Remains of the Day

131201 TurkeyThe Thanksgiving holiday ends when the soup is done.  That’s the way I look at it anyway.  Saturday afternoon, after guests had had their fill of all things turkey I removed the meat from the bones and made stock in a very large pot.  I strained the broth and put the pan in the shed to cool overnight. The temperature hadn’t been above 25 degrees so it’s as good as any refrigerator.

Sunday morning I skimmed the fat and heated the stock.  This is where we come to the rest of the ingredients.  Everything that was leftover from Thanksgiving went into the pot.  Mashed potatoes, squash, rutabaga, gravy, it all went in.  Using this as the base for your turkey soup gives it the most wonderful flavor and thickens it to the perfect consistency.  Last but not least comes the leftover bird – and this was one wonderful bird from Diemand Turkey Farm in Wendell, MA.  I didn’t add any starch because I wanted to keep my options open since it was such a huge amount.

The soup was simmered for about an hour and then the canner came out.  I had to can two rounds because the canner will only do 14 pints at a time.  All in all I canned 24 pints.  I do pints because many times it’s just one person (or two) opening a jar.  If there are more people open more jars.  It’s so satisfying to see the fruits of your labor sitting on the counter cooling.  Then dream about the soup’s possibilities – turkey barley, turkey rice and I’m thinking dumplings would be a great winter meal.

The biggest treat is tasting this when Thanksgiving Day is a distant memory because this is really Thanksgiving Dinner in a jar – yum!

 

Waste Not, Want Not

131102 StockI’ve been buying or roasting a chicken a week for the past 3 weeks.  What started out as an easy meal actually turned into 3 plus meals, each meal probably costing about $1.00 per person or less.

The first meal is roast chicken with sides, I usually eat squash, carrots or green beans with it.  Maybe a mashed potato as well.  The second meal might be black beans and rice with chicken added.  The third meal this week was a lunch of chicken salad.  The fourth iteration is my favorite- I make and can stock.  All of these meals are for two, not a family of 5 but the reality is if you know how to cook you can stretch your food dollar quite a ways.

At this point in time I throw very little food away and chicken stock has the potential to be any number of wonderful meals.  My Saturday morning routine of late has been to throw the bird carcass in a pot with an onion, a couple of carrots and a few stalks of celery.  I cover it with 3 to 4 quarts of water, add some salt, pepper and thyme (or poultry seasoning) and let is simmer for a few hours.  I strain the broth through a colander and can it in my pressure canner – 35 minutes at 10 lbs.  It amounts to 5 or 6 pint jars when all is said and done.

Have a friend or relative with a cold or flu?  Pull out a jar and make a little soup – a delicious soup.

With the weather getting downright frigid what could be more comforting?

Waste not Want not