Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Vintage Recipe for Left Over Turkey

The World's Cutest and Smartest Goats:  Poppy & Willow
I can only hope that all of you had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as we did!  Spending time with our dear friends at their beautiful Farm and B n B in the Lehigh Valley ( is definitely the best anecdote for whatever may ail us or have us stressed out. Cooking a huge feast together, walking in the woods, watching the chickens and the goats frolic, and sleeping in total silence (well, except for the roosters!) is pure bliss.  And, with every visit to the farm, I learn a little bit more.  We are always so grateful and I always return tinkering with ideas for applying what I learn in the country to our urban homestead.

This year we had a beautiful organic, heirloom turkey from the Koch's  Family which we purchased through Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market. Our Turkey weighed in at 22 pounds!  We had a fabulous dinner with all of the fixins, including some "traditional" dishes that my better half and I have foisted upon our friends over the years. Of course, our Friday after Thanksgiving dinner consisted of turkey sandwiches piled high. As you may have guessed, each of our freezers currently has a good deal of sliced turkey, stuffing, and fabulous turkey stock waiting for our "next round" of turkey cravings.

Along with Turkey Noodle Soup, the one recipe that I will be doing and soon - possibly this weekend - is Turkey Tetrazzini.  The recipe I have been using for years is originally from the Betty Crocker Cookbook (1969 edition), given to me by my Grandmother when I moved out on my own.  I still refer to this great old cookbook for a number of old standards, along with this recipe.

Recipe:  Turkey Tetrazzini


1/4 cup butter - original calls for butter OR margarine!  It's old I told you!
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup turkey stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sherry - although not specified in the recipe, dry sherry works best
7 ounces cooked spaghetti
2 cups cubed turkey
3 - 4 ounces of sliced "button"mushrooms - the original calls for 1- 3 oz can of sliced mushrooms but I just can't!
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 350 degrees
Melt butter in a large sauce pan over low heat; blend in the flour, pepper and salt.
Cook over low heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth and bubbly (it's a roux basically)
Remove the sauce pan from the heat; Stir in the turkey stock and the heavy cream.
Heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly - Boil and stir for one minute
Stir in the sherry, spaghetti, turkey and mushrooms

Pour the mixture into an ungreased 2 quart casserole.
Sprinkle the cheese all over the top.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
If you wish to brown the top, place it briefly under the broiler.

Makes 6 servings

There is absolutely no need to change anything - well maybe the mushrooms, but you can still used canned if you want to be a purist!  I have doubled this recipe many times; it's a crowd pleaser!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shop Small Saturday - The Start of Something Big!

This is the day, folks!  Today we can all start to show big box stores, chains, and "outlets" and the like that we appreciate and would rather support our friends and neighbors and their businesses and their products!  It starts today with Shop Small Saturday - but let's make it a growing trend and an option for shopping all of the year 'round. The advantages are big!  You will support people in your own area/neighborhood to sustain and grow their businesses; you will have access to quality goods and services;  you will  be spending your money on more items produced in the U.S.; and you will be sending a clear message to chains and big box stores that their foreign made, cheap products and, in some cases, that their practices towards their workers are not acceptable. As Granny used to say, "Don't be one of those who knows the price of  everything and the value of nothing".  Consider whether you really are "getting a deal" - in the long and the short run. We all win when our small, locally owned businesses win!  Happy Shopping! Thank You!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Imperative for Local - Let's Start Now!


This will be a topic we will return to a lot over the upcoming holidays.  Of course, for me, this is a pledge that drives many of our buying decisions all year around.  But, let's face it,  the holidays are a good place to start.  Going forward, I propose that we share good local purveyors and store owners - let's educate each other as to how we can shop locally! Who's your favorite?  Also, we will talk about considerations for  "Shopping Small" in an upcoming Blog.  But for now, let's talk Turkey!

If you are The Cook for Thanksgiving Dinner, please check out turkeys that are raised by local farmers and are cage and hormone free.  Try buying a fresh turkey - once you go there, you can't go back!!! They are wonderful! You do have to order them and if you are going that route, you should do so very soon.

But along with the Turkey, think about your small local vendors and Farmers Markets as a source of veggies, fruits, pies and other items you will need.  If your Thanksgiving Dinner involves family and friends bringing dishes, gently suggest where they might shop for what they need.  Also, consider the small housewares' store owner for decorative items and linens for your table.  Find a local florist for flowers. And, if you are really dedicated, there are always local wines!

Remember, the definition of "small businesses" are NOT business with net incomes of over six million dollars annually - as we have unfortunately been hearing recently.  Small business are just that:  bricks and mortar, family owned, local businesses, who are not clearing millions a year!

Let's start the season off right. By supporting those who are making a living in our own neighborhoods!

Some of Our Local Favorites for Thanksgiving Shopping & Preparation (here in Philadelphia Obviously; Your Challenge is to Identify Places in Your Area).

Reading Terminal Market
Fair Food Farmstand
Head House Farmers Market
Downtown Cheese in the Reading Terminal Market
Otolith Seafood
Ippolitos Seafood
Green Aisle Grocery
Metropolitan Bakery
Olde City Coffee