Thursday, November 10, 2011

This and That

I'll be away for Thanksgiving, but I'm still going to Fresh and Easy to pick up my 59c/lb turkeys from Jennie-0. Limit is 2 per visit. Fresh and Easy has some kind of new points earning program which may be worth investigating if you shop there a lot. I don't think their prices are particularly low, but they do have good specials sometimes. Like these turkeys. Unfortunately, they don't issue rain checks.

In Albertson's last week, I saw a sign promising a price match on the 59c/lb turkeys. Hopefully, that continues into this week and up thru Thanksgiving.

The easiest way to prepare turkey during the year is to boil it. That's why I prefer smaller turkeys, or to have the butcher saw it in half for me when I purchase it. Add onion, sage, thyme and rosemary and let it simmer for a long time. Lift it onto a plate and let the cooking liquid, aka broth, cool. Skim any obvious scum off the top of the broth. When cool, strain it through a clean tea towel, then freeze or can in smaller quantities to use as needed.

Pull the meat from the turkey. The white meat can be sliced as needed for sandwiches and the dark meat frozen or canned for use in pot pies.

Does making pot pie sound scary? It's not. It's easy and requires very little from you beyond keeping an eye the pot doesn't boil over and you have enough freezer containers or canning supplies. Pot pies are a cinch to make. If pastry dough frightens you,  use Pillsbury tube biscuits as an easy substitute. Roll them flat, lay them in the pie plate, add the meat, sprinkle some seasonings, spoon it over with some bechamel sauce and lay another flattened tube biscuit on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until it browns.

Does Bechamel Sauce sound fancy? It's  not. Bechamel is a fancy name for a basic white sauce. Mush softened butter into some flour with a fork. Heat on a low (I mean LOW) saucepan until the butter melts. keep it moving with a wooden spatula. Drizzle in some milk. That means a little at a time. Keep on stirring for about 20 minutes. That's the time needed for the flour to lose the 'raw' flavor. This is a great task to put a tween or teen on, especially if you tell them you don't care if they talk to their friends on the cellphone while they do it. As the flour cooks, it will thicken. If it's too thick, add a little more milk. If it's too thin, add the teeniest amount of flour. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Voila! Bechamel Sauce.

I like pot pies because they are good vehicles for using leftovers. Broccoli and carrots are great choices. As are carrots and potatoes. They'll feed a lot of hungry people and look impressive when placed on the table.

Like Boston Market. Only cheaper.

(BTW, I think the 97c/lb Farmer John Hams are a pretty good at Fresh and Easy. They contain a fair amount of water weight, but freeze well and will make good dinners and sandwiches in the months to come. These are also limit 2. If Fresh and Easy has a new coupon out, you can save a few dollars on the total sale. Check at Pinching Your Pennies, or the store site for a coupon.)

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