Saturday, January 17, 2009


There's a couple of ways to make a good gravy. 1 is to start with a rue and then add, the other is to start with the dripping and then add the flour. I usually go with the second method.

Strain your (hot)meat drippings through a sieve and into a cooking pot. Put on stove over medium heat. Add 1-2 cups of water. A few spoonfuls of flour and some stock seasoning (vegetable, chicken or beef depending on what kind of gravy it is). Whisk all together quickly and constantly so you don't get lumps. Keep stirring until the gravy starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

Roast Turkey

whole turkey
salt & pepper to taste

Heat oven to 325*. Remove giblets from turkey and wash turkey thoroughly. (Set giblets aside in a plastic container in the fridge for later, they can help make a beautiful turkey stock). Rub turkey with margarine. Place turkey in a roasting pan. Sprinkle salt, pepper, sage and thyme over turkey. Cover and roast. Roasting time depends on the size of your turkey. We usually get a smaller turkey (between 8-12 pounds) and I cook it for 3 - 3 1/2 hours. Check a roasting chart if your turkey is larger than this.

Carrot-turnip mash

This is exactly what it sounds like.

1 turnip
4 carrots
spoonful of margarine (if desired)
dash of cinnimon (if desired)

Peel turnip and carrots. Cut both vegetables into large chunks. Boil together until both vegetables are soft. Drain. Mash together adding a little margarine (and a little cinnimon).

Chestnut Stuffing

This was my mother-in-law, Carole's recipe, much sought out by my husband. Apparently he and his mom were the only ones who really liked it. I don't know why, it's really delicious! I think the trick is to cook the chestnuts in the milk the day before you do the rest (and really let the chestnuts simmer). This was my big accomplishment of the Christmas dinner this year, not just making the dressing, but nailing it. Jonathan said it was the best he'd ever had that. This was the first time I've made one of his mom's recipe's where that was the response. And ladies you know how hard an admission that is :o)

1 lb Chestnuts
2 oz breadcrumbs
1 oz margarine
heap tsp sugar
salt to taste
egg to bind

Prick chestnuts and and boil in water for 5 minutes. Peel. (this is the tricky part, make sure you discard any nuts that look rotten). Place good nuts in pan and cover with milk. Boil until tender (really let it simmer until it looks like a big sticky paste.) Rub through sieve and cool (this just lets the nuts separate a bit but keep all the mixture, nuts and milk).
Add other ingredients.
Place wax paper to line a loaf pan (extra sticking out to cover the stuffing in a packet). Place stuffing mixture inside. Wrap into a packet and cover with foil. Bake at 350* for about half an hour. The trick is to let it cook long enough to bind together but not so long as to dry it out.

Whatcha cook for Christmas?

Here's my Christmas 2008 menu:

Chestnut Stuffing
Stove-top Stuffing (yes I love the box stuff)
Mashed Potatoes
Carrot-Turnip Mash
Brussel Sprouts
Cranberry Sauce
Apple Struedel with Whipped Cream

Whatcha been cooking lately?

As happens the business of Christmas catches up with me and before I know it, a month has gone by. My apologies.