I remember as a kid getting so sick of turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. It invariably consisted of turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce day after day for what seemed like forever.
I've grown to love leftovers as an adult, mostly because of its ease, but I like to also think that I'm not being wasteful.
As it turns out we didn't have a lot of actual turkey meat left over, but we did have a substantial carcass and I was determined to make the most of it.
For the last few years, I have become obsessed with waste, recycling, garbage and trash. I read a wonderful yet disturbing and very eye-opening article by Jonathon Bloom, author of American Wasteland. In it he points out that,"Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion."
I've had my eye on these propane cooking set-ups since I was at a friends Mardi Gras party and they were making tubs of wonderful gumbo and steamed shrimp and other massive quantities of yumminess. I've since seen them at farmer's markets, festivals and campgrounds.
I finally had an excuse to get one. Cindy was a bit leery of my decision.
I woke up around 3 am and couldn't sleep, so I figured what better time to start cooking something that would take several hours. I never thought about were I would put all the broth, so I had to get pretty creative. The first batch was incredibly rich and barely qualified as a broth, much more of a soup,
It was delicious.
I ended up remembering that I had an almost empty 5-gallon Sparklett's water bottle in my car. I came close to filling it in the next couple of batches.
It looked like Skye and I were going to become well-versed in making soup. Skye made an incredible shepherd's Turkey pie. I made a hearty Turkey-Barley soup, doubling the recipe so that it was almost too much for my 7qt Dutch Oven to handle. Skye then made a chunky-vegetable soup full of potatoes, radish, and carrots. Next on the list will be a turkey noodle soup and that should just about do it. I'll freeze some of the remaining stock.
I did some research on what to do with the fat and entertained the idea of making some biscuits but then remembered that we were all trying to lose weight and if they tasted good it would be less than helpful for the cause and if they tasted bad, well then it would be a waste of time, money and energy. I am sure I could do something with it and the broth by-products and the extra couple gallons, but given the space in our kitchen and the likelihood that we'll be on the move in a few months I opted to "waste" it.
All in all though, I am very happy with how much I was able to make use of that turkey, in the conversations it started, the friends and family that he feed, the culinary adventures and so much more.