Happy Thanksgiving, Cooking, Quilting, and Family
Happy Thanksgiving weekend. All the news has been about the cost of the Thanksgiving meal so I thought I would add my 2 cents worth.
First, we were invited to have dinner with my daughter's mother-in-law. She is a lovely person and a great cook. However, there is always the "dressing/stuffing" thing. My husband is from Minnesota and loves white bread dressing, I am from the South and love cornbread dressing, and Jan's family always has StoveTop dressing. Over the 21 years we have known each other we know that the table will have all three. Jan asked me to bring my two, plus a pumpkin pie. No problem.
Now in order to make decent dressing, you need turkey drippings. Right? My youngest daughter also loves leftover turkey, so problem solved. What would that be at today's prices? Well, again problem solved. Publix had a sale of their brand of turkey at only $0.49 per pound, I ordered a small one. 13 pounds (well it is the smallest I have ever made!!!!! )
I cooked the turkey and made both dressings. Now the fun began. Wish I had made photos of all of this but you will, I hope, get the picture. Truth is this is not MY turkey, I just added one so you would remember what one looks like..
I removed as much meat as possible and put it aside to be divided into portions and frozen for leftovers and later meals.
I put the "Skeleton" in a large soup pot and added a ton of water and some spices (salt, pepper, bay leaves). When it was cooked, I removed the skeleton, bay leaves and extra fat. I was left with a full quart of meat. Now that is a lot of food to throw out if I were to tired or lazy to do the next steps. Tired yes, lazy no.
Next I returned part of the liquid to the pot with lots of salt and pepper and the meat. As it boiled I added some Kitchen Bouquet to make it a lovely brown color. This was starting to smell fabulous. Then I added a full bag of wide flat noodles and left it to finish. When it was ready, I ladled it into quart Mason jars and let them cool. When cooled, into the freezer they went. I now had 5 quarts of "Skeleton Soup" for later.
Maybe you are wondering about the name "Skeleton Soup". My girls named it that years ago when they were little and helping me in the kitchen (yes, they both know how to cook now).
The turkey off the bone is not exactly a Norman Rockwell picture, but it is great for leftovers with dressing, sandwiches, etc. And a LOT of meat.
From the actual drippings, I made three quarts of gravy (again colored and spiced with Kitchen Bouquet). One to eat over the weekend and the others into Mason Jars and into the freezer.
What did all this cost?
I know I did not add the tax, but so what, we pay taxes on everything.
Cornbread for dressing-maybe $.50 (3/4 cup)
Leftover frozen breads from the freezer (hot dog buns, hamburger buns, biscuits, rolls...anything that was getting a bit stale before we could eat it goes in the freezer for dressing. Zero additional cost.
Onion and celery for dressings, cooked in butter-$3
Eight meals from this for 2-4 people each: About $1.60
Plus my time.
Time well spent and I was quilting while everything cooked! BONUS TIME!!!!
Old fashioned cooking is good cooking and frugal and tastes so very much better than store bought food.
Oh yes, there were additional costs: My realtor friend gave us a pecan pie, and I made the pumpkin pie, plus a pound cake as my grand-daughter does not eat pie.
But truly, dessert does not cost anything and has ZERO calories! (That is my story and I am sticking to it.)
The quilt is of unquestionable value but since I already had the fabrics, there was no additional cost!
Moral of the story: With today's economy we are all seeing rising costs so we just need to adjust our thinking on meals. Our grandmothers and our parents lived through the "great depression" and managed to do just fine; we will also. They also made some killer scrap quilts. I just wish I had room in my yard for a vegetable garden like my granddaddy had.
Keep quilting friends, that too is good for your soul.