Thanksgiving for Turnover Friday

Now just what are you going to do with a freezer full of Thanksgiving Turkey, Stuffing, leftover Veg, and all the rest?

Feed it to the Dog?
Pass some to the single neighbor that is a shut in?
Toss it away?

No, don’t do that, especially tossing it away.  That’s just wrong.

Every year while some poor sap is standing in line for the so called Deals on Black Friday, I’ve made it a point to avoid all the mess and properly “prepare” my leftovers.

No, this isn’t a recipe, more like an idea. 

Since I make the best biscuits on the island, and actually like to cook, I’m going to combine some things.  That recipe for biscuits gets hit almost every day, so if you really want to go for scratch biscuits, take a quick look at this.  On the other hand, since there is so much flavor in leftover Thanksgiving Dinner foods, you can get by with that box of bisquick that has been hiding in the back of the cupboard since 2007.

Like I said it isn’t a recipe, more like a process.   It goes as follows:

First make up some biscuit batter however you make the stuff.  The baking comes up later.

Second, grab some biscuit dough.  You will need a biscuit sized clump of the stuff.

Third, Roll the biscuit dough as flat as you can.   You will need a well floured surface since biscuit batter can be quite sticky.

Fourth, place a serving of Turkey in the middle of that dough.  Place on top of the turkey some of the stuffing, a little cranberry, and maybe a little of the yams that you may have around.   Oh and if you make good yams, lets talk.  I love the stuff.

Fifth, fold the biscuit dough over top of the pile of thanksgiving goodness.   You just formed a turnover.   It is exactly like a ravioli since you’ll need to crimp the edges with a fork to hold all that food inside of the pocket.

Finally, repeat the above steps until you have used up your leftovers, your biscuit dough, or your patience.   Bake in the oven as the biscuit recipe would call for – typically 450F for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Sure it will take some practice to get the amount of food in the biscuit right, but it’s worth it.  When baked, they will come out of the oven warm but not overdone.  All the fat in the stuffing will make the turkey moist and tasty, the spices are always better on the second day, and you are making a good use out of something that might get a bit annoying toward the end of the week.

If you really like the results, I’ve done the same process by lining a pie pan with biscuit batter in a thin layer, piling the leftovers in, and then covering it all with another layer.   It’s a dead simple way of making a “Pot Pie” or a savory main dish.

Now if you will excuse me, I’ve made myself hungry.  I’ve got to make some butter and buttermilk!

Firefox 17 is out, but not for Old Macs

I haven’t upgraded Firefox here to this version.  Maybe later today…

Firefox 17 has been released.   Most of those out there will get a little message saying “Hey, I’ve upgraded, click this and make all your problems go away.   I do mine Manually since I don’t want to have to completely back out of my browser windows and stop what I am doing.

Firefox has been excellent for me.  I don’t want to use another alternate browser such as Chrome or Opera.  I will stay here on Firefox for a while until its time to move on. 

The newest version of Firefox offers integration into the social networks.  I fail to see why that is needed, it just sounds like a massive security and privacy hole, but there really isn’t that much privacy left unless you want to stick your head in the sand.   That’s why I manage what I say online fairly closely, you should too.

There are also other features that will be helpful to the user and you can find the complete list here.

That Mac problem though …

I support a few folks on Mac here.  It’s a pleasant experience and to say I support them is a major exaggeration.  It’s more like I get an occasional question and they go off into their happy world where Unicorns roam free and your kitchen sink gives you hot, cold, and Hot Chocolate.  

I even have a Mac here, but it is an aging beast that is really well past it’s prime.   The old PowerPC platform is the problem.  When the sainted and departed Steve Jobs deigned that it was time to make the move to the same Intel hardware that most of us use in our desktops and laptops, he also said that he would limit the support to the old PowerPC platform to two more revisions of the OSX operating system.

Now we are three versions past that, at least another 5 years along.   Those machines are still around and if you believe the “Apple Distortion Field” they’re heavily in demand.

They aren’t but people who have them are trying to sell them like they are.

The biggest problem with modern computing is the Browser.  It’s a huge security problem because it is where we do most of our “work”.  Since all the major browser programs are stopping support for the older operating systems, you can look forward to more and more spam from friends who are on those computers because they surfed a “bad” page and now have a virus.

Their last modern browser is Opera.  These holdouts on Tiger and Leopard need to stop using anything else and switch over.  It’s a modern browser that has all the things we’ve come to depend on and works fairly well.

If that isn’t what they want to do, there’s always LinuxLinux is a thriving operating system platform that is currently being supported on the ancient hardware.  I can say from personal experience that Linux on PowerPC runs amazingly well and actually faster than the Mac OSX that I replaced it with.  It won’t run the usual programs in the Mac world so it means keeping the old hardware or buying a new computer.  On the other hand, you can run MOST windows programs on Linux using Wine.  I’ve run Wine in the past and it works well.

There you have it!  Happy updating!

Permanent Celery – Revive your Vegetables for Extra Freshness

You may be scratching your head now.  You may be asking “Has he lost his mind?  Permanent Celery?”.  

There are a couple things going on here.

The story was that it’s a couple days before Thanksgiving and we needed some Celery for the Stuffing.   Pretty simple, it’s easy to find Celery in every market.  

Left to our own devices, we don’t tend to eat a lot of the stuff so we bought the smallest stalk we could find.   When I got it home, it was sad and wilted.  There was one piece of Celery that was so limp that it bent over at a 45 degree angle. 

