Thanksgiving is a great day of family, friends and feasting. It is a well-planned meal with everyone's favorite dishes. The thing that usually gets overlooked is what to do with all the leftovers from that 20-pound turkey and all those trimmings. Normally I have lots of things to experiment with when trying new recipes. Unfortunately, I didn't have mounds of leftover potatoes or green beans to try to use up in new recipes. So I decided with this column to dwell on just the basics - the turkey.
Lately, recipes I've tried have not turned out as expected. To be blunt, they were what I'd call failures. One was for barbeque ribs that were prepared in a slow cooker. They were edible, but definitely not what I wanted out of barbeque ribs. Despite having a 5-star rating on a website, these ribs had no barbecue or smoky flavor. Definitely not a recipe I'd share with my readers.
This summer I found blueberry bushes growing in my yard. I am not sure if they had always been there and it was just an area of the yard I never mowed or if the bushes migrated in from somewhere else in the neighborhood. Either way, I was excited to see they had taken up residence in my yard. This was not an extremely productive year for the bushes. There were maybe a dozen berries on the bushes and I believe I harvested and ate 4 of the juicy berries. Now that I know the bushes are there they will be nurtured and hopefully soon grow into a large batch of berry producing bushes.
Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means most people will get their grill out and start the outdoor cooking season. My first adventure into summer cooking was a week or so ago when I took the grill out of the garage and quickly found out I had not cleaned it before putting it away from the winter. Definitely not a smart thing to do, but I think that is typical of most of us - once the weather turns cooler, the grill just gets hidden back in a corner.
It has been a couple of weeks of mad-dashing around the yard to try to get the winter stuff out of the way and get ready for spring. Naturally, that leaves very little time to cook. Slow cookers are your best friend when you want a home-cooked meal, but don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So this week was spent researching and delving into new slow cooker (or crockpot, depending on your terminology) recipes.
When you get a nice fall day, the last thing you want to do is to be standing around the kitchen cooking. We all know our nice days are numbered and there are always those few last chores to be done before the snow flies. And we all know it won’t be too much longer before you’ll need seven layers of clothing just to walk out the front door.
Asparagus is one of those foods that people seem to either love or hate. Spring is the time you not only see a lot of this culinary delight in stores, but it's also the time when it's very reasonably priced. So if you're ready to start experimenting with asparagus, now's the time to do it.
Driving to work in early April in a blizzard just seems plain wrong. And heading off to work recently, there was so much snow and wind it was tough to see 100 feet in front of the car. What happened to spring? With a bit of luck (cross your fingers) a string of 60-degree days is headed our way. With that in mind, it's time to think of spring recipes. Even though strawberries tend to be available year-round, there's something about eating a juicy, red strawberry that makes you think of gentle breezes, warm days and rays of sunshine.
So, it has been a bad couple of weeks. Several factors have tipped the scales for the past few days: Hectic workdays, too much to do at home, snow that arrived when the yard was almost free of snow and ice; and the ultimate, another deer (yes, another one) that decided to run into the front passenger side of my car.
For some unknown reason, I found that I had several cans of mandarin oranges in my cupboard. I do like eating these right out of the can, but I decided to go on a quest and see what kinds of recipes use these tiny slices. Mandarin oranges are quite interesting. There's a whole family of fruits that fall under the name of mandarin oranges, including tangerines and clementines. I've never known anyone who didn't like mandarin oranges.