Sunday, November 30, 2008

Honoring the Fowl Carcass/Black Bean Soup

My favorite post Thanksgiving ritual involves the lowly turkey carcass. One Thanksgiving we trekked down to my sister-in-law's house in Virginia. After a lovely dinner, sister and brother-in-law gleefully trashed the unsightly remains of the once glorious bird. D and I were horrified! We both agree that the carcass is the best reason to cook a turkey in the first place.

This past Thanksgiving, Shazza and I decided to cook the dinner at our dad's house. I offered to provide the turkey, knowing that I would have first dibs to the bones. As soon as we returned to Pennsylvania, we loaded the bones into our largest stockpot, added vegetables, seasonings water and let it simmer for several hours. When the meat fell off the bones, I put the pot on the back deck to cool.

Today was a cold, miserable mess of a day. We had a bit of morning ice and sleet which turned into a steady, nasty rain. The temps hovered just above freezing all day. Needless to say, I had no desire to or reason to go anywhere. D made a nice fire and I decided to use my turkey stock.
My favorite turkey stock recipe follows. I do not know where we found the original but I've never tasted a better black bean soup. This is slightly altered from the original.

Black Bean/Turkey Soup

6-12 cups turkey stock
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup shredded carrots
1 16 oz. package dry black beans
1 bay leaf
Oregano to taste
Salt, pepper to taste
1 cup shredded potatoes
2-3 minced garlic cloves
2-3 T butter
1-2 fresh limes
Crystal Louisiana hot sauce to taste
Leftover turkey meat

Soak beans overnight. In large, deep pot bring beans and turkey stock to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1.5 to 2 hours.

In large skillet melt butter. Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Add sauteed vegetables and remaining ingredients (except lime) to beans. Stir well. Simmer covered for one additional hour. Just before serving stir in 1-2 T fresh lime juice. Garnish with lime slices. Sour cream is a nice garnish as well. Enjoy

BTW After making this soup I still had enough leftover turkey stock to fill 2-3 containers for other soups and recipes. I never did get out of my pajamas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What a Weekend!

Whew! I used to say that "back in the day" after a weekend of parties and barhopping. That lifestyle is long gone for this old "has been". I am experiencing a different kind of exhaustion.

Daughter D had her first Junior Symphony concert today at 3:00 p.m.

Her grandfather, a.k.a. the "Semi-conductor", wanted to see her play but could not come to the concert. (It is a four-hour drive from southern New Jersey). I suggested that he could perhaps come to D's dress rehearsal on Saturday.

Turns out, the semi-conductor met a "charming and delightful" lady from York on his singles tour of Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Dad contacted this lady, invited her to the Saturday dress rehearsal along with dinner on Friday night. I had to take a personal day to clean and mentally prep for this visit. Needless to say we had a lovely time dodging snow squalls and feasting on Vito's cuisine at the Moonlight Cafe.

On Sunday (today) Shazza and M came in to see the symphony. My husband's brother, sister-in-law and niece also came down from Northeastern PA. Thanks to everyone for coming and supporting D. The kids sounded great. (except for a few minor mess-ups) Needless to say, I am proud of my daughter, thankful for the support of family and down right exhausted. I am not used to so much company and excitement! Tomorrow it's back to school, Tuesday night I stay late for parent/teacher conferences and Wednesday we will be on our way to New Jersey to help make Thanksgiving dinner for the semi-conductor. As far as I know, he has not invited any of his lady friends.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Online Graduate Class Rant

Hey everybody!

I am finally finished with my online class! What a pain in the arse. I would rather take a "real" class any day. The on-line work was not difficult but it was constant!

Every night, after work, commuting, making dinner and schlepping the kids around I had to sit down and work on my classwork. I had to post in classroom discussion or check in with my little group. Why do academics insist on "group work"? I would much rather work on my own, thank you.

I I had my druthers I would not take another "on-line" class. I have three more classes to go before I earn my masters.

Upon checking the schedule I realized that there are very few "live" class offerings. The vast majority of the available classes are on-line. I found a "live" class in January. The other ones either run during the same time or are over daughter D's birthday weekend. So I will probably have to take at least one more.

At the moment my motivation to finish is greater than my motivation to take "live only" classes. So if I disappear from blogging again you'll know why. At any rate I am finished until after the holidays. Hopefully I'll get a painting or two posted in the meantime. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post Election Glee

I'm in a good mood after the Obama win so I thought I'd share some more fall foliage photos.

I will be looking at them for potential painting ideas.

You can thank Pennsylvania for helping in the effort.

I can't say things will be wonderful now. Obama certainly has his work cut out for him. Obama does possess that rare ability to inspire people. I hope he uses his gift to work with all the American people.

Cheers to you all. In the meantime, enjoy the foliage!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thoughts on Election Eve

Here it is Election Eve! The good news is that W will be outta here no matter who wins. The bad news is the extremely nasty anti-Obama sentiment. I have taken a few photos from our idyllic setting in York County, PA to show you what vandals have been doing to our Obama signs.
The campaign offices have been very nice about giving us replacements signs.
As you can see by the photos that the tire tracks are not unintentional.
Because we live in a "battleground" state. We have been bombarded by phone calls and mailings from the McCain camp. "Obama is a terrorist. Obama will take your guns. Obama is a socialist. Obama wants to redistribute your wealth.
Our fall foliage has finally peaked! This is a view about 1/4 mile down my road. More fall photos will be uploaded soon.

This taken directly across the street from our lane.

My students are afraid that if McCain wins, he will die and we will have Caribou Barbie. She seems just about a dumb as W.

When I polled my Art One class today a few said they liked Obama, a few said they liked McCain. The large majority of them felt very strongly that Obama would be assassinated if he were elected.
Scary thoughts.