Thursday, November 26, 2009

Making the Turkey -Part 2

1:30 First time basting the turkey, all the juice was dried up. Probably should have started basting sooner.I think maybe putting that chicken stock in probably wasn't a good idea. Added 4 cups of water.
2:00 Basted again. I think it's going to work. Kept basting every 20 minutes.
3:40 Took aluminum foil off. Put meat thermometer in Bird.
3:45 Realize I forgot to put the lifting chain under the bird. It's a chain with handles and when it's time to take the turkey out of the pan you can lift it up like it's handles on a tote bag. Not this year, I'm going to have to lift it out by the rack under the bird.
4:25 Realize turkey will be done soon. Start making the potatoes & squash and gravy. One of the burners is out so I have to light it but I can't turn it off without having to relight it. I make the gravy in the roasting pan. I add water, flour, salt, pepper and this time I added the giblet juice. I boiled up the neck and giblets and saved that and threw it in with the rest of the stuff to make the gravy.
5:00 Dinner ready , on table. I took pictures of the turkey & the casserole pan of stuffing. If I can figure out how to post a picture from my phone, I will.
SO, in conclusion, the meal was very good. The turkey came out great . Mum & I only each had a piece about the size of a slice of bread-off a 12 pound turkey. The stuffing was even better than I thought possible. The gravy. .. was okay. I bought a pie from Petsis , which was also great but I should have let it get to room temperature first. The meal was just my Mother and I . I proved to myself that I could cook a turkey. I really enjoyed doing it. I was glad I was by myself and not having a house full of people. Maybe I'll do it again next year. I think I'm just going to get a ham for Christmas . . . . .

Making the Turkey-Part 1

So, Around 9 AM, I started dicing the carrots, onions, celery & mushrooms. I sauteed them in a stick & half of butter. I had to do it in two parts because it wouldn't all fit in the skillet. I did not saute the carrots but I did dice them up pretty small.
By 10AM, I decided to toast up some bread heels I had accumulated and added them to the mix.I had purchased the Bells New England Style Stuffing mix to stuff a 20 pound turkey. When I emptied the contents I realized there were cranberries in it (Ewwww!)so I plucked most of them out of the mixture. I also threw in a box of stove top stuffing (that should have been used by last July). I finished combining it all by10:20 and put it aside.
10:30-SNAG- Turkey wasn't completely thawed. I had started the thaw process early Tuesday morning so it could be done in time. Apparently , that wasn't enough time. What to do ? I had to call somebody that knew how to cook & didn't have kids . My friend Sue is a really good cook, so I took a chance. She was home and said to bathe it in cold water, changing the water every 20 minutes or so. Should be ready in about an hour. Actually, she told me to just put it in the sink , but I didn't have time to clean the sink, so I just put the roasting pan and all into the sink and kept running the cold water every 20 minutes.
By 11:10, it was thawed enough to remove the neck.
By 11:30 Bird was thawed enough to stuff. I stuffed the stuffing loosely and massaged the bird with butter. As a result of a conversation I had with a co-worker and because it sounded like a good idea, I put a can of chicken stock in the bottom the roasting pan. My idea is that it will keep the bird moist. Time will tell ! I loosely covered it with tin foil and by 11:35 it was in the oven.
11:45 I put the loaf pan of stuffing into the oven.
12:30 Stuffing loaf was done.Surprisingly delicious !
That's how my day has gone so far. After this posts, I will go down and baste the turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving to anyone who is around to follow this !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rememberances of Things Fast

