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Posts Tagged ‘turkey’

Sometimes you just have to laugh.  Love is often tragic, poignant, memorable, revealing, fulfilling and sweet.  But, just once in a while, it is funny.

I was coming back from an appointment today, driving down a busy road, when my eyes were drawn to my side of the road.  There was a sweet little red hen trotting down the shoulder, pecking here and there, but decidedly on a mission.  I looked for her cohorts, but low, she was the only little chicken in sight.  However, she was not alone.  A short distance in front of her was the obvious object of her affection…no measely little rooster, but the largest wild tom turkey I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some big ones.  Oblivious to the traffic and gawkers, he was also pecking his way down the road.

He knew how impressive he was.  And little red hen was completely smitten.  He didn’t seem to mind her company, and I wondered just how far from home she now was?  I hope he is keeping her warm somewhere tonight.

 

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I follow a wonderful blog, Texana’s Kitchen.  Christine is a born and bred southerner and posts wonderful articles and recipes.  She recently talked about leftovers that seemed anything but, and also stuffing.  She mentioned that when she talks stuffing, she is only referring to the cornbread variety.  This got me thinking.  We put all kinds of things in our birds…ha, ha, ha, and some of them seem pretty weird and exotic to me.  I’m Pennsylvania Dutch and we never even call it stuffing.  It is filling to us – maybe because it really is.  Think about that one.  We insert filling into our fowl, and it is yummy bread filling.  I know that may sound boring, but trust me, it’s delicious.  I’ll add my recipe below and maybe you can be the judge.  It is fabulous hot with gravy and even better to nibble cold, right out of the fridge, after the holiday meal.

Well, back to what other folks put in their birds.  Christine is a cornbread girl.  Then there is the old-fashioned oyster stuffing…okay if everyone coming loves oysters but off-putting for those of us not so enamored – although I do have a to-die-for ham and oyster pie recipe I confess to enjoying (maybe I’ll share that also).  Regaining my focus here, there is also the long-standing chestnut stuffing which I have never eaten.  I did find a recipe for chestnut and pear stuffing that sounds wonderful.  It contains bacon (and how could you then go wrong?), cranberries (yum), garlic, wine, etc.  I’m salivating now and it’s not pretty.

Let’s not forget apple stuffing, mushroom stuffing, nut, sausage, pineapple, rice, currants and potato and squash.  After I became curious about this issue, I researched stuffing and have decided that you can put anything you want in your turkey, goose, duck, chicken, capon, pheasant, quail.   The ingredients I found were a staggering array of all things edible.  Here’s the problem – no matter how many wonderful recipes I find, the holidays dictate tradition at my house, and I suspect in most homes.  Everyone is expecting the same dinner each Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You can mess with it around the edges, but not the major stuff.  If you are too adventurous and spring surprises on the group, you may elicit shrieks of protest and disbelief.  I guess the solution, necessarily, is to experiment on your own time and make some ordinary day special when you hit upon a new and worthy culinary sampling.

Pennsylvania Dutch Bread Filling for a 20-25 lb Turkey:  In a large bowl or tub (I use my Tupperware cake container), tear up enough white bread for your bird (at least two large loaves), add diced celery and onion to your liking, add salt and pepper to taste, parsley, about two to three cups of Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing mix (the blue bag), 10-12 eggs (yes – a dozen).  Now melt butter (you will need about two sticks), pour slowly over your ingredients, mixing with your hands as you go.  You want the filling very moist, but not soggy.  You can add a little whole milk if you need more liquid and don’t want to clog your arteries with more butter.

Note:  Adjust ingredient quantities for smaller birds.  If you have too much filling for the bird, it is also very good done in a crockpot.  Take the raw filling that is left and place in a crockpot on low, add chicken broth as it cooks to keep it moist and stir occasionally.

Ham & Oyster Pie:

3 cups of ground ham, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 can of oysters (drained), and 1 cup heavy cream

In a bowl, mix the ground ham and Dijon mustard.  Put this mixture in bottom of an unbaked pie crust.  Top the meat with the drained oysters and then the chopped onions.  Drizzle with melted butter.  Pour heavy cream over all.  Cover with the top pie crust dough and bake at 350 degrees until done – about 35 to 45 minutes.  (Most meat departments will grind the ham for you.)

This is so easy and so delicious…

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and count your blessings

My next post will be Monastic Music…lovely!

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All my life as I have had run-ins, run-overs and near-misses with wildlife, I always thought – “Oh, they’re so dumb, oh, maybe they’re deaf and didn’t hear me, oh, maybe they were young and inexperienced in the ways of automobiles.”  Yesterday, I had another near miss with a wild turkey.  The circumstances made me wonder if, like us, some critters are simply depressed and suicidal.  What can they do?  They have no hotlines to call for help.  The mountain road I was traveling has maybe one car on it every half hour, if that.  She had twenty-nine other minutes to leisurely cross, but she chose the instant I was coming by.  Inexplicable stupidity or death wish?  I braked and missed her.  Was she relieved to have a second chance at her birdy little life or angry to have to await another vehicle?  She ruffled her tail feathers at me.

I suppose we’ll never know for sure, but I believe the evidence is stacking up.  My daughter called me one Easter night in an uncustomary, semi-hysterical state.  She had been driving home when, according to her, the largest rabbit she had ever seen hopped in front of her car and, well, then he was the flattest rabbit she had ever seen.  She kept telling me she had killed the Easter Bunny.  She was certain.  So, was he just bummed out about delivering all those eggs?  It was his busiest day of the year.  Had he just had enough and snapped?  It was a four-lane highway; not exactly bunny territory.

I myself performed an assisted suicide on two mourning doves.  This pair must have had a pact.  Maybe their moms and dads were opposed to their relationship.  I only know they placed themselves just below a rise in the road, beyond my field of visibility.  I came over that rise, and they saw me when I saw them.  Have you ever watched doves take off?  It’s not exactly speedy.  I caught them both in my front grill.  It was gruesome.  I laid them off the road and went on my way to my appointment thinking I’d never be caught.  Luck was not with me.  When I pulled up in front of my client’s business, he was standing outside.  I got out of the car, and he said, “So how many birds did you slaughter this morning?”  The evidentiary feathers were still stuck in my grill.

I was playing golf once on a beautiful summer day, when one of my golf partners hit a lovely arcing second shot on a par five.  She brought down a robin,  about fifteen feet off the ground, in mid flight…a fairway fatality.  Coincidence?  Hmmmm.

Squirrels are the worst at getting in your way, but I contend they are just stupid and believe they simply like to play chicken with cars.  The other flat little squirrel bodies regularly scattered about don’t seem to deter them from their games.  Ergo, my conclusion of stupid.  I think they’d need a bigger brain to have feelings of low self-esteem and depression so I don’t believe squirrels are suicidal.  As to everything else, I’m open to the possibility.

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