One of the more “interesting” activities of preparing the traditional Thanksgiving feast is making sure the turkey is thoroughly washed and properly prepared for roasting. Turkey, like any poultry, is prone to salmonella. Salmonella is an airborne pathogen that can find its way to your turkey via improper handling at the packing house or by improper handling at your house.
Most of us buy frozen turkeys, and the best way to defrost is to put them in the refrigerator several days before the Thanksgiving meal, but sometimes unexpected things happen. If you have to do a quick defrost the best way to proceed is by filling the sink with scalding hot water and soaking the bird. You’ll probably have to repeat these steps several times over the course of a few hours, but it sure beats trying to defrost the bird in the microwave. Whichever defrosting technique you use, be sure to keep the bird covered, and the original wrapper works best. Again, salmonella can be airborne, so an uncovered turkey, or any meat for that matter, left uncovered on a countertop to defrost, is an open invitation to trouble.
Once the turkey has been completely defrosted it needs a bath. With any poultry I go on the assumption that salmonella is there, so I put it in the kitchen sink, (which by the way, needs to be cleaned and sanitized first), and I run the water over all over it. Salmonella can hide in the nooks and crannies, so be sure to wash under the wings and thighs, in the joints, and make sure to flush out the body cavity while you’re at it. Yes, this process can get a little messy, particularly if you’re washing a big turkey, so if your faucet has a spray attachment use it as it will help make the job a little easier.
Once the turkey has been completely washed it’s ready for the roaster or the fryer, or even the smoker. Be sure to wipe up any water that may have splashed on the counter tops and around the sink with a disinfectant wipe. This helps prevent cross-contamination so you don’t end up with a rather nasty, uninvited guest.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
With the holiday season coming up there’s no need to buy canned cranberry sauce with its high fructose corn syrup and other additives that you may not want when it’s so easy to make it yourself, just like Rosie used to do. You can also make it the day before and allow it to chill overnight.
TRADITIONAL CRANBERRY SAUCE
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Place cranberries in a colander or strainer and wash thoroughly, removing any damaged cranberries. Set aside.
Pour water into a 2 quart saucepan and place over medium high heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil, and add cranberries. Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally until cranberry skins begin to pop. Keep stirring for several minutes. If a smoother sauce is desired, keep stirring until most of the skins have popped. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate sauce once it reaches room temperature.
It’s that time of year, what I like to think of as, “Pumpkin Spice,” season. Ha!
This recipe may not exactly be low carb, but it’s yummy, and it’s seasonal. You may even want to consider serving it as part of your Thanksgiving meal.
PUMPKIN WALNUT CHEESECAKE PIE
- 2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 2 frozen pie shells, thawed
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream sugar and cheese together in a large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin and spices and mix thoroughly. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add salt and blend until creamy. Pour equal amounts into pie shells and bake for 30 minutes.
While cheesecake is baking prepare topping. Cream butter and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add walnuts and blend thoroughly. Remove cheesecakes from oven after 30 minutes and sprinkle on topping. Return to oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool. Serve with whipped cream topping, if desired.
Fall is in the air, and there’s nothing like a cup of hot, homemade soup on a cool fall day. This recipe comes from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, and it’s just as delicious today as it was in her time. It’s also incredibly simple, and a great way to use up any leftover vegetables that may be lurking in the fridge.
CREAM OF VEGETABLE SOUP
- 2 tablespoons fat
- 4 tablespoons flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup cooked vegetable pulp*
Melt fat. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Stir in milk. Add vegetable pulp. Cook 10 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
* Pureed cooked vegetables (of your choice)
Modern adaptation: Cooking oil or olive oil may be used instead of “fat.” If you don’t have a blender or food processor simply chop the vegetables into tiny pieces. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, to help keep the milk from scorching. Once soup begins to boil, reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for 10 minutes, as directed. For more zing, try lemon pepper or season salt instead of salt and pepper.
Sugar was rationed during Rosie’s day, however this recipe came to me from a friend whose kids have food allergies, and it was something they could eat. The muffins are tasty, and the recipe uses all natural ingredients. Best of all, it’s easy to prepare, and something you may want to try if you want to avoid sugar or corn syrup.
SUGAR FREE BANANA MUFFINS
5 – 6 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil muffin pan, or use baking cups. Stir together bananas, oil, honey and vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Combine flour, nutmeg and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in the wet ingredients and blend with a spoon. Drop mixture into muffin cups, filling to the rim. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, chopped nuts may be added.
