Thanksgiving, 2014

We double-dipped this Thanksgiving. My lovely niece hosted 22 people on Thursday, and I cooked for 14 on Friday -- all of our kids and grandkids. The din was impressive.

Even more impressive was the grace-saying. Some years ago, Joe decided that a hymn we'd sung in church would make the perfect grace for Thanksgiving Day. The first year he read the whole thing, and after that he asked our sons and son-in-law to help. This year, for the first time, the next generation participated as Sam read his verse flawlessly.

It was a wonderful couple of days. Saturday afternoon I reported to the hospital for a 24-hour shift and we ate turkey and gravy for dinner on Sunday night.

My new job has me not working at the school most Mondays; that is not to say these are going to be days of leisure. Today I made my very favorite turkey soup which took hours and hours and while that was going on I made four loaves of applesauce bread. The loaves are on the short side, but smell delicious and I think they'll be great with the soup.

Now, just because I like all of you so much, I'm going to share the soup recipe which is based on one from Julee Rosso's book Great Good Food. The first time I made it, I had no clue what a rutabaga might be and if that should be the case with you, just trust me, please; it is perfect in this soup!

Take your turkey carcass that still has a decent amount of meat on it and put it in your great big soup pot with a tablespoon of minced garlic (I use the kind from the jar), 2-3 cups of chopped up celery, 2-3 cups of chopped leek, 1-2 cups of chopped onion, 2-3 cups of chopped carrots, a cup of chopped parsley and a whole lot of chicken broth from a can -- usually about 64 ounces, but have more on hand for later. Bring all of this to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and simmer for 3 hours. Then let it cool completely and because you need to go through and pick out the skin, bones and fat and you don't want to burn your hands. Use your colander to strain the broth into a big bowl and save it. Everything else is in the colander. Put the broth back in the pot. Pick through the mess in the colander and once the skin and bones and fat are removed (and this is one messy job and if you have a dog you'll be tripping over him because he'll be convinced you are going to drop some of that turkey), put all the veggies and meat back in the pot. Take one great big rutabaga and peel off its waxy outside and then with your mighty knife, cut it into slices and dices, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch size. Add them to the pot with a cup of barley, bring to a boil again, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste (I like lots of lemon juice) and throw in another cup of chopped parsley.

Bon appetite!


Barbara Anne said…
Your Turkey Soup recipe sounds delicious and I look forward to trying it. Does it freeze well?

So glad you had two wonderful Thanksgivings with all of your family there!!

How wonderful to have most Mondays off so, perhaps when you're not making soup, you could sew or do anything else you choose to do!

Anonymous said…
This soup is my soup except I make mashed potato dumplings. I always take the carcass home from Thanksgiving (people think it is generous of me to leave them the sandwich slices hehehehe)
Amy said…
Hmmm, mmmm, maybe turkey will be on the menu for Christmas dinner justvdo I can make your soup!.
Lori said…
The soup sounds great! Can you believe I've never cooked with barley!? Rutabaga, yes, barley, no...
Janet O. said…
I have a BIL from the south and Rutabagas are part of his family Thanksgiving tradition. He brings a pan to all of our family Thanksgiving dinners now.
The soup sounds yummy. Wish we hadn't already thrown out the carcasses from our birds.
Judi said…
I had never heard of a rutabaga before, but it looks to be a swede here in the UK - and it's a common vegetable here.

We still have our turkey to look forward to for Christmas, so I can still make this recipe - thanks Nancy!

Glad to hear you have a weekday free...fancy a trip out to Lancaster County in May?