My Infamous Turkey Soup - She can cook but can she write? Blog at - 160834

She can cook but can she write?

My infamous turkey soup 
Mar. 1, 2010 9:17 pm 
Updated: Mar. 17, 2010 5:46 pm
And no, I didn't use the wrong word.
During my childhood, my father used to make turkey soup on Boxing Day. Ok, sometimes it might have been the day after Boxing Day, or maybe even the day after the day after Boxing Day, but I always think of it as Boxing Day turkey soup.
It was good. No, it wasn't good, it was great. My father could make soup from nothing, and frequently did (we were, to use a PC term, economically disadvantaged), so actually having a turkey carcass to work with, not to mention the addition of some veggies and rice or noodles,  allowed him to make a soup that tasted like heaven to me. Even after I left home and moved into my own apartment, I could be summoned home in no time by the words "the turkey soup is ready."
I come from a fairly large family, so let me just say here that by the time the turkey carcass hit the pot, there wasn't much meat left on those bones. Years of sitting around waiting for it to actually become soup allowed me to observe how it was done. I understood the basics; you boiled the thing for what appeared to be an unreasonably long period of time, and then you strained it, Let the bones cool off, then you picked off whatever meat might have clung to those bones and tossed it back into the pot.  At that point, you added any gravy that had outlasted the turkey leftovers, and whatever else you had on hand in terms of veggies could and did go into the broth. Add some salt and pepper and voila, soup nirvana.
So, several years passed, I grew up, moved out, had a child of my own and even got married. At that point, I  took over the task of making Christmas dinner for my and my husband's extended families, something I did happily, because  roast turkey is one of my favourite meals closely followed by turkey sandwiches and, of course, turkey soup. I missed my dad's traditional boxing day turkey soup though, and more than once I offered to give him the carcass so that he could make soup, but he never took me up on the offer.
After doing without it for a few years, one Christmas I finally decided that I could just make the soup myself.  It wasn't rocket science after all, just boxing day turkey soup. First thing on Boxing Day morning, I got out the soup pot, removed the leftover turkey from the carcass, popped that thing into the pot with some onions, celery, and water and started it on its way to turkey soup heaven. Once it came to a boil, I decided that while I was waiting for the magic to happen, I should hit the stores to take advantage of the sales. I turned the heat down so that the stock would just gently simmer and off I went.  
When I got home, a few hours later, the liquid level had gone down rather alarmingly, so I added a bit more water and left it simmering for another hour or so. It was then time to start making dinner, but that soup pot was taking up a lot of valuable stovetop real estate. Living in the great white north as I do, and having the equivalent of a walk in cooler/freezer (depending on the day) just outside my door I did what many of us do, I appropriated some space on my balcony to use as a temporary outdoor refrigerator to allow my stock to cool down before removing the meat from the bones.  Sadly, I forgot all about that pot on the balcony that night.  Didn't remember about it the next day either, when we got some snow which buried the pot that I had forgotten was there in the first place.
Months later. Enter spring.  Milder, sunny days, slowly melting the snow. Not warm enough to go out onto the balcony or even to fling open the patio door, but apparently warm enough to melt the contents of the soup pot which was hidden from view.  A week or so later, the weather warmed up enough that I could open the windows, which I promptly did. And got a wave of something very nasty. Something that smelled like a dead animal. I opened the door to go outside and see if there was anything in the back yard that would have accounted for that toxic smell. And then I saw it.
 I saw the soup pot. I also saw the lid of the soup pot, which looked to me to be slowly lifting off the pot and then settling back down, almost like something that was going to explode. I quickly backed into the house, got some heavy duty garbage bags, put on rubber gloves, placed a clothespin on my nose and went back out to dispose of both the pot and the toxic sludge that was no doubt lurking under the lid. I can't say for sure, since I was very careful not to remove that lid to investigate the contents, but I believe it would have been considered hazardous material. I ever so gently lifted that pot into a garbage bag. Tied it, put it into another bag, tied that, and then into yet another bag. Took the bag and slowly walked it around the side of the house, then I carefully placed it inside a garbage can waiting for pickup the next day.
Perhaps an hour later, after I had washed the balcony and sprayed air freshener all around the house, one of my sisters dropped by for a visit. As she came in the house, she was telling me that there was a terrible smell in the neighbourhood; she could smell it driving up the street to my house. Although I was mortified, I admitted that the smell was from my turkey soup, and told her what had happened. She, of course, made sure to tell everyone in the family, and probably more than a few strangers, about my infamous turkey soup. After that, whenever I cooked a turkey someone in my family regularly asked me for the carcass so that I was not tempted to make turkey soup.
Enough time has passed that it is no longer the first thing on people's minds when I invite them for turkey dinner.  So yesterday, they forgot to ask. And guess what?  I made turkey soup tonight. Or at least it will be turkey soup, once I pick the meat off those bones.

