Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Shroud of Turkey

I love turkey. I have a "secret" way of cooking turkey that my grandmother used and I have never heard of anyone else using this method. It's a little unusual, but it makes a very perfect and deliciously moist turkey every time. Here's my secret: cover the turkey with a butter soaked piece of 100% cotton white cloth and cook. Sound a little weird? yup, I know. But it works. See for yourself:

Start with a fresh turkey. So much easier than dealing with days of defrosting a frozen turkey.

Stuff and season with salt and pepper

Cut a piece of cloth large enough to cover the whole bird. I use 100% cotton white muslin and usually buy about a yard. Melt one and a half sticks of butter in a sauce pan.

With tongs, cover the cloth with the melted butter. Make sure the cloth is saturated with the butter.

Unfold the cloth and drape over the turkey. Make sure the breast is well covered and the cloth is tucked inside the pan. Pour any remaining melted butter over the draped cloth. Add about a cup of water to the pan.

In the oven (325) it goes.

Baste the cloth with the pan drippings every 40-50 minutes. Add water to the pan as needed to keep about an inch of liquid in the pan. The cloth will get very brown.

About an hour before the turkey is done, take it out of the oven to remove the cloth. The cloth will get very brown and crispy....if you like crispy skin, it will look good enough to eat! But don't! To remove the cloth, baste the cloth well and when it is nice and wet, peel it carefully off with tongs. Discard the cloth. Or marvel at it that it looks like crispy skin or brown leather!

Baste the uncovered turkey and put back in the oven for the last hour of cooking. The turkey will brown nicely all over. If the exposed stuffing is getting crispy, cover with a little aluminium foil shield.

The golden moist bird. It makes for......

Happy Pilgrims!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Bird is the Word

Happy Thanksgiving! I plan to post later today about my special recipe for turkey. I just have to wait until the cooking is through so I can chronicle with photos. In the meantime, have a great day and enjoy your blessings!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TWD: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie

Pecan Pie? oh yes, please! Pumpkin Pie? Not so much. I don't know why I don't like pumpkin pie. It's not the consistency thing- I love custards and mashed foods. And I love the spices involved here. But pumpkin pie and I have never been friends. Even with a top layer of gooey pecans, this pie just didn't do it for me. My first Tuesdays with Dorie challenge that I didn't care for.

I enjoyed making this recipe and a few people 'round my house liked it. I did have to cover the crust edges about half way through as they were getting pretty dark and crispy in the oven. I just twisted some foil and fit it around the pie dish.

Maybe I'll try drinking my obligatory piece of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie on Thursday instead. Here's a recipe for a Pumpkin Pie Martini!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Soup's On

Here's a great deal. Did you know that HoneyBaked Ham stores sells ham bones? I can buy them at my HB Ham store for $7.99 and they come with lots of meat still on them. Like enough for a few sandwiches or a meal for 2 and even then there is plenty enough on the bone to make soup. They don't always have them in the store, so call first before you go.

I made bean soup today with great northern beans. I use the overnight soak method and then softly boil the beans and ham in water for a few hours. I add in some chopped onion, chopped celery (including the leaves) and a diced carrot or two. Add some pepper and a little bit of salt, a few bay leaves and simmer. Then I add my secret ingredient (shhh- don't tell). About a cup of ketchup. It delivers some color and a subtle sweetness. Good on the first night with some bread and butter.

Even better on the second night with biscuits and honey.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting Ready to Get Reddy

The windowboxes in our front window always have some kind of red flowers in them. As we live in a pretty warm area (Well, except for today when it is 40 degrees here!) it's usually geraniums most of the year and then poinsettias for the holidays.
I love the big splash of red on the outside and the glimpse of red from the inside. Our geraniums are still blooming and healthy so they will be sent to the back lanai (porch) to give a color punch there and soon we will have our Christmas flowers in the front window.
Maybe they'll last until Easter again this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TWD: Arborio Rice Pudding

First let me say....ahhhhhhh my internet connection is back! Posting from the iPhone was OK for an "emergency" but this is more like it. Something about a splitter gone bad and more power to the TVs than to the computer.

Another Tuesday is here and another success from Tuesdays with Dorie. This week: Arborio Rice Pudding. Arborio rice is a short and wide grained rice that is makes its famous appearance in Risotto. It is also perfect for pudding. I "played around" with the recipe just a wee bit and added a layer of soaked plump raisins and a few grates of fresh nutmeg.