It also is the majority of a plant, and having always had plants around me, I knew that I could try to help it along with a little water.

It worked.   I found the largest pickle jar I had on hand, splashed an inch of water into the bottom, plopped the celery stalk in the jar and walked away.

Over the next two days, my little lab experiment firmed up very nicely.   The celery now is absolutely firm and crisp.   I have live food. 

It is one of those things that if you come across some vegetable that is getting a bit old, toss it in a shallow pan of water and it SHOULD pick up the water and come alive.

There is also a second part to this story.

When you chop your Celery, remember to leave an inch or two of the bottom of the plant.  Even if you cut all the way through your stalk, you can take that little slug and plant it in the garden.   Water it liberally and you will have a Permanent Celery Plant.   The Celery will take root and grow new Celery for you.   Since most people don’t really use a LOT of the stuff, you may even find that you won’t have to buy much Celery since you can just wander to the garden and pick a little when needed. 

After the holiday, the remnants of my little pickle jar will end up in the garden next to my cactus and my pineapple plants.   It’s a little oddball, but why not?  After all, who doesn’t like fresh food?

Rocky Road Fudge Recipe and Picture

Every year around this time, I begin baking in earnest.

 I find some recipes that I have enjoyed and try them out once before I bake them to send away.  Needless to say, I enjoy baking.  I’m a competent cook but an excellent baker.

Making fudge was one of those things that my parents would never try.   I found it to be so easy that I wouldn’t hesitate trying it with a child or a person who doesn’t know the first thing about cooking.

Chocolate will melt at 86F.  If you get it too hot, it won’t melt faster, it will scorch.   So the best way to melt chocolate is in a water bath called a Bain Marie.  Fancy name for a real simple process.

First get a sauce pan and add water.   I would say fill it 1/3 to 1/2 with water.   Bring that water to a boil. 

Place on top of the sauce pan an bowl that will withstand the heat.  The size of the bowl should be large enough that it will fit on top of the sauce pan but not fall in.   The water in the sauce pan should not touch the bottom of the bowl so that it is floating on top.  The steam from the water will do the work for you, remember you want a gentle heat.

Simple right?

Now the fudge recipe.

Ingredients:

18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup peanuts, pecans, or other unsalted nuts, coarsely chopped
2 cups mini-marshmallows

Assembly:

Prepare an 8 inch square Baking Pan by lining it with Aluminium foil.

The foil should line the bottom and the sides and will be draped over the top to anchor it when you pour the fudge in to set.

Grease the foil with unsalted butter.

Mix the Chocolate, Baking Soda, and Salt together to coat everything.
Add the Nuts to the Chocolate and mix evenly.
Place the Nuts and Chocolate mixture in the Bain Marie.
Add Vanilla Extract and Sweetened Condensed Milk.
Stir the mixture with the spatula until smooth and the Chocolate Mixture has melted.
Add the Mini Marshmallows and stir briefly until evenly mixed.

Pour the fudge into the lined baking dish.
Smooth the fudge out evenly and place the baking dish in the refrigerator to cool until firm.

Enjoy.  The recipe turned out perfectly when I made it this weekend.

Don’t Mess with Old People – Humor

Continuing with the Old People Humor, Diane had sent me this particular story about a man in the hospital. 

Harold was an old man. He was sick and in the hospital.

There was one nurse that just drove him crazy. Every time she came in, she would talk to him like he was a little child.

She would say in a patronizing tone of voice, ‘And how are we doing this morning’, or ‘Are we ready for a bath’, or ‘Are we hungry?’

Old Harold had had enough of this particular nurse. One day, at breakfast, Old Harold took the apple juice off the tray and put it in his bed side stand.

Next, he was given a urine bottle to fill for testing, so you know where the juice went!

The nurse came in a little later, picked up the urine bottle and looked at it. ‘My, it seems we are a little cloudy today. ‘

At this, Old Harold snatched the bottle out of her hand, popped off the top, and drank it down, saying, ‘Well, I’ll run it through again. Maybe I can filter it better this time.’

The nurse fainted!
Old Harold just smiled!

DON’T MESS WITH ‘OLD’ PEOPLE!!!!

An 86 Year Old Has a Check-up

When you hear a story, sometimes you just have to suspend belief.  Other things I never get to suspend belief because the story is just too silly for words – that’s why I’m not a fan of James Bond movies.

In this case…

An 86-year-old man went to his doctor for his quarterly check-up…

The doctor asked him how he was feeling, and the 86-year-old said, ‘Things are great and I’ve never felt better. I now have a 20 year-old bride who is pregnant with my child.. So what do you think about that Doc?’

The doctor considered his question for a minute and then began to tell a story.  ‘I have an older friend , much like you, who is an avid hunter and never misses a season.’

One day he was setting off to go hunting. In a bit of a hurry, he accidentally picked up his walking cane instead of his gun. As he neared a lake, he came across a very large male beaver sitting at the water’s edge.

He realized he’d left his gun at home and so he couldn’t shoot the magnificent creature. Out of habit he raised his cane, aimed it at the animal as if it were his favorite hunting rifle and went ‘bang, bang’. Miraculously, two shots rang out and the beaver fell over dead. Now, what do you think of that ?’ asked the doctor.

The 86-year-old said, ‘Logic would strongly suggest that somebody else pumped a couple of rounds into that beaver.’

“My point exactly”, said the doctor.