Posts Tagged ‘turkey’



Bad Day At Black Rock, I’ve used that phrase for years and didn’t actually know where it came from until the other day. I didn’t realize it was the title of a 1955 movie starring Spencer Tracey.  Although not so much used now, the phrase which means the worst day ever, was quite popular.  I guess it’s now relegated to the likes of me, women of a certain age.  Of course if you live in Manhattan and use the phrase, people might think you are complaining about working at CBS – oh no that’s just “The Rock”, oh well…. Ah Hah! A correction from my friend, Gail – CBS is known as BLACK ROCK after all.

When I was in Florida last month visiting my daughter and the grandkids, I really got a taste of living in Gulf Stream;  It is a  very small section of Delray Beach in the historic section and I think there are about 800 families.  The school, Gulf Stream Day School IS the heart beat of the town.  It seems as if all the kids go there, dressed in their neat preppy uniforms in khaki, white and navy.  The line of cars dropping off and picking up was pretty impressive.  Then there’s The Ocean Club, where we went for a Friday night barbecue and it was deja vu all over again.  I wrote about that in a previous post; see Sun and Sand, Sangria and Surfing plus Salmon, It’s Saturday-DAY 6.  However the point of bringing that up is that by Friday I  had observed just how small this little town was and remarked to my daughter that, “This place has all the makings of a Peyton Place“.  I said this in front of her and about 4 of her friends.  They just looked at me!  Uh, what’s a Peyton Place?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  Forget the TV show, what about the movie?  Forget about it, they were clueless and I’m getting really old!

COLD TURKEY:  Did you think the phrase Cold Turkey could ever have had a meaning other than the rigors of drug withdrawal?  Yes of course it did or it wouldn’t be in this post, lol.  Turkeys loom large in American psyche and are the starring entrée at every Thanksgiving Day meal.  The phrase talking cold turkey means talking no nonsense and getting done to business.  In the early 20th century, the phrase evolved into talking turkey and also going cold turkey – just getting it done.

As I get older, the list of phrases and words lost to Generation X and Y just gets longer and longer.   But their day will come soon enough.  I’ve already noticed that what I thought was GREAT, they think is AWESOME and the Millennials think it’s SICK!  

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Well, think about it;  Many people believe this and they’re not all atheists!  People have been persecuted for their religious beliefs  dating back to way, way back and how far back might depend somewhat on your own beliefs.  What I mean by that is if you’ve been raised as a Catholic (and probably all Christian religions) then you’ve heard or read some or all of the following stories:  Moses led his people out of Egypt where they had been enslaved – this one is part of the Jewish religion too.  We’ve heard that Christians were thrown to the lions, that they were forced to become gladiators and were laborers for the Romans.

Popes organized the Crusades;  Catholic Europe went to war against the Muslims.  Sound familiar?  Christians call it a Crusade and Muslims call it Jihad.  The pilgrims fled to America to escape the Anglican church and Hitler tried to eliminate the entire European Jewish population.  Jim Jones convinced hundreds of people to kill themselves, all in the name of religion.  The Taliban imposes harsh laws and restrictive behavior, again in the name of their religion.  In theory, Turkey recognizes the civil, cultural and political rights of non-Muslim minorities.  In practice, the government only recognizes Greek, Armenian and Jewish minorities and does not grant them all the civil liberties allowed in the Treaty of Lausanne.

And that brings us to PRISONERS , a movie I saw the other night.  Two hours and twenty minutes long  and pretty intense!  It was a tale of twisted religious beliefs as well as a story about kidnapped kids.  From the opening scene, I was struck by the religious overtones.  I mean who really recites The Our Father before they shoot (to kill) a deer.  As scenes unfolded, I saw crosses on the walls and one hanging around Hugh Jackman‘s neck.  I heard religious talk shows on the car radio, and watched the lead character kneel and pray as he tortured his victim.  In one of the final scenes you see a large poster of angels.