Some TWD bakers listed issues with the printed recipe---pudding stayed soupy. Dorie Greenspan herself stopped by the TWD blog and let us know of a printing error---the pudding had to cook for 55 minutes instead of 35 as printed. Thanks, Dorie!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


My Internet connection is down and I am experimenting with posting from my iPhone. C and Eileen I will be in touch with you as soon as Comcast fixes my connection!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TWD: Kugelhopf

My first Tuesdays With Dorie project! And a success! I LOVED this recipe even if it was rather involved. The only changes I made were to add more raisins (about 1/2 cup total) and when I didnt have any whole milk, I used half half and half (Ha!) and half lofat milk. I figured with just a third of a cup total milk that the combo would work. It did.

The crust on this yeast bread/cake was so fine and delicious. I was leary of Dorie's warnings that it would not stay fresh for very long, but I wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and it was fine for the three days it lasted. This is definitely a "do again". Maybe with craisins next time.

Don't forget to enter the give-away contest listed yesterday!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Clean Out:You Clean Up!

TIMES UP! Way to go C and Eileen! We'll post winner(s) later today! :)

I love contests. I hardly ever win. Although I did manage a good haul a bingo recently! I was taking stock of holiday "stuff" tucked away in closets this weekend and remembered that I had ordered TWO of these wonderful ornament kits from Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy. I cut one out yesterday and quickly realized that I will never get to the second set this year. I could put it away for next year, but I then either A. Will never find it or B. Be distracted by some other project by then.

So here's my idea:

Leave a comment telling me what your holiday project(s) are this year and I will randomly select a winner using that random integer generator thingy! If you are the winner, I will ask you to email me your name and address and I will quickly ship this unopened ornament kit off to you so that you can start on it before December! Be sure to leave your comment before 8 AM EST on Thursday, November 13. One posting/entry per person seems most fair. To see whats included in the kit or if you don't want to take a chance on a contest and have to have one of these or the many other wonderful things Alicia makes, visit here.

Thank you for helping me clean out my stash---if this works, there will be more!

Photo courtesy of Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ola Orla!

I stopped in my tracks at Target yesterday when I saw this kitchen towel. Kitchen towels don't ordinarily excite me, but when I saw this I almost screamed out "ORLA!" Orla, you ask? Yes. Orla Kiely. One of my favorite designers with an organic style and leafy trademark. Is this kitchen towel really an Orla? I seriously doubt it, but its a great rendition and only $2.99.

I still kick myself over the "shoulda bought" Orla Kiely bag that was on sale at Anthropologie a few months ago. It was at an incredible price but I passed it over. Darn.

Check out Toast, a UK Anthro-like merchant and request their catalogue....if only for the photos...very lucious. Oh how I am lusting after these shoes.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Someone special is TWO today. Just ask her. She'll tell you. TWO and it's this many. Seems like just yesterday her mother and I were laughing hysterically on the night she was born because of this. She is still making us smile everyday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Vote Goes to....HC from WS!

I love Hot Chocolate (HC). I don't drink it a lot , probably because I really love coffee and I really have a hard time finding good HC mixes. Most mixes tell you to add water (yuk) and even if you add hot milk, it still isn't very rich. The HC recipe made from Hersheys cocoa powder is OK, but rather involved. Besides, I am still miffed at Hersheys over this.

I went to Williams-Sonoma the other day with the intention of buying a potato ricer (made the best mashed potatoes ever that night) and their turkey gravy base that I use every year for Thanksgiving. Check and check. Then I spotted this HC and decided to try it. OMG. It's pricey, but for a special treat on a chilly night, OMG. Here's what WS says about it:

"Hot chocolate is a distinctly different sip than hot cocoa. Inspired by the famed Café Angélina in Paris, where steaming pots of velvety hot chocolate are served with bowls of whipped cream alongside, ours is intensely chocolatey. We make it from shavings of premium chocolate rather than cocoa powder to yield a well-rounded body, rich taste, smooth texture and exquisite aroma. The chocolate is an artisanal bittersweet variety by Guittard, San Francisco chocolate makers since the 19th century. It liquefies quickly and consistently in hot milk."

Here's my commentary: The chocolate flakes are what does it. Just be careful if you touch them as they are so fine that they melt immediately from your body heat and get smeary all over everything. And I never realized that there was a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. And oh yeah, one sip and I went to Paris and San Francisco!

It just hit me that this is yet another post with reference to chocolate this week. Subconscious theme of the week.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Color of the Week: Fudgie Brown

Seen around my town and house today in shades of Fudgie-Wudgie Brown:

Site Meter