Dec. 1, 2010 8:52 am
Updated: Dec. 2, 2010 5:00 pm
Three days before Thanksgiving.
A dreary day. It’s very dark and raining but the temperature is an unbelievable 64 degrees.
The deer hunters are whining that they have no snow to track their deer. Oh, well. Looks like they have to be real hunters this year. If they don’t know how to track without snow, they shouldn’t be hunting.
What memories of past Thanksgivings could I dig out of this old brain?
The earliest I can remember was when I was quite small. Maybe, 7 or 8. My mother was out of routine. She was making lots of different things. It was my older brothers who had the job of keeping me and my younger brother away from the busy mother. I couldn’t
understand the quantity of food or being kept away from Mom. Then Dad came in with Grandma and she distracted me away from the mystery in the kitchen. When we were called to the table I was amazed at all the things displayed upon it. I remember the big turkey
and lots of colorful dishes but I cannot remember what they were. I got into trouble when I stood on a chair to take it all in.
Another very memorable Thanksgiving was when I was stationed overseas. The detachment was small, only 60 personnel, and very isolated. If anything happened we had to make our own decisions about how to handle it and hope the powers that be would concur later.
The kitchen was staffed by a Sergeant and two civilians. One civilian was an assistant to the sergeant and the other was a helper that took care of everything menial. I had to work the midnight shift and when we got back to the detachment I could smell things
that just didn’t fit the typical military diet. I was very tired so I hit the sack without further investigation. It was 10:30 AM when I was awakened by the kitchen helper. "Sergeant want you in chow hall, now!" I jumped into my clothes, grabbed my rifle and
headed for the chow hall. As I left the building, I saw there was more armed men heading there too. We used tactical maneuvers entering the chow hall, not knowing what was there. When we entered the chow hall, the sergeant yelled "Stand down! There ain’t a
war here! Lower your weapons and clear ‘em!" Turns out the helper was too excited about the Thanksgiving meal that they had prepared. The sergeant knew if we slept we would only get scraps of leftovers for our Thanksgiving. He had us awakened so we could be
the first served. Our meal was given to us an hour ahead of everybody else. And the food was fantastic! The sergeant was always taking care of his troops. When I was transferred back stateside, I made a point of going to him and thanking him for his exceptional
efforts at every meal he prepared. In my opinion, they couldn’t hang enough stripes on him for his work.
Two days before Thanksgiving.
Just put on my third batch of vegetable broth following the suggestion of Fight the Fat Foodie. This batch is a couple of gallons. So far, the total yield is at 28 pints. That’s over $28.00 I won’t be giving to the grocer. I like that! The savings is likely
much more because I haven’t diluted the broth. My wife and I like the rich flavor of it as it is, so diluting is probably not going to happen. My guess is, it could be diluted 50/50 and still be richer than the commercial broth.
I’ve found if I keep the vegetable scraps in a gallon size zip bag until it is full (about four days), I will get a yield of eight pints. I dump the scraps into the large strainer, steep it in our large pasta pot with enough water to cover the scraps and let
it boil for around 15 minutes then let it simmer on low burner for three hours then turn off the burner and let everything set until the broth has cooled. Once cooled I’ll put two cup quantities in one gallon size zip bags and freeze it. I’m going to can the
next batch so I can make a comparison of taste. The canned batch will have 1/4 tsp of salt per pint. That shouldn’t affect our reduced salt intake too much. (I hope!) Our reason for canning instead of freezing is we don’t like the expense of the zip bags.
All of our canning jars and rings have been with us for years and owe us nothing. The lids are less expensive than zip bags, too. I never realized how much scrap is generated by paring and peeling. This is a little tip that is a big plus! Many thanks to Fight
the Fat Foodie!
One day before Thanksgiving.
We traveled to Columbus, Ohio with the parents of our daughter in law. We very often travel with them because we get along fabulously and the trip becomes a six to seven hours when it should be around four and a half hours because we are always finding things
to do and/or places to eat. We hardly notice the time increase because we are joking or seeing things to talk about. Our arrival was ushered by lots of hugs, some squeals from the granddaughter and prancing and dancing by the grand dog. (Doubtless, he was
expecting treats he doesn’t get when we are gone.)
Our son prepared the traditional feast and did a darned good job! Everything came together as planned. Afterwards, our daughter in law laid out munchies for the rest of the day. My wife had baked apple pies, pumpkin pies and whole wheat bread- enough to last
through Sunday morning.
I followed the advice of the healthy eating gurus and took everything in moderation. I enjoyed the tastes of everything but that moderation BS was difficult to stick with.
Our daughter in law- a University of Michigan Graduate (a tough thing to be in Columbus)- had to watch the Michigan/ Ohio State game. She held the Wolverines dearly through the entire game and was very disappointed that they performed so poorly.
First day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday.
The ladies were up and running long before the gents even thought about getting out of bed. All three are avid shoppers and thoroughly enjoy exploiting all the bargains and sales people.
The guys stayed close to home and entertained the granddaughter. We left around 9:00 and almost had the stores to ourselves- if we wanted them. That was the first time I have seen Columbus so inactive. Typically, it’s busy even in it’s off hours. To mark the
occasion of having no wives to supervise us, we had a very delicious (and greasy) fried hamburger with real deep fried fries.