Okay, so now you know what we did with our leftover turkey carcasses from Thanksgiving. And with the meat? Cold turkey sandwiches (mayonnaise, cranberry sauce, salt & pepper), of course. Best day-after sandwich there is. And with the very last bits, we made turkey pot pies for lunch today. The filling had sautéed onions, carrots, and leftover chestnuts-madeira stuffing, all bound together with a little white sauce seasoned with nutmeg. The pastry top—a regular pie crust dough using pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour—was tender and flaky. Oh, yes, one pie was for lunch, the other will be for dinner (we’ll toss a coin to see who gets to take it home to their family). Adiós Thanksgiving. Until next year.
We hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving. Between us, we roasted about 75 pounds of turkey this past Thursday. By Friday, we had three big carcasses to make stock. And stock we made. We now have about 5 gallons of rich broth, all but 2 quarts stashed in our freezers. That’s a great feeling—plenty of soups in store for us. But in the meantime, we filled our bellies today with some of the remaining broth—big bowls of it, piping hot, with some turkey, tofu, carrots, rice, scallions, and lots of fresh cilantro. Perfect lunch for a rainy day.
As happens every so often, and usually by surprise, a USPS flat-rate box filled with the most delicious Hass avocados shows up at our door—a gift from our generous California friends with an avocado grove in their back “yard”. Well, today was one of those days. What timing! We were just about to head out to the farm to pick up our pre-ordered 25-pound turkeys. Too busy to cook anything for lunch, and a little bit starving, we did some gentle pressing and found a perfectly ripe avocado in the lot. These West Coast beauties are rich enough to eat plain, but we like to guild the lily. So we split it, drizzled olive oil into the halves, added a couple squeezes of lemon juice, two pinches of red pepper flakes, and salt. As always, we are so grateful for our friends (and gifts like these!). Thank you John, Stephanie, and Nick!
This year, more than ever before, we can hardly wait for Thanksgiving. We’re counting on the pleasure of gathering around the table with family and friends. And the comforting holiday food will taste particularly delicious. Our twenty-five pound turkeys (one for CH; 2 for MH) have been ordered; good bread has been carefully torn into fine crumbs for stuffings, bagged, and stashed in the freezer; and we’ve already started making turkey stock for soup and gravy for the big day next Thursday. Now in the past, for us, roasting a whole turkey for lunch just a week before Thanksgiving would be jumping the gun—most definitely. But our cravings are so strong, that we just did it. We roasted a twelve pound bird this morning, and served it sliced, on toasted bread slathered with mayonnaise, and spooned the turkey jus on top. Just to make the point. It was wonderfully messy, and it sure hit the spot.
Carey Jones—author of Brooklyn Bartender, a modern guide to cocktails and spirits (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2016)—and John McCarthy, global mixologist extraordinaire, gave us a quart of rich, exotically-flavored chicken broth. Think cinnamon, lemon grass, ginger, then imagine the heavenly aroma. We added no more than a tangle of aptly-named angel hair pasta and some cilantro. It filled us up and soothed/calmed our restless spirits.
We know Ruth wrote Comfort Me with Apples, but for us pasta is more consoling. So today, as we nervously await the outcome of the election, we lunched on big bowls of spaghetti tossed with a meaty, long-simmered sauce. As we slurped up the tomato-coated strands, our anxiety melted away—felt better than Xanax. Cook something to comfort yourselves tonight, dear friends.
To take the chill off the day, we tucked into big bowls of warm chili con carne—fragrant with cinnamon and cumin—and rice, with sour cream, cilantro, onions, and grated Gouda. This afternoon, we may just need to roll out our mats and take siestas. Good way to set the tone and start the week. God only knows what tomorrow may bring!
For lunch today, we slurped up the last of a big pot of ginger-chicken broth that we made earlier in the week. We added cooked arborio rice and scallions warmed in butter. Amazing how flavorful and satisfying a dish this simple can be. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
Yesterday, dear friends gifted us with a bag of wide scallion rice noodles from NYC’s Chinatown. This morning, we put a large pot of chicken wings, onions, fresh ginger, and water on the stove to bubble into something beautiful. By lunchtime, we had a rich, flavorful broth for our noodles. To the strained simmering broth we added sliced hen-of-the-woods and a large handful of chopped scallions, then we slipped in the noodles.
If Frenchtown were big enough to have its own Chinatown, we might be slurping bowls of noodle soup like this every day, but until then, we’ll rely on the kindness of friends.