My daughter, Amy has hosted this project in the past, with her friend Kam and although I’m going to be pretty busy in March, I thought I could squeeze in some time to do this for at least some of the days.
I’m not setting expectations to create journals or scrapbook pages or even create a book or anything, but I THINK I can at least write a list a few days each week. You see, I’m not even committing to doing it every day. I’ll just take it one day at a time and see how it goes.
I created the image above from the prompt: “Home is where…”
I’m already behind, but hoping/planning to do be able to get creative and share some of them.
I’m sharing this recipe for those of you who are looking for a great easy way to roast your turkey this year.
Our family has used this one for decades and we always get rave reviews about how moist and tender it is. Never dry! Make note that the turkey needs to be started in the oven the night before you plan to eat it.
It’s great because you can put your turkey in the night before. YES, the NIGHT BEFORE you want to eat it and you wake up in the morning with the delicious aromas filling the house. Another awesome thing about this recipe is that even if you cook a large turkey, it comes out moist and tender.
I first found the recipe in a book by Emilie Barnes called “The Complete Holiday Organizer”. I was going to add a link to buy the book, but it appears to be out of print. Sorry. For those of you who haven’t heard of her, she was a homemaking guru before anyone ever heard of The Martha. I’m going to include the text from the book to give you some background. I hope you try it and enjoy it. It’s SO easy!
“Perfect Turkey Every Time”
” Trust me on this one. The white meat melts in your mouth. This is a SLOW roasting method, but once in the oven, you can forget it until it comes out.
Choose desired size turkey, wash it well, and remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity. Dry turkey with paper towels. Rub the outside well with pure olive oil. If you want to cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff with dressing of your choice. This is optional. It can be cooked with or without stuffing/dressing. (Sometimes if I’m not stuffing the turkey, I’ll add a few whole pieces of celery, carrots and onion to add a bit more flavor to the bird.)
Set the turkey BREAST side downon a rack in a roasting pan (this bastes itself, making the white meat very moist).
VERY IMPORTANT: Place into a 325 degree F [preheated] oven for one hour to destroy bacteria on the surface. Then adjust the heat to 180-185 degrees for any size turkey. (note: I’ve updated the temp for the first hour of cooking to 325 merely as a precaution since many recipes now call for roasting temps to be at that level.)
This is important. The turkey can go in the oven the night before eating it!
Example: I have a 22 pound turkey. At 5:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve I put the turkey in the oven prepared at 325 degrees for one hour. I turn the temperature down to 185 degrees and leave the turkey uncovered until it’s done the NEXT day about 10 or 11 a.m.
Although the cooking times seem startling at first , the meat is amazingly delicious, juicy and tender. It slices beautifully and shrinks so little that a turkey cooked at regular temperatures no longer tastes good. It cannot burn so it needs no watching. It literally cooks itself. ” I do feel the need to baste every once in a while, but that’s probably more habit than anything, besides I like to open the oven and smell the turkey.
A good rule for timing is about 3 times longer than a standard recipe. For example: a 20 pound turkey that normally takes 15 minutes per pound to cook would take 5 hours. This slow cook method would be 3 times 5, so it equals 15 HOURS to cook the slow way. A smaller turkey cooks 20 minutes per pound, so an 11 pound turkey takes 3 hours, 40 mins standard, times 3 which equals 11 hours for the slow roast way.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: Many newer ovens are set to automatically turn off after 12 hours (I guess it’s assuming that you forgot to turn it off.) You don’t want your turkey sitting in an oven for hours without any heat. It will be uncooked and dangerous to eat, plus you’ll have lots of unhappy and hungry guests come dinner time. If your turkey will be reaching the 12 hour mark while you’re sleeping, just before you go to bed, be sure to turn off the oven temperature for a few seconds, then turn it back on to 185 degrees. This will reset the oven’s internal timer so as not to automatically turn off. Be sure to make note of any time that 12 hour window ends, so you can be sure to “reset” the oven before that.
Now here’s the cool part. Once it’s done, it will NOT overcook or dry out. You can leave it in the oven an additional 3 – 6 hours and it will still be perfect! Thus your roasting can be adjusted totally to your convenience. So allow yourself plenty of time. It’s better to put it in a little early than too late though, since you want to be sure that it’s done. That’s it. That’s all you need to do. Can it be more simple?
