Daily Archives: November 13, 2012

Test Turkey

I’m having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the idea that Thanksgiving is next week. It couldn’t be the 29th why? Anyway, I’m in no way ready. I’m busy painting, slowly, room by room. The kitchen will be sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Meanwhile, I made my first turkey of the season last week, because I love turkey. I used an herb-spice butter/olive oil spread and herb-spice infuser in the cavity and then roasted it in the traditional method with a tin foil tent.

For the herb butter mixture, I mixed 2 tbsp of butter with dried sage, rosemary, basil, crushed garlic and lemon zest and added about a tbsp of olive oil. Then I lifted the skin on the turkey and spread the mixture directly on the meat, breast and down to the thighs. I used what was left to spread on the skin, along with a good dose of olive oil. I put a cheesecloth ( you could use an infuser or unbleached coffee filter) filled with large amounts of the same spices/herbs and placed in the breast cavity, along with a quartered onion.

I roasted for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduced the temperature to 350 degrees and roasted until the thermometer read 165 degrees. I covered it with foil as soon as the turkey skin was a nice browned color (about 1 hour and 45 minutes in) for the remainder of the cooking time. I left it covered after I removed it from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

It was very flavorful. Moist enough. I think I’ll repeat it on Thanksgiving, maybe adding 1 or 2 halved oranges in the breast cavity.

For safe turkey handling tips and cooking temperatures, click here.


Sauteed Kale


With ham and lima beans and cornbread.  The red things in the bottle behind the plate are habaneros I have in a shaker bottle with vinegar.  It is excellent as a table dressing for the kale.  This is the first time I have used dry lima beans but it won’t be the last.  Mrs J claims a long association with “butter beans”, as she calls them.  No way is the recipe difficult – soak over night then drain and rinse and cover again with water in a big pot and set them to simmering for a few hours with ham hocks or whatever flavoring you prefer.

The kale is just as easy, strip and discard the thick stalks from the leaves and chop the leaves coarsely.  Heat oil (or bacon fat) in a large pan and mince a few cloves of garlic, toss them in for a minute to become fragrant before you add all the leaves.  Pour in a half cup of water or stock and cover over high heat for a few (5) minutes, then uncover and continue cooking until the excess water is gone.  At the end add a few tablespoons of vinegar, your choice.  Red wine or apple cider vinegar will work, sweetened rice wine vinegar is a good call.

Serve with cornbread.  Enjoy!

Shelter Pets

This little boy, Eliot, came from a high kill shelter and is very shy and underweight.  They are working on the weight thing.  He’s a champion snuggler.  He will snuggle for treats.  He will snuggle even without treats.  Walks well on a leash.  Mrs J says a staffer is sweet on him and may call dibs.This bouncy little Pomeranian mix came from the same kill shelter.  She is just adorable.  Mrs J says the kill ratio at that shelter is high but a dedicated group is helping to reduce it.  St Francis has answered the call many times.  At risk animals are highlighted on their Facebook pages, and they provide transportation for these pets to foster homes and/or shelters with more room.This is Laurel, known at the shelter as The Cat Whisperer – all of the cats love her.  She as a way with them that awes Mrs J,  “They will put up with me, but they run to her when she walks in”!  Mango is the orange and white tabby on her shoulder.  The dilute tortie is Raven, Frank is the brown tabby.

St. Francis Community Animal Rescue & Education (CARE)