroni, shell noodles and egg noodles. Nothing really satisfied. Barley was the missing ingredient. The soup sat on the stove for about an hour and a half. I felt this was safe because most of the items were frozen and the pot was cold to the touch. This gave the time for the barley to expand, then I cooked it about 1.5-2 hours on the stove.

My five year old girls loved it so much they asked for it again and Hubby says it tastes even better today! :o) After dinner I had 6 quarts to go in the freezer and one quart left in the fridge.

Tonight I'll probably make pies and tomorrow I will have free time to get everything else ready to eat mid day. For a treat tomorrow night as a family, we will have leftovers and watch the movie Wall-e together. I can't wait.

I took off my tshirt that had turkey grease on it. Abbie promptly curled up and went to sleep. Probably smelled like Heaven for a kitty! :o)

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