Many standard recipes call for allowing the turkey to “rest” outside the oven for about 30 minutes before cutting. This can be done with the slow roast method as well. Besides allowing the juices to settle in the turkey, it also allows you to have your oven free to cook or warm other items for the meal just before serving.
I’ve been using this recipe for probably 25 years and have never been disappointed when I followed the directions.
One item I need to point out. If your family actually puts the whole turkey on the table as a nice presentation, then you need to know that cooking it breast side down will not be quite as pretty as what you’re accustomed to. There will still be some crispy skin on the top side, but the breast will not be crisp since it was on the bottom of the pan. If you’re like our family and you just take it out of the oven and slice it up on platters, no one will even know that you cooked it upside-down, except that it will taste AMAZING!
Have fun and let me know how your dinner turns out.
If you missed the beginning of this list you can find it here.
I’m realizing that this list could go on for days, so we’ll see what happens. I hope you enjoy learning about what a wonderful mother and person my mom was.
11. Saturday was usually Mom’s shopping day. She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her 50’s, so when we were young she depended on Dad to take her to the A & P grocery store on the weekends. Can you imagine only being able to go to the store once a week with 8 hungry mouths to feed? She did a great job of stocking up to make things last for the week, but I remember drinking powdered milk at times either because she couldn’t afford to buy more or she couldn’t get to the grocery store. I’m guessing her weekly trips were also a time of solitude that she looked forward to, but sometimes she’d allow one of us to go with her. Those were precious times when she let us help her choose food for the week and maybe even get a treat.
12. Mom would sometimes bring home delicious fresh rye bread, deli meats and cheeses on shopping day. They never lasted much more than a day because they were favorites for the whole family. That’s where I discovered my love for a good deli meal. We had Munster, Colby, Cheddar, Longhorn, Swiss and American cheese with fresh sliced Ham, Turkey, Roast beef, Braunschweiger and more. In the summer sometimes we’d add giant slices of Beefsteak Tomatoes and fresh lettuce from my grandmother’s garden. Mmmm!
13. As the family grew, Mom and Dad gave up their bedroom so that all of us kids could have one. They converted the living room to a sleeping area at night and added a sliding door for privacy. They kept their clothes in my oldest sister’s room. I imagine that was quite a sacrifice since they had no place to get away until we were all asleep in bed.
14. She often planned a once a year summer day trip as the sole adult with all of us kids to the northern Ohio amusement park, Cedar Point. We’d get up early in the morning and walk a block or so to the highway to catch the bus heading for Sandusky, then ride a ferry boat from Sandusky across the bay to the park. We spent the whole magical day riding thrill rides, seeing musical variety shows, and traversing the skies on the overhead sky ride. She always packed a substantial lunch for us, then later in the day she’d buy those famous Momma Berardi’s homemade French Fries and salt water taffy to hold us over. We’d stay as long as possible to squeeze out every drop of fun until either my dad came after work to pick us up or we caught the last bus for home.
15. Mom let us choose what kind of cake we wanted for our birthday and I often requested freshly baked Angel Food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. I can taste it now!
16. In August of each year she took each of us separately on a school clothes shopping trip – I recall riding that morning bus in the other direction this time – to the Midway Mall in Elyria – just Mom and I, eating lunch at the restaurant in the mall and buying new shoes and clothes for the upcoming school year. This was probably my favorite day of the year. Not because I was shopping, but because I got to have my mom all to myself for an entire day!
17. A limited budget and endless creativity brought forth unique homemade Halloween costumes for us each year. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those unimaginative store-bought ones.
18. Halloween parties at the Vermilion-on-the-Lake (VOL) Clubhouse were organized by her. She dressed as a witch and made witches’ brew using dry ice. I remember dunking for apples, fishing for prizes with a clothes pin on a string, costume contests and so much more.
19. There was a Christmas play one year, written by my sister, Sharon and produced by Mom at the VOL Clubhouse with the neighborhood kids. The stage background was painted by Wayne Crozier, complete with his signature mouse hiding in the scene.
20. Each year she creatively decorated our 5 foot silver aluminum Christmas tree with matching colored glass balls. Since there would inevitably be breakage in the process of unpacking and packing the delicate glass, the following year she’d buy a set of a different color, then the 3rd year she’d use a combination of the previous years. The tree was often perched on top of a table up and out of the way of little hands and active pets. You can see a sliver of the tree in the background below. I remember spending what seemed like hours sitting in the living room gazing at the ever changing tree with the colored light wheel casting shadows on the walls and ceiling. It was mesmerizing!