Today, for some reason, I was thinking about the 2 speeding tickets I got about 10 years ago. I had never had a speeding ticket before or since. I got them within 6 months of each other.
The first one-It was a warm , spring like day , in February. The windows were down, I was driving a 1989 Dodge Ram Van. It was on Commonwealth Avenue, in Boston. Coming from Arlington Street heading toward Kenmore Square. Half way to Kenmore , there is an underpass. It's a somewhat steep dip. If you are driving at a regular pace, not much of a rush, but , if you're going even 5 miles above the speed limit, you can recreate the sensation of being on a roller coaster. Because of the weather , I was feeling giddy and daring. I sped up to enjoy the dip. It felt just like a roller coaster. When I came up on the other side, there was a motorcycle cop pulling people over. Apparently, on a warm balmy day, they catch a lot of speeders that way. I didn't think the cop would understand if my reason for speeding was "the dip". . . .
The second- I was driving back from a gig. At that time, I was doing a lot of school shows for a company that specialized in History themed shows. I think I got the job because I had a van and the set would fit in my vehicle. I was heading back to where we had to return the set. I was driving through Hyde Park. There is a long flat stretch of road over there. It's like a boulevard. A wide street , unlike most Boston streets. It was another beautiful balmy day. There was a car in front of me. She was driving slowly enough to make me want to pass her yet fast enough that I couldn't pass her. Maybe she was married to a cabbie ? They regularly drive like that in front of me. Lexus's drive like that in front of me, as well.Don't get me started on Mercedes drivers. .. . but I digress. . . . It was a Buick in front of me. For a fair bit, we did this little cat and mouse pacing. Until , finally, I made a break for it trying to pass her. Which made her speed up to keep me from passing her. SO we're both speeding, almost drag racing down this boulevard, and , eventually, there was another motor cycle cop pulling people over . With just a little flick of the finger he pulled us both over. "Trying to pass her and she kept speeding up " was not a satisfactory response to the cop.
Moral of the story ? . . . . .don't speed in good weather.
You're welcome.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Minor Progress

Some progress is progress. My war against technology is whipping my ass. I am not a technophobe, but I seem to think everything will be a lot easier than it turns out to be. After all my anxiety about the connector cable from the monitor to the computer-my purchase from Dell and their unwillingness to accept the return and my consequent purchase from Staples for even more cable connectedy-things -turns out the monitor will connect to the computer after all. Connected, no problem.
Now, I am apparently not connected to the internet. I'm pretty sure it's something fairly simple, like not inserting tab A into slot B, or making sure the power chord was connected to a power source (which happened in this most recent go-around). I know it's something simple, but I'm at a loss to figure out what it is . I am going to sleep on it and maybe wake up with the solution.
No snarky comments from you MAC users. I agree, it's a superior product, and when I have the money, I'm getting one of them efficient gadgets. But I'm not there yet.
I feel pretty good about the actual progress I have made. Or, at least , I percieve the actions of this evening as progress. Now I am tired. I worked all day, made dinner for Mum & me, did some laundry and worked on my computer problem. I haev earned my night of rest .

Friday, November 20, 2009

Railing Against the Wind

I stand on the mountain top shaking my fists at the sky and screaming my protest against the trials of it all. The beurauracracy, my stupidity, my lack of forethought. I am drizzling my nickels & dimes. I will never get out from under this heavy rock . My tiny heart is pinched. I will hunt down the president of Dell and fart in his general direction. I will kick the insurance covered pets of Comcast employees . I will pee on every meter in the city of Boston. Aaarrrrgggghhhh !!!!
There is no recourse for the little rank & file ant customer againt the cog-churning behomouths that run everything. I have to get off the grid. I need to be self -sufficient, learn how to survive in the wild . Just me, a down sleeping bag, a knife and a trusty uninsured mutt. Just me and books in a cave in the woods. . . .And Cheetoes. I will not go gently into that good night without snacks. . .

Friday, November 13, 2009

How Things Have Changed

Due to a domestic situation, I am spending a lot more time at home cooking & cleaning. Yes, that is not a typo-cooking & cleaning. In the last couple of months I have become adept at making scrambled eggs, pea soup from scratch & fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches. I can make a complete dinner -Salad, mashed potatoes, meat entree and dessert in under an hour. However, what has prompted my writing tonight was that I bought a turkey during this week's grocery shopping . I got an almost 12 pound turkey for $6.50. It was on sale for .49 a pound. It's frozen and I'm going to have to start defrosting it 3 days before Thanksgiving. . .. but . . . .dammit. . .I have a turkey.
No, I have never cooked a turkey before. However, if I was going to completely trash a turkey in the learning process, $6.50 seems like a more than reasonable price to pay for the experience. I am excited. I got a bargain. An edible bargain. I have attempted to cook a turkey twice before and was unable to carry through with the effort. Let's just say I was shot and was unable to finish the battle. It being a holiday with the family, "battle"seems like an appropriate word to use.
When I am done cooking said bargain turkey, I will make turkey soup. No, I have never made turkey soup from scratch either. This is the year. I am old enough and I am brave enough. There ! So, I will let you know how it goes.