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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

Turkey Tracks: Tea, the antidote to winter’s blues – By Tom Seymour

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Turkey Tracks:  January 23, 2018

Tea, TheAntidote to Winter’s Blues

Tom Seymour

This article appeared in our local paper, The Camden Herald.

I was so intrigued because I have wanted to make a tea with fir “leaves,” but have not slowed down to find out which ones to use and how.  I bought some tea bags some years back and loved the flavor of the fir tea.  But who knew it also had so many vitamins and other goodies.

I dry mint leaves from my garden every year and make tea with those.  Hmmmm. What about mixing them?  I have a white pine just steps from one of my doors.

 

via Tea, the antidote to winter’s blues – By Tom Seymour – Rockland – Camden – Knox – Courier-Gazette – Camden Herald

Written by louisaenright

January 23, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Turkey Tracks: Comfort Food: Pad Thai Noodle Soup

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Turkey Tracks:  December 22, 2017

Comfort Food:  Pad Thai Noodle Soup

Ah yes!

Comfort food on a cold night in Maine is…a treat.

Rice noodles are a special treat for me, and I keep various kinds on hand.  They are always good as a base for putting leftovers on top.

This QUICK soup uses Pad Thai noodles; skinless, boneless chicken breasts; and some veggies (celery, local carrots, thawed CSA Hope’s Edge greens blanched last summer, Hope’s Edge onions, yellow pepper, my garden garlic).  I also drizzled in some sesame oil as this soup is very low-fat, and I know it won’t hold me if I don’t add more fat to it.  Thus I also put a good amount of real cream in my dessert coffee.  Add salt to taste–or soy sauce, which you can eat and I cannot.  And grated ginger would be a nice addition as well, now that I think about it.

Dessert is thawed local organic wild blueberries sourced by Hope’s Edge and raspberries from my garden,  and a drizzle of local real maple syrup.  Just put berries in a bowl, drizzle over the maple syrup and let the bowl sit on the counter until thawed–about an hour.

It’s dead easy, this soup.  And as it cooks fast, I don’t have to worry about histamine levels.

First put the noodles in cold water in a large bowl to soften, which will take at least 20 minutes.  Read package directions, as some rice noodles soften in hot water.

Cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Put some water (about 3 inches deep) in a wide pan and start heating it.  You don’t want too much water as it will water down everything.

Throw in the chicken.  Throw in the veggies.  You might have to skim the top of the soup at this point.  Add salt or soy sauce.  Add any herbs you want.  When the veggies are close to soft, drain and noodles and add them to the broth.  Cook until the noodles are soft and white–about 3 to 5 minutes.

Scoop ingredients into a large bowl.  Tongs help with the noodles and a big ladle helps with the goodies and the broth.

Let the rest of the soup cool thoroughly and refrigerate.  Heat leftovers gently as the noodles will start breaking apart easily now.

ENJOY!

Written by louisaenright

December 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Turkey Tracks: Sunday Night Dinner

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Turkey Tracks:  December 18, 2017

Sunday Night Dinner

Some of you know that I grew some Blue Hubbard squashes this summer.

It was a riot.  The vines went EVERYWHERE.

Remember this picture from an earlier post?

I stored them in the garage until it go too cold.  Squashes don’t like cold. Then they came inside to wait to be cooked.  I think there is something that happens if you let the hearty winter squashes “sugar off” a bit.   Remember that Delicata’s, though, need to be eaten more quickly.  They don’t keep as well.

I really love the New England winter squashes.  I didn’t grow up with any of them because we lived in the south, for the most part, and these winter squashes really need a New England summer to develop their distinct flavors.  One of my favorites is this Blue Hubbard squash.  It’s delicious!!!  And a great keeper.  And you can get a lot of squash meat for the freezer from one of these BIG squashes if you halve them and roast them and scoop out the flesh and freeze it.  I love it mixed with cream, maple syrup, fall spices, and mixed with a blender until smooth.  A tiny bit of work gives you an asset to pull from your freezer–just thaw and mix in the other goodies.

Because of the summer drought, some of my squash did not get that big.  Were they still good I wondered?  And could I roast the flesh?  The answer, after last night’s Sunday dinner, is YES and YES!

I cut one of the small ones in half, seeded it, and cut it into slices for roasting–with garlic and fresh rosemary as Betsy Maislen and I did this past summer.