It didn’t stop there;  On the hunt for registered sex-offenders in the town, you just knew one of them was going to be a priest.  You were not wrong!  And there’s more;  this priest is not just a sex-offender, he is a drunk and a killer!  And who did he take out?  Why a twisted, distorted religious crazy who actually kidnapped and killed kids because….are you ready for this philosophy? Because he “was waging a war against God and losing their children makes parents crazy”  – this may be a bit paraphrased because I couldn’t quite remember it and all my research did not turn up this very poignant-twice-stated reason.  Apparently he and his wife lost their child to cancer and were very angry at God.  So once again we have heinous crimes being committed, heavy with religious overtones.

Hugh Jackman is a very angry, vengeful soul and this is the man who prays before he shoots.  Jake Gyllenhaal seems unmoved and uninterested in anything other than finding Anna and Joy.  He is darkly intense, his hooded eyes seek out everything because as he says, “Everything matters”.

It’s a suspense thriller with maybe too much foreshadowing; you could predict a lot of what was going to happen  even without the blatant and obvious telltale signs.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see it, this commentary really isn’t that much of a spoiler.

Photo from Amazon.com

Photo from Amazon.com

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Place cards for Thanksgiving dinner 2008.

Place cards for Thanksgiving dinner guests

So if you’re not cooking, you are either dining out or better yet invited to share the annual feast at someone else’s dinner table.  Either way, the end result is still the same because you….

  1. Do not have to spend hours grocery shopping for myriad ingredients for dishes you make only once a year.
  2. Do not have to spend 3 x what you normally spend at the grocery store each week, buying weird items like persimmons, figs, chestnuts, turnips and a 14 lb bird.
  3. Do not have to pull the giblets out of the cavity of an ice cold turkey and then clean its inside  and cut off its rear end also known irreverently as the pope’s nose.Do not have to pull the giblets out of the cavity of an ice cold turkey and then clean its inside  and cut off its rear end also known irreverently as the pope’s nose.
  4. Do not have to get up at the crack of dawn to stuff the turkey and put it in the oven so it is ready at 2:00pm
  5. Can actually go to the Parade if you wish or leisurely sit in your living room with a cup of coffee all warm and cosy and marvel at the balloons and how cold everyone seems to be at the Parade.
  6. Can have breakfast with the family instead of peeling potatoes.
  7. Don’t have to wonder how you are really going to get everything baked and cooked with 1 oven and only 4 burners.
  8. Will have time to get appropriately dressed  without an apron and even be able to put on makeup.
  9. Will probably be offered some leftovers to bring home for tomorrow’s supper (bring your own containers)
  10. BEST of all, you won’t be in the middle of any unresolved sibling or parent-child issues from your own family!!


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Brie on baguettes

Mixed Mediterranean olives

Antipasta plate

Garlic-herb rubbed Turkey roasted on onions and lemon

Herbed bread and sausage stuffing

Green beans with tarragon and caramelized onions

Mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with chives

Roasted parsnips, brussel sprouts and carrots with savory finishing sauce

Cranberry ginger clove sauce

Pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream

Thanksgiving Turkey


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I haven’t posted a blog in days and in trying to make up for it (lol), instead of writing 4 blogs at once I’m taking the easy way out and combining my FAB FOTO FRIDAY, CELEBRATE, ONLY in NEW YORK, and RED is Where You Find It all in ONE post.  Well after all it is a holiday weekend and although I’m not posting regularly I’m not on holiday either; but more about the weekend later….

Since it IS a holiday weekend, it’s important to Celebrate!  Of course we must celebrate Memorial Day and I could do a whole post on that (let me see how I feel by tonight) but this CELEBRATE blog post is celebrating the diversity of New York City. It is the equivalent of living in the world all in one place.  If you don’t live here, you may think I’m exaggerating but I’m not. There is hardly not an ethnicity represented in great numbers in the City, except maybe Aborigines.  This weekend, Turkey was center stage and drew thousands of on-lookers.  This parade unlike many others, was not a march up Fifth Avenue but rather in the United Nations neighborhood.  Take a look….

There were flags-lots-and people dressed in their national colors; Red and White, frolicking, dancing, marching, beautiful girls, costumed men, and of course little children looking darling in all manner of red and white.

