Well friends, it happened again. Seemingly overnight, fall has arrived! It seems like only yesterday the thermometer read near 80*, and yet when I woke up this morning, it was a frigid 42*! Mother Nature does have a sense of humor, however; she isn’t quite ready to relinquish summer just yet, as tomorrow it may be back near 80. We have learned to prepare for anything, weather-wise. We are hearty western New Yorkers. We can handle anything, ‘cause if you wait an hour it will likely change anyway! I am forever amazed by the quick passing of time–and seasons…and with the passing of the seasons, we enjoy each upcoming holiday!
Here in the United States we will be celebrating Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America this week, but our neighbors to the north will celebrate Thanksgiving, and because of this, I have gotten into the “turkey and pumpkin pie mode” a little early! I have a Canadian client who asked me to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal for them to enjoy while visiting the Chautauqua area this weekend. That order has put me in the mood for wonderful festive food! It’s funny how we only think of having certain foods at certain times of the year. We don’t often think of corned beef and cabbage other than in March, and typically turkey is only popular in November, but I am here to tell you that if it sounds good, it is ok to eat it any time!
Now that the weather has turned a bit cooler, it is nice to be able to turn the oven on and make a hearty hot meal. In my usual quest for simplifying meal time, I like to spend my occasional day off filling my freezer with fully prepared, ready to cook meals. I will power shop in the morning, spend a couple of hours prepping everything and then assemble my casseroles in freezer to oven or crockpot containers. Something to remember, though, it is always a good idea to blanch (partially cook) potatoes and veggies when you are planning to freeze them for later use. This way, they are less likely to turn off-color (potatoes, for example, will turn grey when frozen raw) and will finish cooking more evenly in the finished casserole.
Let’s spend a few hours and fill those freezers, friends! That way, dinner time will be less frenzied, and you will be the hero! And to all of our Canadian friends, Happy Thanksgiving!
- 2 C leftover turkey (fully cooked)
- 2 C leftover stuffing
- 1 C leftover veggies
- 6 cups turkey (or chicken) broth
- 1 cup gravy
- ¼ t thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix broth with gravy; bring to a simmer. Coarsely chop turkey, stuffing and veggies, add to broth mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally until ingredients are heated through. Add thyme (and salt and pepper if necessary).
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.