Thanksgiving Test Run

Electric Turkey FryerMomma got her a new electric turkey fryer and she ain’t afraid to use it.

Well, we won’t be after tonight’s test run for Thanksgiving dinner.  I don’t want to burn the bird for the big day and screw up dinner for the gang.

The great thing about this contraption is that I can prepare huge batches of fried food at one time.  Yeah I know…my doctor isn’t going to be happy about that little fact.

Anyway, will post an update on the first fried bird.

Okay, here it is 45 minutes later and I have a fully fried 13.5 pound turkey ready to eat.  Looks delish, can’t wait for the first bite.  Ah..um, this would be the first turkey I’ve cooked this way without help.

Turkey

You don’t want to know what’s hiding in your spices

bags_indian_spicesWow…makes ya think twice about seasoning your food.

Flashback: Family Breakfast in the 1970s

Silly stuff that stands out in our memories

As I was thinking about my childhood years and what stood the test of time in this old flashback maker brain of mine.  I distinctly remember living in South Tampa (close to MacDill Air Force Base) and we had cousins staying with us.  Mom had five kids mouths to feed in addition to three cousins who were staying the summer.

Saturday morning breakfast

One Saturday morning I remember waking up and shuffling into the kitchen.  Mom was there as well as a sibling or two and a cousin thrown in the mix.

1960s kitchen table

Our table was an old 1960s style aluminum with a decorated top.

They were preparing breakfast for the house of ten.  I asked what I could do to help, mom’s reply was to get plates and napkins on the table (we ate buffet style as our table would not accommodate the number of people.)

So as I stood by the table I’m watching my female cousin make and butter toast.  I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.

burnt toast and butter

The toast was burnt with a huge glop of butter smeared on it (much like this pic.)  I stood there thinking, if I did something like that I would be scolded and told to remake the toast.  I probably would have received some sort of mild punishment as feeding a family of 7 on a limited income was somewhat challenging and wasting food was unacceptable.  But nothing like that took place.  Mom instructed cousin Teresa to scrape off the burnt as best she could and not to use so much butter.

In the end, I don’t really remember what the food tasted like, nor can I recall any snippets of time spent with the cousins that year.  It’s just that dang burnt toast and heaping blob of butter that stands out in one of my memory flashbacks.

Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin CookiesIn addition to Autumn being my favorite time of the year, I am also a fanatic about anything pumpkin, especially recipes.  Here is a little background on the pumpkin from the University of Arizona.

History of Pumpkins

Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico, dating over 7,000 years ago to 5500 B.C. Native Americans used pumpkins as a staple in their diets for centuries. They called the pumpkin “Isqoutm Squash.” Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine. They also flattened strips of pumpkin, dried them and made mats. Early settlers ate pumpkin as a staple in their diet. Colonist filled a hollowed out shell with milk, honey, and spices, then baked it in hot ashes. This is considered the origin of the pumpkin pie.

The recipe below yields about 3 dozen tasty pumpkin cookies.

Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze/Icing Ingredients

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

Cookie Icing/Glaze

Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to make drizzling consistency.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

It is Autumn and my favorite time of the year.  Even though the days are still warm, there is no reason we cannot start to enjoy the pleasures of “Fall.”  By that I mean….it is time to break out the pumpkin recipes.  Here’s a tasty one to jump-start the last quarter of the year.

pumpkin milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vanilla reduced-fat ice cream (such as Healthy Choice), softened
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Preparation:

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.
  • Pour 3/4 cup ice cream mixture into each of 4 glasses.
  • Top each with about 2 teaspoons whipped topping; sprinkle with the extra pumpkin-pie spice, if desired.