Friday, December 5, 2008

Turkey Trauma

What do you do with all that leftover turkey?

This question has plagued me since I was a kid and we ate turkey sandwiches, turkey casserole, turkey stuffing, and turkey turkey turkey until I really started to look at my back to see if I was sprouting wings (or worse, a bright red waddle).

Now, years later, as the turkey preparer, I have sympathy for my mom. There's a ton of leftover turkey and only so much to do with it - or feed to the dog.

In the hopes of creating yet a new, but classic, way of dealing with the leftover turkey trauma at our house, I busted out the soup pot. This was after we'd had leftover turkey au naturale, turkey sandwiches, and the threat of turkey meatballs. This was stifled by a staunch turkey rebellion on the part of my entire family.

So, soup pot it was. Time to hide the dreaded ingredient, turkey. Here's what I came up with in my experiments with the bubbling cauldron - turkey soup. So it wasn't a reinvention of cooking per se, but it didn't turn out all that badly. I used 8 cups of water, 4 boullion cubes, leftover celery, carrots, onion AND parsely (so this is really a 2 for 1 - how to use up those leftover veggies as well), 12 oz. wide egg noodles, tons of turkey cut up into cubes, and three mined garlic cloves. First, I boiled the water and the boullion cubes, then added the noodles. While that was coooking, I sauteed the veggies together in a separate pot with the garlic. Once everything was good and bubbling, I dumped it all together - adding the turkey surreptitiously when no one was looking - and let simmer for an hour, with a little salt and pepper to taste.

My kids were skeptical. They'd had turkey for a week straight by this point, but turkey soup garnered the coveted "Best Food Ever" kid rating. There were happy kids everywhere, and one happy mom, who, with a guilty sigh, packed the leftovers in their lunch for school the next day.

That did it for us and leftovers, but if you've still got some, The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook has got a fantastic list of what to do with them. Really delicious things there. Give it a look.

Dragon Wishes news: I was interviewed by Tasha S for my newest middle grade novel, Dragon Wishes. Please take a look. It turned out really well, which means I didn't embarrass myself...I don't think.


PJ Hoover said...

Your photos loaded nice and fast today!

adrienne said...

I love turkey soup! It's as much of a tradition for us as the turkey feast.
I had to freeze some of the turkey so I can drag it out later when everyone's not sick of it.

Stacy Nyikos said...

I wanted to freeze turkey too, but my husband got his hands on it and before I knew it was feeding it to the neighbor's dog. Ugh!

Barrie said...

I freeze little baggies each filled with 2 cups worth of diced cooked turkey. And then pull out a baggie every few weeks for a casserole. I'm a bit of a freezer-aholic!