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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Entertaining Leftovers

We hosted a large dinner party on the 19th but the horrid weather conditions saw a lower attendance than expected. Several appetizers (crabmeat dip*, jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, vegetable tray with homemade garlic & onion dip, venison balls) and drinks were served for the social hours before dinner. The menu included tossed salad, roasted turkey, spiral ham, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, gravy, home canned whole cranberry sauce, pickle tray and three kinds of homemade dinner rolls. Desserts included Victorian lavender cookies, shortbread cookies, chocolate dessert shells and banana cake. [Clicking the links will take you to the recipes for these dishes.] I was faced with the problem of a fair amount of left-overs, very limited freezer space and knowing that we were going to be away over the holidays.

Saturday we hosted a smaller get together so some of the turkey and dinner rolls were used for that as well as most of the cookies. I sent some of the left-overs home with the kids who were visiting for the weekend. Sunday morning we deboned the turkey and I set about making stock with the carcass. There was a fair amount of the ham left so I cut it from the bone and divided into two large vacuum seal bags, vacuum sealed then froze. I did the same with the ham bone to make soup with later. There were about 2 dozen of the whole wheat dinner rolls left so I decided to make bread crumbs.

Defatting Stock

Fat is a necessary part of making stocks because it adds a lot of flavour. It adds an element of depth and richness to the stock that cannot be achieved without the fat. Using the fat when making stock allows to to utilize all the flavour in the little bits of meat and skin that come along with the fat. Even though the fat is needed for good stock, the stock should be defatted for a healthier product.

Once the stock has been made it should be cooled completely either before or after straining the bones and vegetables out. The fat will harden as a layer on top of the stock. As pictured the fat layer can easily be removed using a large spoon. You can melt down the fat and strain for use in cooking if desired. The remaining stock is then strained again then canned or frozen for later use. You can also boil down the stock to make a concentrate and freeze it for later use.

Bread Crumbs

Homemade yeast breads do not keep well for extended periods of time. I find it best to make a loaf of bread or dinner rolls every second or third day rather than making a lot at one time. Homemade bread or dinner rolls that is starting to go stale is not tossed to the birds or discarded here as that would be wasteful on a few levels. What I do is turn it into bread crumbs. Making your own bread crumbs even if using store bought bread makes good frugal sense as you are using up something that would otherwise go to waste and you are eliminating one more commercial product you have to buy. Any yeast bread can be used for this purpose although I find dark rye and pumpernickel bread crumbs a little tricker to use in

Making bread crumbs using a food processor is as simple as breaking the bread into chunks and process a few at a time using the grind setting on pulse. The bread does not have to be totally dried to make bread crumbs when using the food processor resulting in a softer crumb suitable for quiche and quick stuffing. If you don't have a food processor and blender on grind and pulse will work as well. A KitchenAid® stand mixer or similar with a food grinder attachment is the preferable appliance to use for drier bread crumbs suitable for making meat loafs. I used a food processor for this batch of bread crumbs.

Stock & Crumbs

The yield from the turkey carcass was 7 L (quarts) of canned and 1 L frozen turkey stock. This is about the normal yield for turkey stock which allows the canner to run at full capacity. The remaining stock is usually used in a soup or stew for dinner that night if we are home or frozen for later use. I like using plastic freezer containers with screw on lids when freezing anything that is not going to be vacuum sealed.

The left over dinner rolls made enough bread crumbs for two 1 L freezer containers. These were frozen for later use. To use thaw although there is no need to thaw prior to using frozen bread crumbs as they tend to break apart quite easily. Any clumps can be broken apart using the prongs of a fork.

Quick Turkey Noodle Soup

Using a few simple pantry ingredients you can quickly put a nice meal on the table with very little effort. When we deboned the turkey, I cut the meat into cubes instead of slices. Dinner Sunday night was a simple soup using turkey that took under 15 minutes to prepare.


2 284 (10 oz) cans condensed mushroom soup**
1 can turkey stock
½ can whole milk
2 generous handfulls broad egg noodles
2 cup turkey

Cook the noodles until al dente in salted water. Drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat through. Serve with home made dinner rolls or bread.

* I used homemade cocktail sauce in place of the ketchup and horseradish mix. The result was even tastier!
** Substitute the equilivant home made cream of mushroom soup to equal 3½ cans of reconstituted soup total.

1 food lovers commented:

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks so much :) May you have a very happy New Year as well.
Take care,