I cut off the rind and tossed the chunks in olive oil in a pan:

I come from the school that there is no such thing as too much garlic, as you can see above.  I grew this garlic and the rosemary.  I sprinkled rock sea salt over the mixture and cooked it at 350 for about 45 or so minutes.  Of course you could roast these with other ingredients.  Hmmmm.  Would they be food with maple syrup and cranberries?  Or with drizzles of orange and honey and basil preserved from your garden?

Before the first hard freeze, I cut all the rosemary and wrapped it in parchment paper and put it in one of the crisper bins in the refrigerator.  Now, almost two months later, it is still viable:

I had two chicken breasts.  Can I rant and say that chicken breasts today are SO BIG that they are obscene.  No way are ONE of these a proper serving for one person.  I layered broccoli and onion into the pan and used some Penzey’s herbs over everything.  I thought perhaps there was enough garlic already in this meal even for me.

This pan went into the oven alongside the squash.

I took out the veggies and let the meat “pop” for about 6 or 7 minutes with added temperature and the convection oven going.

The veggies look delicious and WERE.  I stored the extras for dinner tomorrow night and reserved these for tonight.

So, here’s my Sunday night dinner.  I added half of an organic Honey Crisp apple chunked up for dessert and a dessert cup of coffee and took everything downstairs to watch more of season 9 of PROJECT RUNWAY.  I seem to be hoarding the last two episodes of THE CROWN.

 

Written by louisaenright

December 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Turkey Tracks: Drying Mint

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November 20, 2017

Drying Mint

I’ve had my Reynolds, Georgia, grandmother’s mint in my garden for nearly 50 years now–through moves to three different houses.

I almost lost it a few years back here in Maine, but put it in three different places in my garden and when it began to come back, gifted it to a neighbor for extra safe keeping.  It is now close to running amok, as mint will do.  But I love to walk by it and pinch off a piece and crush it in my hands.  In places I ruthlessly mow it down and enjoy the heavenly mint smell wafting across the yard.

I particularly like throwing some leaves into a stir fry.  It just adds a very interesting layer of flavor.

So, this year I’ve tried drying it, stripping off the dried leaves, and stuffing them into glass jars.

High end mint teas are nothing more than dried mint leaves and sell for $6 or so a box of 20 packets!!!!

The mint I’ve dried is working find in stir fries–not like the fresh, but an interesting taste layer nevertheless.

To dry, just cut some stems and stick them into a kitchen glass for a few days.

I use parchment paper to capture the leaves as I strip them from the stalks with my fingers.

The jars are freebies after I’ve eaten the raw cream they contained.

And, voila!

Winter pleasures

(I also blogged here about preserving mint and basil in olive oil in the refrigerator–and have to dig out some of those leaves next stir fry to experiment.)

Written by louisaenright

November 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Turkey Tracks: DUCK FAT FOUND!

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Turkey Tracks:  October 23, 2017

DUCK FAT FOUND!

Rich, healthy, lovely stuff.

Wonderful for stir-fry use.

The folks in France where ducks are raised and where duck fat is used have little or no heart disease.

Just saying…

Written by louisaenright

October 23, 2017 at 10:55 am

Turkey Tracks: Fall Chores

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Turkey Tracks:  October 16, 2017

Fall Chores

Look at this empty porch!

All the wind chimes and flower pots and hanging baskets are down and stored.

The bags you see are full of daffodil bulbs and garlic–and as I write, they are all planted.

Is this the last mow?

Time will tell.  The mower is actually useful to mulch up fallen leaves.  That is much easier than raking or blowing them.

Look how the light has changed now.  I took this picture around noon the other day.

The Blue Hubbard squashes  are harvested and are living in the garage for the moment.  They are small this year, due to the drought, but I hope good.  Even small they are a LARGE squash.

The Cosmos keep blooming…

So beautiful and cheerful.

But the garden is all cleared out now–which was not true when I took this picture.

Betsy Maislen told me that one could strip out all the basil leaves in the fall, pack them in a jar, cover them with olive oil, and enjoy them all winter.  She swears they stay nice and green.  If basil works, why not mint??  So I picked mint tips too.  At the very least, the oil will be great for flavoring and salads.  I LOVE a hint of mint in sautéed veggies.

I still have mint in the garden I want to dry for winter teas.  And maybe I’ll try some rosemary dried for tea and freshly covered with olive oil???

I am off to a quilting retreat, so that will have to wait until I get home.

Still no hard frost at my house.

Written by louisaenright

October 15, 2017 at 6:39 pm