Turkish flags, American flag, Turkish Day parade, Turkey, Turkiye

The FLAGS Speak

photo by Murray Head

Turkish Day parade, New YOrk city, Turkey, Turkiye, twins

Two for the price of one

photo by Murray Head

Turkish Day parade, Turkey, Turkiye, New york city, ballons

Did you ever see a Turkish balloon?

photo by Murray Head

Turkish Day parade, Turkiye, red paisley umbrella, Turkey

I Love the RED umbrella

photo by Murray Head

Turkish Day parade, Turkiye

I live here too

photo by Murray Head

Turkish Day parade, Borders installation art, United Nations, Turkey, Turkiye

Wanna play?

photo by Murray Head,

Turkish Day parade, Turkiye, Turkey, convertible

What's A Parade Without A Convertible?

photo by Murray Head

Turkish Day parade,

Or A Pretty Girl ?

photo by Murray Head

Turkiye, Turkey, native costume, Turkish day parade, new york city

Colorful Native Costume

photo by Murray Head

Turkish Day parade, New York City, Turkey, Turkiye

Is that a Blackberry or an iPhone?

photo by Murray Head

Turkiye,Turkey, red kerchief

Wearin' of the RED

photo by Murray Head

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it’s Turkish delight on a moonlit night
Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you’ve a date in Constantinople
She’ll be waiting in Istanbul

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Image via Wikipedia

Now there’s a crazy phrase! Let’s see how do you bake a tornado, or souffle a hurricane? Well look for this one sometime in the future in another blog.  Today is really about cooking;  what’s in the crock pot right now is Slow-Cooked Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey and it smells so good, the whole house is filled with the aroma.  I started on Saturday morning cooking;  Into the crock pot went the makings of Slow-Cooked Beef Minestrone see previous blog for recipe:

https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/slow-cooked-beef-minestrone/. And while that was simmering all day, I decided to make some Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup also published in a previous blog: https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/roasted-chicken-and-butternut-squash-soup. It wasn’t really that cold this weekend so I’m not sure where the urge to soup-things-up came from but nonetheless, I love soups and am glad I now have a few containers of Minestrone in the freezer.

Last night’s dinner was the Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash soup and when asked by you know who,“what’s for dinner”? and I told him, I got a less than enthusiastic reply.  I was informed that soup didn’t sound like much of a meal.  First of all I had to remind him that he has had it before and has remarked that “its a meal all by itself” because this soup is chunky, thick and full of chicken too.  So I thought about it and had recently seen a pasta recipe that I considered light- so why not make that as well.  Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce was delightful, I loved it and I never really told you know who that it had cream in it.

Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1# Linguine

1 tsp. Olive Oil

2 Shallots, minced

1 cup of Heavy Cream

1 TBSP Lemon Zest (1 lemon)

2 TBSP Lemon juice

Cook pasta and reserve 2 cups of  pasta water.  Drain and return to pot.  Cook shallots in oil in small pot over MEDIUM heat till tender (4 min).  Add cream and lemon zest and bring to boil and cook until slightly thickened ( I stirred almost constantly) about 8 minutes.  Add lemon juice, salt, pepper.  I added some pasta water at that point, judging the consistency as I like it.  I also sprinkled some grated cheese over the top also.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food

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Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditi...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s inevitable you know; It starts with the discussion/decision as to who is going to host the annual Thanksgiving Day dinner and then rapidly moves into the arenas of who should bring what and when should we eat.  That last particular question is the “thorn” in my side.  I grew up with having dinner in the afternoon, when I was married to my first husband we ate dinner in the afternoon and as I stated in a previous blog,  stayed at the table for the whole afternoon and evening until it was time for turkey sandwiches and more pumpkin pie!  My present husband grew up with the concept of Thanksgiving Dinner eaten in the early evening (maybe they didn’t want everyone to stay long enough for the turkey  sandwiches!).  I have kind of compromised on this point primarily because we don’t seem to have the kind of guests that like to play games and so no turkey sandwiches for them – we eat around 4pm.  This year may be different because Chiara and Tom and kids will be joining us and I think dinner time may have to be timed around naps – I don’t remember ever having that issue with my own, oh well…..

I have a list of Ten Taboo Topics you probably shouldn’t bring up during dinner.  Some of them are clearly meant for those wives (and husbands) who find themselves dining with the outlaws.