Looking over these memories I can see so many things that I learned from my mother. How to use my creativity in decorating, sewing, having fun. How to shop wisely, how to plan ahead for special activities, the importance of saving where needed, but splurging once in a while…so many lessons that I still use today. I’m so thankful for her giving and teaching spirit. What a gift it was!
There’s a bit more to come, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading!
Does this bring to mind some things that you’re most thankful for about your mother?
Less than a month ago, my precious mother passed away. She had a long, healthy and independent life, having celebrated her 91st birthday in January. Of course, that doesn’t take away any of the sadness of having her gone. Even though our personalities were quite different, we had many things in common…talents, interests, love of travel, etc. In honor of her on Mother’s Day, I thought I’d take some time to remember some of the things that I cherish most about our 50 plus years together. She was an amazing woman and a true friend and encourager to me, while still being my mom.
Let me start by saying that Mom’s primary love language was gift giving. Even though she was constantly on a limited budget, her favorite thing to do was find reasons to buy us special treats and take us special places.
She was always quick to offer a cool washcloth on my forehead when I had a fever
Hot tea with lemon to drink when I had a sore throat
Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup with oyster crackers always hit the spot when I had a cold
I always loved staying home from school and watching TV, reading books and coloring in my cozy spot on the coach when I was ill. Partially because it gave me a chance to have 1-on-1 time with Mom when all the other siblings were at school, but also because she always made me feel so loved and cared for.
For many years, Mom made it a point to buy each of us an entirely new outfit for Easter Sunday. For the girls it wasn’t just a new dress, but matching socks, shoes, purse, gloves and even a hat! This special day of getting all decked out to attend church and then attend big family potlucks and Easter egg hunts was so much fun! It was even more special because we only got new clothes a few times a year.
Easter morning was also filled with sweets and treats of all kinds. Another chance for Mom to show us how much she loved us and how she wanted to spoil us. I’m sure her sparse childhood during the Great Depression motivated her to try to make up for it in our young lives.
She was also our biggest helper with school projects. Mostly she would brainstorm with me about supplies and ideas, then was my cheerleader rather than hands-on helper, so I could work through it and have success on my own merits. I’m so thankful that she didn’t feel the need to do most of it herself. What’s the point in that?
The aroma of big pots of spaghetti, slumgullion or one of my favorites, Pot roast on Sundays wafting through the house welcomed us home! I learned to cook from her without using recipes. Now I’m not intimidated if I don’t have all the exact ingredients for a new dish. I just see what’s in the cupboards and improvise something similar. Thanks Mom.
Occasionally Mom made Liver and onions, which I hated. She always made me eat a few tiny bites, which I reluctantly gagged down with huge gulps of milk. She said it was good for me, but it always tasted like I was eating a vitamin pill for dinner. Ugh! Guess what dish she taught me how to make first? Maybe she thought if I cooked it I’d eat it more. Oh well.
If you’re thinking of making Quiche for an Easter Brunch, here’s an easy recipe that I’ve been using for decades. The secret to keeping your quiche from coming out soupy or runny is to toss the grated cheese in a little bit of flour before baking (see recipe).
I also love the fact that you can use a variety of cheeses and a variety of fillings. I’ve used Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Cheddar – most any semi-soft cheese. For fillings I’ve used ham, bacon, broccoli, crab and more. Just choose your favorites.
This link also takes you to a couple of other tasty brunch recipes.
Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating our risen Lord with family and friends.
O.k., here goes! Journal your Christmas 2012 has begun. Attempting to do a blog post each day in the month of December. Already resigning myself to the fact that it won’t happen every day, but maybe I can post a photo and a caption at least to document the day. Then later I’ll put it into a Blurb book like my clever daughter did last year. Although she was doing a different project, called December Daily. At times I’ll be focusing more on documenting traditions, holiday activities, etc. with Shimelle and her gang at Journal Your Christmas. I’d love to have you join me.
Hey there friends, I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.
I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations. It will be Independence Day next week, after all! Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room? Yowzah! Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.
Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon. Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post. No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.
In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece. I happen to use mine in the guest bath. Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom! As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!
I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning. It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore. Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep! I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.
For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer. Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?