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Turkey Tracks: New Grill!

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Turkey Tracks:  May 20, 2018

New Grill!

My old one was 5 years old and beyond my ability to clean up I think.  Not because I’m lazy but because I can’t do the chemicals that would clean up rust due to my histamine intolerance.  I can’t get the grill down to the garage on my own, so it is under cover, but outside.  I have to rethink this issue.

I got the same model, but it has some improvements.  It still has the fuel gauge I love. I also love the heat gauge, so I know when I should start cooking.  One shelf is fixed and serves as a kind of handle to push the BIG WHEELS around.  The weight of five feet of snow smashed the older tiny wheels down until they really did not want to turn.

And the RED makes me smile whenever I see it.  I keep it inside a cover when it is not in use.

I love flank steak.  It may be my most favorite form of steak.  It has so much flavor.  And on a hot grill, cooks super fast.  But first, the veggies:  here’s a pan full, including sugar peas that are just coming into our markets now.   My oven gas burners are really HOT (14,000 BTUs), so I can sear a pan full of veggies in no time.  When they start to sweat, I turn the heat down.  I use duck fat or coconut oil for the fat as it will stand up to this kind of high heat.

Here are the finished veggies:

My first steak on this new grill:

Slice flank steak across the grain.  Look at all the extra meat I will have–some to freeze for my quilty trip and some for leftovers.

Here’s my Friday night dinner:

And here’s a leftover meal.  I only had these thin rice noodles.  They just soak in hot water for ten minutes.  The veggies reheat in a glass bowl in the oven in under 20 minutes.  (I gave away my microwave some 15 years ago.)  I like this kind of dinner when I’m sewing.  Easy to reheat, lovely to eat.

Written by louisaenright

May 20, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Recipes

Turkey Tracks: More Roasting

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Turkey Tracks:  May 8, 2018

More Roasting

Roasting makes an easy, delicious meal.

Here are chicken breasts with an assortment of veggies.  Aren’t the Chioggia beets pretty?

I drizzle with olive oil.  Or, sometimes with melted Red Palm Oil, which is chock full of nutrients—and not part of the palm oil industrial problem.  It’s practically a medicine.  Sprinkle with GOOD salt and herbs.  And, sometimes, chopped garlic and ginger.  I roast for 40 minutes, then pull off the veggies (broccoli gets burned otherwise) and turn the heat up and the convection oven on.  It only takes a few more minutes to really brown the chicken breasts until the skin is bubbly and crispy.  You could use the oven’s broiler feature for this step as well.

Here’s my dinner.  Chicken breasts are so huge now that half works just fine.  I’ll get another meal and a whole breast for two salad lunches.

Here’s one of my salad lunches, using leftover steak.  I also had one ball of some fresh mozzerella to use.  It was too much, so I ate half and ate the other half for dinner with a roasted chicken thigh and some sauteed zucchini and summer squash added—just a simple sautee with duck fat and dried herbs and salf.  OK, I also heated some leftover smashed potatoes with loads of butter added.

Yes!  She cooks!

Written by louisaenright

May 8, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Turkey Tracks: The Joy and Economy of a Roasted Chicken

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Turkey Tracks:  May 4, 2018

The Joy and Economy of a Roasted Chicken

Every now and then I roast a chicken for myself.  I will start doing it more often as the last batch of broth I made from the carcass didn’t make me sick, and I do love soup so much.  (Food cooked a long time acquires loads of histamine, which does not work for me as it makes my mast cells make MORE histamine that my body can’t process.)

Look at this beauty!  I am loving adding peeled beets (easy with a carrot peeler and no more difficult after you cut off the top and bottom rough places) to the roasting mixture.

Roasted beets are dead sweet.  I stewed some collard greens to go with my meal–a Friday night special dinner just for ME.  I added the chicken neck to the pan to give the collards more flavor–and also used smashed garlic and some onions.  I sweated the onions a bit in duck fat before adding the collards and a little liquid.

I made some rice.  I keep this brand on hand–stopping at Trader Joe’s when I go to Portland to stock up.  This rice is organic, SPROUTED (which makes its nutrients more available to us), AND is a lovely mixture of varieties.  I can eat rice and quinoa these days, but don’t do it too often as I immediately put on weight.  Grains for me are a treat food.

Here’s the pot of rice ready to be cooked:

Here’s the amount of ginger and garlic I included:

And here is my dinner!!

