Thursday, November 26, 2015


Today was for sure a day to be thankful for.  Although our family was not complete, we were missing Jennifer. Wes, Johnny, Debbie, and the boys.  We still had the rest of us, we had friends that mean so much to us, and the blessing was heartfelt. 

I started the day before the sun came up, it was the most beautiful moon that was so bright.  I had the whole turkey sitting in the brine, so I needed to get that washed, dried, and warmed up a bit.  I stuffed the cavity with apples, oranges, celery, onion, and fennel.  I slathered the bird with butter and rubbed it a secret mix.  Andrew had gotten up and reached me down the thermometers.  We put it into the bird, then into the preheated oven.
After a mere 3 hours, this beauty was pulled out.  A perfect 160 degrees.....

While the whole bird was in the oven, we got busy with the deboned one.  The butcher did a wonderful job, the skin was all intact.  Andrew did not like all the tendons were left, so he spend a good hour removing them.  Then when it almost ready to roll, he showed me that he took the breast "filet" and put them below the actual breast so that it was all like even and flat.  The bird insides were a thing of beauty, then we stuffed with the brioche and rolled it, that was beauty....
 I could look at all day....
Then my absolute favorite...
I did not take any pictures of the table laden with all of the food, I could almost hear it creaking. 

After dinner, I was told that my job was done.  I went into the family room and put my aching foot up.  I sat there for the longest, I have never, ever done that, let others clean up and put away the food.  I secretly enjoyed it.

Then the desserts came out.....
That was the second sweetest time of the day.....

I got to spend the day with the most important people in my life.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Turkey Stock Part II and Shrimp Stew?

Yesterday we went to the Acme, I always think cartoons, to pick up the two turkeys.  I met with the Butcher, he told me I started a trend with the boneless turkey.  Another employee saw him deboning the bird and asked about it.  When I met the employee, I asked him if he was going to stuff it.  He said he already did.  He has me thinking that his turkey is going to dry out.  I cook the brioche stuffing before I roll the bird up.  I am going to start the brioche stuffing this morning, it will be cool enough to roll in the bird by this afternoon.  I also need to get back to the broth so I roasted the bones in the oven, they impart a much better flavor roasted, then I put them into the half made stock.

Andrew was on the other side of the stove doing our dinner.  He has been tinkering/mixing with herbs and spices to make different rubs.  Earlier this week it was a fantastic rub for bone-in NY Strip steak.  Last night he made a spice blend for the Shrimp Stew.  I think it is a stew because it has corn and potatoes, sausage, and shrimp.  This is one stew that I don't hate, it is known universally that I hate stew....yuck, yuck, yuck.  This was delicious and I have to say Andrew's spice blend was fantastic.

It was a good amount of heat, not too hot, but hot enough.  Maybe we could have this again on Saturday?

Time to make the stuffing.......

Monday, November 23, 2015

Prep time con't....

We decided again on making the two turkeys, Brioche Stuffed Boneless Turkey and the other one, we really don't know yet which way we are going to go yet.  Tomorrow I think the decision will be made.

So this morning I began with making the Brioche Bread, I think I may need two loaves.  So I have one in the machine making and the other is all measured out and is waiting on the counter top.  I have decided not to use the WellBuilt for the other loaf because I did not like the way it came out the last time.  I did that side by side test, the Zojirushi outperforms the WellBuillt, each time.  The Zoji has the upper baking element, the paddle arms are longer, and a few other details have won me over.  It is difficult finding different recipes however.  Next loaf I will agree to Andrew putting in the loaf pan into the machine, I did not press this first one down enough.
First loaf

Second loaf
Next thing on the list is to strain the broth that I made yesterday, put it into a smaller pot and boil it down to half.  I strained the broth into a 12 qt. stock pot and a 8 qt. Rubbermaid container and then put on the back porch so that the fat would rise to the top.  It was unbelievably fatty.

I skimmed off the fat once.  I have to go back outside later to skim it once more.

Andrew got busy with the secret side that we are going to make.  We are going to make Cardone.  I just can't wait.  It is a whole lot of effort for a vegetable but the end is well worth it all.  Andrew cleaned it all up and cut it into manageable pieces.  I made a saltwater bath to keep them in.  When he finished cutting them, I started to boil them for 18 minutes, drained them, and put them into two containers.  I will finish them on Thursday.  I can't wait to eat them.

Everything came together and we finished up just in time to start dinner.  I really did not have anything planned and figured we could just throw something together.  Andrew asked if I wanted Stuffed Artichokes....silly question....heck yeah.  So he got to playing with more thistles.  I got everything together while he cleaned them up and made them ready for stuffing.  We put them into the pot and steamed them for a bit.  Then it was time to enjoy.

I am going to leave the Brioche loaves out so they can get a little crusty.  They just look wonderfully delicious.

Tomorrow turkey pickup day.....woohoo

Sunday, November 22, 2015

chopping, dicing, and roasting

We started the ritual with roasting the parts, I roasted the extra parts that we bought in order to start to make the stock.  We peeled and rough chopped the vegetables.  I decided on using leeks for the broth and so they had to be chopped and washed to get the dirt off of them and they were dirty. 

Tomorrow I will boil the broth down.....
 For the compost...
There is going to be some boiling.....