Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A reminder of past books read

This was a book that I have been curious about for a few years. 

I used to love reading about Elizabethan times, and although I knew some about Henry VIII, I didn't really know that much about his wives, nor given much thought to the times, and really, what it would have been like in the royal courts..

To be continued.... (or edited)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wonderful surprise

This book sat on my "to read" pile for a while.  It came highly recommended (even if parts of it are sad) and I didn't get understand what this was about (somewhat like reading Unbroken a few months ago). 

What an amazing story.  This story is rooted in an historical event and it started off a little slow until I was fully engulfed by the story as it unfolded. 

A completely different novel, and well worth a read.  The women of this novel are memorable, and you are brought to a different understanding of how a time in history could be described.  The writing is very tight and there are passages (or images left behind) that I will remember.  Sorry this one is so short, it seems that time has escaped me this morning and I still need have a few morning errands to run....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Brine that bird.

Last year was the first year that we ever "brined" a turkey.  I was truly skeptical.  Screw with tradition? Soak your turkey in water, salt, sugar, and a few other things to add a little taste?  Last year, it was hard to do until we tasted the final product.

So, for Thanksgiving this year, we went ahead and bought a free run, fresh, organic (happy bird) turkey and brined it for 2 days.

It was amazing.  The meat was falling off of the bone.  

We had a 20 pound fresh turkey, which I left in the fridge until my brine was ready.  I used Morton's fine kosher salt in my brine.

Recipe, more or less to brine a turkey.

Use a large canner or whatever container will fit your size turkey (don't use a garbage bag, think of that unhealthy plastic).

In a pan on the stove, I used a cup of salt, a cup of sugar, and about 3-4 cups of water.  I brought this to a boil, and then mixed it with 2 - 2.5 gallons of water in the canner.  To this I added fresh ground pepper, 2 sliced lemons, 2 sliced oranges, and some fresh rosemary.  Once we were back to "cold" water temperature, you add the cleaned out turkey (remove the giblets, etc).  

Let it brine for 1 - 2 days.

Recipe for our stuffing

Bags of bread crumbs
melted butter
some milk or cream
couple of beaten eggs
poultry seasoning

I am terrible with proper recipes.  I just eyeball and taste, and use my hands to get the consistency that I want. I am not an "exact" cook, but I think that what I make tastes pretty good.  

We cooked it at 325 for about 5 hours stuffed.  Covered for the first half, and then we removed the cover.   Stuck some butter on the top to melt in, and ground more pepper on the bird. 

It was an awesome turkey.  We even used a gluten-free flour (Bobs' brand) to make the gravy and it was also really good.  

Turkey is one of those things that it is worth spending the money and getting a fresh, free run happy bird.  You don't find the turkey hangover is so bad, and the folks that usually have problems with turkey tend to find that they don't have issues with a healthier bird.

We had a few of our dinners early.  Tried for a large family gathering and it was a reasonable size, so with out leftovers, we invited some of the family we have chosen for a dinner the next night.   Next weekend I suspect we will break completely with tradition and perhaps go for a salmon just to keep it interesting.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

That is the end of my thriller run...

It sounds like it could really be a good book.

It just didn't really do it for me.  I got halfway through and I more or less "took one for the team" to finish this one.

The thing is, Iles has some amazing thoughts and plots, and some characters that really draw you in, but for some reason, the last few I have read really did not do much for me.  I finished this a week ago (thank you magic of setting your own date) and it has already escaped me except for some moments that really made me roll my eyes.  It had a supernatural element that just didn't draw me in.  Interesting, but just not where I wanted this book to go.

This has been an incredibly fast month.  To say work has been busy is an understatement.  It has been a great learning experience, however, I could really do with less intense busy times and all the interruptions.   I cannot wait until Thanksgiving weekend if only to know that this phase of work is done.

So I will return to some more literary haunts for the next few books.  Outside of reading the Dovekeepers next, I am not sure what else is up.  I am definitely trolling for some more interesting reads to add to the list.