Thursday, November 28, 2013

Leftovers


Is it too early to talk about leftovers?

I hope you found time to meditate on your thanks. The legacy of memories we leave behind can be some of the sweetest rewards – well that, and the fabulous leftovers. You do have leftovers? Don’t you?! Please tell me you didn’t pig out like a wild animal? If you did – good for you!  That is what this celebration is all about, people coming together to laugh, love, be happy, create mental keepsakes and, above all else, enjoy a magnificent feast.

To quote Shakespeare: “If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.” What a way to go, but only if it’s gluten-free.

I love my gluten-free morsels and feel I eat better now than I ever have before. I’ve always been a responsible foodie and my gluten allergy just ups the ante and makes me even more responsible/accountable for my health. That is my wish for all, to be proactive in your overall wellness, thus helping fix America’s broken healthcare system. We all play a role, but I digress.

This post is not about preaching or teaching, but sharing my good fortune of food. I didn’t think I would have an appetizing feast this year because I was trying to keep it vegan and I didn’t plan my meal (I was counting on you to help, PR), but I opted for a turkey instead.

The turkey was tasty, the vegetables colorful and crisp, and the desserts – the best part of the meal, and that’s because they were homemade. Let me not forget the spirits.  Wine is essential.

I really am going to enjoy my leftovers, which allows for a bit of creativity.  However, my staples are Turkey – salad, scampi and soup.

Tomorrow, it will be about turkey soup, but not the traditional kind, as you know it. No, this labor of love has a variety of beans, cranberries, garlic and a few other special ingredients. I’ll make another batch of pumpkin mousse with my left over pumpkin, and with my cranberries I’ll make Cranberry-Orange Caramel Corn (a recipe I found in Better Homes and Gardens). Of course, I had to change it up a bit adding orange zest and molasses to the mix.

I hope you’ll make the most of your leftovers too. There are many things to celebrate this season, and one just happens to be food. I’m always thankful for what goes into my tummy and happy that I now know it must always be gluten-free. May we all live our best life, and for me that happens when I live it one meal at a time. Enjoy! – paerki

Cranberry Turkey Soup

Stock: Remove all the usable turkey meat from the carcass to save for adding to soup later.

Break up the leftover bones of the carcass a bit, so they don't take up as much room in the pot. Put the leftover bones and skin into a large stockpot and cover with cold water (about 2 inches). Add any drippings that weren't used to make gravy, and any giblets (except liver) that haven't been used already. Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, celery tops, and some peppercorns.

Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to a bare simmer or just below a simmer. Add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper (it sort of depends on how big your turkey is). You can always add salt to the soup later.

Cook for at least 4 hours, uncovered or partially uncovered (so the stock reduces), occasionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock, ideally through a very fine mesh strainer.

Making the Turkey Soup: With your stock already made, add 2 cups of fresh cranberries and cook for 30 minutes. Add fresh chopped carrots, onions, celery, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and black beans in equal parts. Add a couple cloves of garlic. Add seasoning: poultry, sage, thyme, and marjoram. Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.

Take some of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier, shred it into bite sized pieces and add to the soup. I occasionally add fresh tomatoes and a dash or two of hot sauce or Tabasco, which always gives it a little kick.













What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.

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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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