Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Death by Cooking

I think I may need an intervention. Yesterday I had the day off work for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. John and I had talked about going to Auburn to visit the jeweler we like to use to have our rings cleaned and mine checked to make sure all the prongs are tight. We called ahead and found out he wasn't going to be open so after tossing around some other ideas, we decided to just stay at home.

I got up Monday morning, collected my mother from upstairs and ran into the city to go to the Franz Bakery Outlet for English muffins and some other breads, then on to Costco's flagship store to pickup butter, water and some other essentials before stopping at Saars in town to get a turkey breast, onions and a few necessaries. We went back home and I proceeded to spend the rest of the day cooking.

Cooking has become my hobby and my passion. I lost the ability to crochet with the development of carpal tunnel syndrome so I needed to find a new hobby. I like to scrapbook now and then and I really enjoying reading books but cooking is my favorite thing to do.

While the turkey breast defrosted in my folks' microwave, I got busy making Shepherd's Pie for our Tuesday night supper. I use a combination of ground beef and pork along with onions, mushrooms and carrots all simmered in the Colman's Shepherd's Pie mix packet along with a little water before turning it into a baking dish, topping it with some shredded cheese and then mashed potatoes which were left over from Sunday dinner.

Next, I moved on to lasagna. I had picked up whole wheat lasagna noodles during the week but first I cooked some more ground pork and beef along with some bulk sweet Italian sausage with some onions in my big 12 inch cast iron skillet. Next I made a red sauce and a white sauce from scratch. My white sauce was completed with a package of Boursin Garlic and Herb goat cheese that had been languishing in my fridge since Christmas. The turkey breast was thawed out so that was dealt with and popped in the oven to bake while I finished making the lasagna. Finally, I cooked the noodles, thawed out some spinach I had frozen, chopped up and sauteed mushrooms and got the mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano and ricotta cheeses out and ready to to go. I assembled a white lasagna for our dinner that night and two smaller red lasagnas to go in the freezer for future use.

About the time I had finished and cleaned up, the turkey breast was coming out of the oven. I carved it up almost immediately so I could cool the meat enough to handle it and so I could deposit the carcass in my big stew pot with onions, celery, garlic, salt and pepper and water to begin simmering into stock. Now it was time to chop up the turkey into bite sized pieces. Two-thirds of the turkey was put in a bowl, mixed with diced green chili, shredded cheese, chopped olives and two cans of green enchilada sauce before being wrapped in tortillas, covered in more enchilada sauce and cheese and wrapped up for the freezer. I had some of the turkey enchilada filling left over so I put that in a baking dish, topped it with cheese and breadcrumbs and froze it as well. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, John and I will have that over rice for dinner.

As the white lasagna baked for dinner, I took the remaining one-third of the turkey, added onions and fresh mushrooms to it and sat it in the fridge. I chopped up red potatoes and carrots and boiled them for ten minutes before adding them to turkey mixture. I thawed out two pie crusts I had leftover from Thanksgiving and Christmas baking, made a white sauce, mixed in the turkey stuff and put a homemade turkey pot pie together before wrapping it and putting it in the freezer.

The white lasagna was wonderful for supper and I am looking forward to the piece I have in my lunch as well. I went to bed at 8:30 last night and slept until morning. I had a ball and while it was tiring, it also left me with a wonderful sense of accomplishment and will make life easier in the coming weeks as well.

1 comment:

the mcleans said...

i recognize that photo!! sounds delicious! miss you.