I took the meat off the carcass and stored it–and had one leftover meals and two big salads with some of the breast meat.  I also froze a meal to take on my quilting retreat next week.  (I have to take my own food, which is great because then I have no worries about unwanted reactions.)

The carcass and all the roasted veggies from the pan (not the beets, though next time…) that I did not eat go into a stock pot and cook for no more than two hours.  Back before my histamine issue, I would have cooked this broth for 24 hours in a crock pot and still recommend that you do so.  Add some acid:  vinegar, lemon, wine.  Something.  And add salt to the broth–real salt, not the grocery store Morton’s fake salt.  These days we are reading a lot about tiny plastic bits in real salt dried from ocean water AND in bottled water, so maybe the salt that comes from old salt deposits is better???

I strain off the spent veggies and the bones.   This time I had about 12 cups, so divided into two batches and froze one.

Now I got out my HEAVY crust pan, put in some duck fat, and started sweating veggies.  I use what I have on hand, and I keep a lot of veggies on hand.  What you see here is yellow squash, carrots, onion, garlic/ginger, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery.  Along the way I added some dried herbs:  Penzey’s and dried mint from my garden.  The dried mint gives the soup a deep sweet note.  I order a variety of Penseys dried herb mixtures in the fall, and in the summer I add fresh herbs from my garden.  I also might add some of the basil I put down in oil last fall–still bright green beneath its layer of oil.  (There is an earlier blog post on how to do this–learned from Betsy Maislen.)

I added the meat of one-half of boneless chicken breast to the pot and froze the other half for the reserved frozen broth.

I poured in the stock (about 6 cups) and brought the veggies/meat to simmer.  Don’t overcook here–just until the veggies are getting tender.  Then I added the leftover collards and rice and just let them heat a few minutes.  Soggy, limp veggies in soup are ok, but I like them a big firmer.s  That’s why I only reheat soup I’m going to eat for a meal.  BUT, I also don’t let soup hang around the refrigerator for two reasons:  it grows histamines and the broth needs to be reheated on a regular basis.

Here’s my lunch!

No No Penny LOVES anything chicken and adores having a bit of the soup.  She, and Reynolds before her, knows when I am cooking chicken.  She smells it, she knows she will get some, and she anticipates her share as much as I do.  Would you want to eat two bowls of dried cereal with no milk–and nothing else–for the rest of your life?  No?  Well neither do dogs.

So, I got 5 meals from the roast chicken and 5 from the soup (with the addition of 1/2 chicken breast) AND I still have 6 cups of broth frozen.

I’d call that pretty darn good in the food economy planning.

Hope you think so too.

Finally, here is my favorite knife, which just came back from Acute Grinding and is sharp as can be.  A good knife makes short work of chopping veggies.  Every so often it is good to get knives sharpened by an expert.  It makes a world of difference.  Acute Grinding cut this knife a new edge, so now my sharpening will keep it sharp for a long time.



Written by louisaenright

May 4, 2018 at 9:34 am

Turkey Tracks: April 2018 on the Homefront

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Turkey Tracks:  April 27, 2018

April 2018 on the Homefront

The snow is almost gone from the Snowball slopes–where we have local skiing.  I stopped to take this picture because I love it when wispy clouds cover the top of the mountain, allowing glimpses here and there as they swirl and drift.  My world is greening up now, especially after two days of much needed rain.

I planted pansies this week.  Usually these barrels get planted much later in the spring, but they had to be moved from their winter spot due to the garage drainage project.  I love pansies, so having them planted where I see them every day is a real treat.  I’ll plant them every spring now.

The droopy plant below has recovered after two days of rain.

Dinner the other night was some scallops I found frozen at the Belfast Coop the other day.  The scallop season up here is very short and starts in December.  It’s amazing to think they are mostly collected by DIVERS who brave the cold Maine bay waters that time of year.  I made sweet potato fries to go with and sautéed some baby boy chow–a favorite vegetable of mine.  I just flash cook scallops in a good fat, or a mixture of good fats, so that they caramelize.  They are amazing with sweet potatoes.