Mar. 1, 2010 9:32 pm
TOO FUNNY!!! Great story! I think we've all done something similar before. I use my laundry room in the winter as the 'big chiller', and regulary forget stock.
Mar. 1, 2010 9:33 pm
Oh, and yesterday, we were looking for the steaks we'd BBQ'd the night before to have for lunch... still on the grill, outta gas and burned to a crisp!!!
Mar. 1, 2010 9:37 pm
Nice! I once left of pan of turkey "soup" on the stove top and went away for a few days...coming home t rancid turkey is no fun...I marched the pan and all to the was a sad day.
Mar. 1, 2010 9:39 pm
ROFLMAO Good EatNZ, now that really is too funny. I could never forget a steak on the grill. Chicken,
Mar. 1, 2010 9:42 pm
Baking Nana, I am so happy to hear that it happens to other people too. All these years, it was my secret shame, lol.
Mar. 1, 2010 9:42 pm
Thank you very much Deb. Coming from you, that is a high praise indeed.
Mar. 1, 2010 10:06 pm
A funny blog dj and I am sure we have all done something similar if not worse!!
Mar. 1, 2010 10:17 pm
LOL, terrific blog dj. Rough night here- sick baby- and a laugh is exactly what I needed. It's great we can laugh at these incidences- we all have them!
Mar. 1, 2010 11:44 pm
That's hilarious and yes, I do believe we all have done something similar. Sometimes so outlandish it makes you wonder how one earth you have managed to survive as long as you have. One time I went to the garage to my spare freezer to retrieve several things at once. I decided to pull a roast out for the following day and just let it defrost in the inside fridge. Something distracted me and I set the roast down. Found it a few days later looking for the source of the "dead animal" smell. What a waste.
Mar. 2, 2010 12:14 am
Bless you....lovely way to start the day....super story
Mar. 2, 2010 4:09 am
Thank you Grannygigi. If you have done something similar, I would love to hear about it. You have my sympathy, Citrus. I hope you both managed to get some rest and that baby is soon feeling better. Thanks for dropping by. Avon, it is nice to know that I am in such good company, and I feel your pain on the loss of your roast. Glad you enjoyed it, Sonya Jane. Thank you all for stopping by.
Mar. 2, 2010 4:14 am
That is about the most hilarious thing I have heard in ages! THANKS for making me laugh this morning! and as a fellow Canuck...I have used the great outdoors in winter as a stand-in fridge/freezer! Great blog! Great writing!
Mar. 2, 2010 4:29 am
Too funny! Join the crowd, though, as most of us have had disasters in the kitchen!
Mar. 2, 2010 7:21 am
Thanks for making my day! :) That was one of the best stories I've read! My mother-in-law forgot about a couple bowls - I think a pasta salad and meatballs - she had stuck out on her deck one Christmas Eve, but fortunately we discovered them while they were still frozen! They ended up in the trash, of course, but at least we didn't have to smell them!
Mar. 2, 2010 8:29 am
LMAO! I will think of this story every time I cook a turkey carcass.
Mar. 2, 2010 12:59 pm
Oh mauigirl, if you had smelled that toxic turkey soup it might have put you off turkey soup for life. Thank you all for taking the time to both read my blog, and leave a comment!
Mar. 2, 2010 6:46 pm
ROFL- I am crying!
Mar. 3, 2010 2:43 am
I made split pea soup one day and left the pan on the stove all night on simmer. My husband lifted the lid in the morning and said "Why is it brown?" I was so ticked off. That was good split pea soup till I cooked the life out of it!! At least I was able to salvage the pot! Thanks for your story, I am so glad I'm not the only one!!
Mar. 7, 2010 8:02 pm
LOL, oh Auntie Dee... That Turkey Soup debacle was beyond reason. As someone who has been there for many of my Aunt's cooking adventures, allow me to request a few tales be told: The Great Macaroni Slide of 2008 Ice Storm Cooking and perhaps Who Stole the Rhum & Raisin Fudge? ...would "Popsicle as a Weapon" be appropriate? LOLOL I enjoyed reading this as much as I love hearing the tales in the flesh. :)
Mar. 17, 2010 5:46 pm
DJ, that really takes the cake! Tooo funny. I will be laughing all night, and I really needed the laugh.
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About Me
To me, food is love, so when I cook for family and friends I'm showing them how much I care for them. I also love cooking for myself. When people say that they can't see that it is worth the effort to prepare elaborate meals just for one person , I answer that if I am not worth my best efforts, than who else would be? You can reach me at
My favorite things to cook
I like adding new ingredients to old favorite recipes, or trying different ways of cooking them. I enjoy the challenge of trying to improve something that was already pretty good to start with.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My father really excelled at making something special from simple and inexpensive food items. I learned most of the cooking basics from him. He particularly loved preparing food for holiday gatherings, and I have continued in his footsteps.
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My first gang up recipe. It wasn't the most imaginative meal, but I managed to create something that tasted good!
My cooking tragedies
The infamous broccoli souffle comes to mind. I spent a whole lot of time, money and energy making that thing and it was absolutely vile. It took quite a while before my family would eat broccoli again.
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