Chocolate may have been rationed during Rosie’s day, but it’s certainly not today. And there really is no such thing as too much chocolate. Not when you’re a chocolate lover like I am. And with the holidays approaching what better way to celebrate than to add a few touches to a classic recipe, and go for the chocolate. Inspired by the Nestle Toll House recipe.
CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- 2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cocoa
- 2 tablespoons coffee (if desired)
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large (12 oz) package of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350° F. Place flour, baking soda and salt on a piece of wax paper and set aside. Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl. Blend in eggs, mixing thoroughly. Add cocoa and coffee, if desired, and mix thoroughly. Blend in dry ingredients, a little at a time, until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoon full onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Note: If coffee is included it may be necessary to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour.
Here is another fabulous historic recipe courtesy of Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. This soup is easy to prepare, easy on your wallet, and best of all, it’s delicious. Enjoy.
CORN CHOWDER WITH BACON
4 strips bacon
2 cups cream style corn
2 cups evaporated milk, undiluted
1 onion, chopped
Seasoning of salt and pepper
Cut the potatoes in cubes and cook in 2 cups of boiling salted water until tender. Add the corn and milk. Cut the bacon in small pieces and fry until crisp with the onion. Add to the chowder, season to taste, and serve with crackers. 4 servings.
This is one of my all time favorite recipes. I created it with love, not to mention a lot of trial and error, as a tasty clam chowder alternative for those with milk allergies or lactose intolerance.
MEDITERRANEAN STYLE CLAM CHOWDER
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil or olive oil
- 2 cups water
- 2 to 3 small potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can diced, peeled tomatoes
- 2 cans baby clams
- 1/2 teaspoon basil, bay leaves, rosemary and Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Wondra flour or cornstarch
Chop onion and place in small stockpot with cooking oil. Add minced garlic, (if desired). Saute until the onions are soft and the garlic turns light brown. Add water, diced potatoes, salt (if desired), and pepper. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes. Strain clam juice into a small container and add clams to the soup mixture. Add Wondra flour or cornstarch to the clam juice and stir until all flour is dissolved and juice mixture is free of lumps. Add juice to soup mixture and stir thoroughly. Add garlic powder, (if not using minced garlic), basil, bay leaves, rosemary and Italian seasoning. Stir, and, if necessary, raise heat slightly until soup begins to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for an additional ten minutes. Serve.
Fall is in the air, and there’s nothing quite like a nice bowl of homemade soup to go with a crisp fall day. Here’s a nice, Italian style soup that can go as a side dish to an Italian recipe, or be a meal in itself.
SAUSAGE AND PASTA SOUP
- 1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or mild, casings removed
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 t0 3 tbsp chopped garlic (if desired)
- 1 jar tomato based meatless pasta sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz size)
- 1 package frozen carrots OR
- 1 or two fresh carrots, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
- 4 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 tbsp basil
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup uncooked pasta, such as rotelli
Brown sausage, chopped onion and garlic in a skillet until the sausage is thoroughly cooled. Drain and place in a crockpot. Add the pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, vegetables, water, (or chicken broth), and seasonings. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, checking frequently, and add water (or chicken broth), if needed. Stir in the pasta, turn crockpot to high, and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to desired firmness. Serve with garlic bread.
Another historic recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes…
During the war years fats were tightly rationed and in very short supply. One technique for saving on fat was to render the leftover fats from cooking meats. Another technique was to melt the fat off food wrappers. Sometimes traditional recipes were modified to help conserve scarce ingredients, such as the recipe presented here. Today’s health conscious cooks may find this recipe useful for those who wish to curtail their fat intake. Enjoy.
- 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon melted shortening or oil
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt, and sugar, and sift again. Add egg, milk, and shortening. Stir only enough to dampen all flour. Bake in greased muffin pans, in hot oven (425 F) for about 22 minutes for large muffins, 15 minutes for medium muffins. Makes 8 to 12 muffins.
SPICE APPLE MUFFINS
Mix muffins as directed above, adding 1/2 cup chopped, sliced apples with the egg, milk and shortening. Mix and turn into greased muffin pans. Sprinkle top with mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, and dash of nutmeg. Bake as above, allowing 20 to 25 minutes.