Turkey For You, Turkey for Me

Food & Drink, Holidays, Homesteading / Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Tis the season where you can buy GIANT or not as giant or medium smallish sized turkeys up the wazoo at the grocery store for insanely cheap prices! For me and my local supermarket TOPS this means $.48 a pound (with the purchase of $25 of groceries.)

And since we at Weber Wonderland have a multitude of freezer space, the more turkeys the merrier! How much is a multitude of freezer space you ask? Well, we have an upright freezer (which is currently pretty full to capacity) and a chest freezer (which is currently empty and ready for many frozen turkeys!) and then there’s the freezer on the bottom of the refrigerator (which is filled of course) and the freezer on the top of the bar refrigerator downstairs. (which currently has two turkeys, tequila, ice cubes and charcoal dog bone treats.)

Basically I can make room for about a dozen turkeys if I really wanted to Jenga/Tetris the heck out of our open freezer spaces. I won’t really end up with a dozen, but I could end up with 6. I mean that price is crazy, right?

Now you might be asking “but what will you DO with 6 turkeys?” Well, cook them of course! I’ve never understood the idea that cooking a turkey is a hard thing to do, it’s just a bigger bird, it takes a little longer right? Also, turkey doesn’t have to be just for special holiday occasions. Just roast a damn turkey because you have the time one afternoon.

I get a ton of leverage from one of these birds. First and foremost, YUMMY IN MY TUMMY. And the smell that fills the air while roasting, delicious. And having your oven on for hours, helps keep the house warm.

My pups get to eat the neck bones and the gizzardy goodness which I quickly boil and then toss into their food.  They also get the turkey goop remnants that fill the stockpot after hours and hours of simmering down the remaining caracass and bones on the stove.

And oh the stock, so much delicious rich turkey stock! All you have to do is add celery, carrots and onions. If I’m making a batch of stock for the puppies, I don’t include the onion. The puppies LOVE chicken stock on their dry food! I have a pressure canner so most of my stock ends up storing in the pantry or in the basement.  But if you don’t have a pressure canner (and if you don’t why don’t you—-life changing for thrifty stock making homesteader types like me!) You can freeze the stock in baggies (after it cools of course) or even in jars,just make sure to leave a lot of head space because the broth will swell as it freezes and pretty much you will end up with a cracked glass jar if you don’t save room. Which I seem to do every time.

What to do with all that turkey? Well in our house, it doesn’t last too long. Sandwiches with delicious breads and miracle whip or butter is pretty much my favorite way to eat leftover turkey. I also love taking it and sauteing in a pan with butter and onions and melted cheese and using it pretty much for any sort of filling—sandwich, quesadilla, throw it on a bed of lettuce. Just delicious!

I’ve been thinking lately of trying out making turkey dip…layer of mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, cheese. Scoop it up with pita bread? Or turkey quesadillas. Or turkey lasagna. Mmmmmm. The opportunities are endless.

All I know is you cannot possibly find a better price on an item with so many delicious uses. The cost of making the stock alone if you would buy it in the market is worth the price. Same goes for food for the dog. I mean one can of cheap ass dog food is over a dollar—-sometimes up to $3.  You get turkey goop from the stock as a bonus!

And don’t be afraid of the stock, you really can’t goof up stock. Throw in a giant pot all of the leftover turkey bones. Add lots and lots of water to cover all the bones. Add celery, carrots and onions. You don’t even have to cut them up or peel, just throw them in! Although I admit I usually at least take the onion and half it first and then drop it skin and all into the pot. Towards the end of the stock cooking I’ll add salt or garlic or whatever other spice I have around that I want to add. Sometimes I add tomatoes to the mix if I have some in the fridge. There’s no real recipe outside the basic three (celery, carrot, onion.) Oh and a pinch or two or three depending on how large the stockpot is of Apple Cider Vinegar to break down the bone goodness.

When I’m being an especially good homesteader, I take the ends of these produce veggies when cooking at other times and instead of sending them to the compost bin, I put them in a large freezer bag to later take out for stock. No waste! Just strain the veggies out at the end, no one will know the difference.

Not only is homemade stock thrifty and delicious but it is LIGHT YEARS healthier for you than anything you can find in the stores. You control the amount of salt to add. And hello, bone broth is incredibly healthy for you. This is the place where I would go on and on about how healthy bone broth is but instead you all know how to use the Google Machine.

Dammit, now I’m hungry. And really dreaming of the amazing smell of turkey filling my kitchen and Weber Wonderland. Time to roast a Turkey. Yes, Yes I shall. Happy Thanksgiving Eve-Eve!