  1. Don’t discuss bodily ailments, no graphic descriptions of recent illnesses or conditions.
  2. Probably not a good time to rehash last year’s fiasco;  i.e.  when Uncle George got tipsy and fell into the dessert table  and your  sister’s  dog peed on the carpet.
  3. Try not to be passive aggressive;  Your chubby cousin is reaching for second helpings of mashed potatoes and stuffing and you mention how quickly your best friend lost all that baby weight and is now thinner than ever.
  4. The economy has been tough for everyone and even if you are the poorest of the church mice, this is not the time or place to complain about your bills, your lack of funds and loss of a job.
  5. Blended families are difficult enough, so during this occasion, refrain from mentioning how in your family your mother always did….
  6. If you and your husband are dining with both sets of parents, please don’t tell everyone how hard you two are working on getting pregnant – the visuals that appear in parent’s minds are not pretty!
  7. NO POLITICS – enough said especially in light of the midterm elections; NO POLITICS!
  8. That goes for off-color humor as well.  Tell your blue jokes to your friends, not your mom.
  9. Even if your mother/family cooked gourmet Thanksgiving dinners with everything made fresh and from scratch, don’t make comparison comments.  They will NEVER be appreciated.
  10. Religion – don’t even go there! If grace is said before the meal, just go along with the program, the host and most of the other guests don’t care if you are an atheist or a Buddhist – you’re a guest.

But you can make lots of conversation about:  weather, apolitical TV shows like Mad Men or 3rd Rock, recent vacations, funny characters from work, the delicious food, sports and if there’s some curmudgeon trying to pick a fight…mention puppies! Everybody loves puppies.

We’ll be taking a poll after Thanksgiving to find the most hilarious moment, the most awkward and the best side dish!!!

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Tasty Tidbits Tuesday

Now that I have OD’d on Reese’s peanut butter cups, malted milk balls and eaten more than my share of snack-size Snickers, I figure it’s time to start planning the Thanksgiving Day meal.   I came from a family who served the same side dishes year after year (TRA-DISH- UN)!  During the years my kids were growing up and Thanksgiving was a meal shared with the extended family, TRA-DISH-UN again ruled and certain sides were absolutely mandatory.  Now you may be thinking I’m talking about Candied Sweet Potatoes or Giblet gravy or well you know…but what I mean is stuffed artichokes, stuffed mushrooms and a certain bread stuffing. That was how the first 40 Thanksgivings went down.  I’m not criticizing those meals because I loved some of the family traditions we had;  Like sitting at the table from 1pm till 9pm.  After the main course, we would put a big bowl of grapes, apples and tangerines on the table and a bowl of mixed nuts (in the shells of course).  Then the coffee was brewed and the pies came out.  And once those dishes were cleared off the table, we played games.  It could be anything from Monopoly, Family Feud or Trivial Pursuit ( you can see the chronological progression in the choice of games).

Fast forward and for the last 20 years or so, I have let my autonomy and creativity take hold.  It’ has resulted in a file folder chock full of assorted recipes for a Thanksgiving dinner.  Stuffing has evolved through sausage, chestnut, cornbread and herb.  Depending on who’s at the table, the sides might include an old favorite such as string bean casserole known in my house as White  Trash Casserole (my kids term, not mine) or even (yuk) canned cranberry sauce.

All of this distertation is not really digression but rather a lead in to my idea of posting several dishes from Thanksgivings past and present over the next couple of weeks.  Maybe it’s a warning to those of you who don’t cook or who don’t like to vicariously cook through reading recipes.  So you have been forewarned and let the recipes begin!!!!


2 lbs. parsnips, peeled and cut into large match sticks

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Grated zest of one orange

Heat oven to 500 degrees.  Place parsnips in a large bowl; drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.  Turn parsnips into large roasting pan and roast, shaking pan occasionally, until golden, 10 -15 minutes.

Remove from oven, add juices and zest, and toss to coat.  Return to oven and roast until parsnips have caramelized, 5 – 10 minutes.  Transfer to warm bowl and serve.

Serves: 6-8     Time: 15-20 minutes

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