This sweet potato is one of the white Japanese ones.  Peel, cut into fry sizes, put into an oven pan lined with parchment paper (please, please, please DO NOT use aluminum foil for any cooking), add dried herbs, minced garlic and ginger (you don’t have to peel the ginger, just chop it fine), drizzle with olive oil and toss everything around.  I used the convection oven feature to cook these at about 350 degrees.  Otherwise, use a slightly higher heat and check that you are not burning the bottom of the pieces.  Turn them over if they are getting brown.  I don’t know.  It takes about 30 minutes, depending on heat temps.  This sweet potato variety is dead sweet.

Written by louisaenright

April 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Turkey Tracks: Roasted Veggies

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Turkey Tracks:  April 5, 2018

Roasted Veggies

I roast winter veggies frequently.  And when I do, I roast a lot so I have another meal.  Or, two.  (I have to be careful as leftovers grow histamine as they age.)

But aren’t these gorgeous?  I drizzle with some olive oil on top and on the bottom before I throw in the veggies.  One could toss the veggies around to more thoroughly coat them.  Sometimes I even do that.  I dress with salt and dried herbs.  I often add chopped fresh garlic.  Adding mint I dried last fall gives these veggies a subtle, but deep sweet flavor to the roasting.  One could also add something like curry powder or other Indian spices.

This time I tried beets (red and orange) in the mix.  I just washed them, cut off the ends, peeled them with a carrot peeler and cut them into bite-sized pieces.  They were so sweet and delicious!

Written by louisaenright

April 5, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Turkey Tracks: More Snow on Way

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Turkey Tracks:  March 2, 2018

More Snow on Way

What a gorgeous day today is.  Bright, sunny, warmer.  You would never know that we are meant to get another big snow storm starting tonight.

No No Penny and I went up to Belfast to the Coop to stock up on food supplies AND to walk the river/harbor walk.  This walk winds through the ship yard, and I’m always intrigued by the HUGE boats up on their stilts, ready for whatever work they need.  I love seeing what lies beneath the water that we don’t normally see.  Here’s what I saw today:

What a sleek boat  But what intrigues me in addition to the sleekness is the depth of the rudder (?) at the back of the boat.  I suppose it balances the boat???

I came home with two heavy sacks of groceries and fixed this lunch of veggies and ricotta cheese, which I seem to tolerate ok:

Time to cook more beets…

…which I forgot to buy today.

Lunch yesterday was pretty nice too:

I love, LOVE drumsticks.  I cook a big family size pack of them and freeze them.  It’s easy to grab out two for lunch.  They defrost in an hour on the cast iron griddle I bought years ago from William Sonoma, and they reheat in about 15 minutes in my oven.

Betsy Maislen is addicted to the Long Time Gone blocks.  This one, due in April, arrived in my messages last night.

And Margaret Elaine Jinno is now caught up with the group here in Camden.  Here are all her blocks.  She says she’s redoing the two Bow Tie blocks now that she is rolling.  Love her Star in Star block.  Love all her blocks for that matter.  M-E is the best seamstress I know.

Margaret Elaine has inspired me with her crosses block.  I have not liked the addition of the star, but I like what she has done to make it pop.  Maybe I’ll do that too.

I finished what work I have been doing for some days now on the Traveling Quilt I have.  Pics will follow after our next meeting.

The binding is on Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Quilts.  I will start sewing it down tonight while watching tv.  It was fun to quilt it on the long arm.

Two more rows are on Valse Brilliante, the EPP project.

I’M CATCHING UP with the UFOs.




Written by louisaenright

March 12, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Turkey Tracks: Taxes and Sons’ Visit

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Turkey Tracks:  February 22, 2018

Taxes and Sons’ Visit

The taxes are done!  The taxes are done!

Whoo Hoo!

I’ll drop off the package tomorrow to the tax preparer.

And I’ve had a lovely visit from my TWO sons, up from Charleston, SC, for a long weekend visit.  Do you know how rare it is for a mother to have visits TOGETHER from sons, both of whom have intense lives at home and work.  I so enjoyed this rare gift–facilitated by my wonderful DILs and my seven grand kiddos.

Both sons love lamb, so I cooked lamb shanks one night for them, with smashed Yukon Gold potatoes, roasted beets. and roasted Brussel Sprouts.  Yummo!  My secret for tender braised meat is my covered Creuset pot.  The cooking liquid included defrosted Hope’s Edge CSA tomatoes from last summer–smashed through a sieve–and local leeks and onions and my garlic.

It was a delicious meal!  And a delicious visit with those special, special people.

Written by louisaenright

February 22, 2018 at 5:11 pm