Waste Not Want Not

Waste not, want not.  How many times did we hear that when we were growing up?  I don’t know about you but I heard it fairly often.  Today I am back from over two weeks of travel and so it is time to deal with a few things left from our Canadian Thanksgiving.  I hosted dinner this year and was fortunate to have friends supply the turkey from their farm.  What I wasn’t expecting was the same friends to bring me an additional gift.  Upon their arrival, with a sheepish look on his face my friend held up a double plastic bag lump and said, “after our conversation the other day about not wasting food and using what you have to create nutritious, delicious food I just couldn’t give this to the dogs.”  I wondered what he was talking about.

It turns out that he had spent the day deboning turkeys so that he could freeze some turkeys in pieces rather than whole birds.  I have had one of the BBQ turkey breasts at his house and believe me they are to die for.  Huge succulent breasts that supply enough white meat for several meals.  Yum.

Anyway, the big lump turned out to be a turkey carcass that he was going to feed to the dogs but he thought better of it because of a conversation we had where I was bemusing about how easy it is to eat economically but well.  One of the things I mentioned, was never throwing out vegetable peels and bits or bones left over after a meal.  So there he was gifting me a turkey carcass and because I was leaving the next day I did not have time to deal with the carcass so I froze it.  Today I took the carcass from the freezer to use for making turkey stock.

I got a tip from a friend about roasting bones before you boil them and so for the last several years I have been doing that.  The roasted bones give so much more flavour to the soup stock and also create a beautiful brown coloured stock.  Why would I make soup stock you might ask?  Well, not just for soups. remember my son hates soup.  No, I use soup stock when I make risotto, when I make polenta, for flavour when I cook rice and in several other recipes such as short ribs and stews.  I freeze the stock in 2-4 cup portions and my freezer is never without a supply.  I have not bought soup stock in a very long time and it used to be a staple item on my grocery list.  I like to have vegetable stock, poultry stock, beef stock and fish stock in my freezer at all time so that I am prepared for any recipe I might want to make.

I thought I would show you how I make turkey stock and then give you a few links to recipes that use stock.

How to Make Turkey Stock

0Place the turkey carcass or bones in a roasting pan and sprinkle with a little herbs of provence and salt and pepper.  Put into a 375 degree oven and roast until golden brown.

0  When the carcass is browned remove from the oven.       0 Place in stock pot and cover bones with water.  Simmer for one to two hours.

0 Strain the bones out from the liquid.   0

0 Place a lid on the stock and chill overnight.

Skim any fat that has set on the top of your stock off and discard.

Pour stock through a fine sieve and then freeze in desired amounts.

Here are a few links to recipes that use stock.

Basic Risotto      http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/rice-recipes/a-basic-risotto-recipe

Polenta                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Creamy-Soft-Polenta-with-Meat-Ragu-241043

101 Soups             http://www.canadianliving.com/food/menus_and_collections/101_soup_recipes.php

Early Fall Bounty

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I am back from a weekend with the girls.  It was fun to meet new people and share stories.  We had lots of laughs, a little dancing and too much food.  There was also a fair bit of pampering, in the form of pedicures and massages.  It was the perfect weekend for a girls retreat because it was pouring rain and stormy all weekend.  That did not stop a couple of us from jumping in the lake  or getting out for a walk though.

While most of the girls were getting spa services I slipped on my gumboots and gortex coat and escaped to the woods.  I couldn’t help myself because when I went for a walk I spotted some Chanterelles on the driveway.  I took a friend who had never been mushroom picking and we had a fabulous time hunting under the ferns, Oregon Grape and stepping over logs and moss.  The rain forest is so magical and the variety of mushrooms and fungi growing at this time of year is astounding.  I am sure there are many other edible mushrooms but I stick to the buttery Chanterelles.  We each came home soaked to the bone but smiling with a bag of Chanterelles in hand.  I dried them today.

Another thing I love to do at this time of year is head out to the garden, in this case my friend’s garden, and see what there is that needs to be harvested and used.  Some things like leeks, carrots, beets and kale are fine through most of the winter here but other vegetables such as tomatoes really need to be picked.  There are also a few late zucchinis to be used as well as peppers and Swiss Chard.

I thought I would share a  recipe with you today for one of the ways I preserved tomatoes this year.  Usually I can tomatoes and freeze some whole.  I ran across an idea in a library book this year and thought I would give it a try.  I was really pleased with the results.

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     Roasted Tomato Sauce

1. Take ripe tomotoes and slice them in half horizontally.  Scoop out any liquid and seeds into a bowl and then set the tomato scooped side up on a cookies sheet covered with parchment paper.

2. Peel and chop some garlic and sprinkle over the tomatoes.

3. Do the same with some fresh basil.

4. Drizzle some olive oil over the tomatoes and put them in the oven at 350 to roast.

5. When the tomatoes are roasted and turning slightly dark brown and starting to soften remove from the oven.

6. Dump the tomatoes and any oil, garlic and basil on the sheet into the bowl of scooped out seeds.

7. Mix gently with a spoon.

8. Place mixture in freezer bags or containers and freeze

Whenever you require tomato sauce take a bag or two out of the freezer and enjoy the rich taste of roasted tomatoes.

Continue until you fill the tray.

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