Following the Thanksgiving Day meal, guests became “kitchen elves” and before I knew it the dishes had disappeared and the kitchen transformed. At the time, I thought that neither I, nor anyone else, would be eating for a few days. But such was not the case. The next day I made a big pot of turkey soup, that turned out to be the perfect meal for cool, damp weather.
One of the guests browned the turkey carcasses in the oven to bring out the flavor. We heaped the bones into the biggest pot I had, added onions, carrots, celery, seasonings and water and let it all simmer for 4 hours. After straining the liquid, we had a splendid broth in which to add vegetables and turkey scraps.
Ah, but we didn’t use all the broth on the turkey soup. Some was reserved to make a Vietnamese pho, a dish of incredible flavor, that includes lemongrass and herbs in the long cooking process. My daughter Robin made the soup and, frankly, I thought it was as good, or better, than what I’ve eaten in restaurants, even with the absence of the fresh bean sprouts.
The next day my grandson, Austin, and his girl friend, Summer, cooked dinner. They concocted a pasta dish with a vodka cream sauce. While she saw to the skillet mixture, he cooked the noodles and made a spinach salad and his own special vinaigrette.
The treats were not over. Austin has been nurturing a sourdough starter for some while and promised to make a batch of muffins for breakfast on Sunday morning. My kids and grandkids have played around with sourdough breads, but I’ve always stuck with the yeast varieties. So I always admire the love and labor that goes into maintaining a sourdough starter and the great payoff in yummy breads.
And what a payoff it was! The muffins looked and tasted incredible. Some Austin treated more traditionally, topping them with butter and homemade raspberry jam and others became the base for Eggs Benedict topped with roasted artichoke hearts.
Before returning to St. Louis, I read an email from my friend, Jane, describing her Thanksgiving and post-holiday resolve. She has gone on a “12-step Thanksgiving Recovery” program. She says that means no more than 12 bites at any meal or 12 steps for every calorie eaten, whichever you prefer. Hmm. . . I assume half, or more, of those bites can’t be leftover pumpkin pie, right Jane?
On to Christmas!