Thursday, July 21, 2011

Turkey Giblet Stock (Page 377)

RECIPE #1271

  • Date: Saturday, June 25, 2011 -- 6pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Helen, Charles, Clara, Whitney, and Chris C.
  • Recipe Rating: B+
This was a component for a turkey dish I made a few weeks back. This recipe is for a quick stock made from the turkey neck and giblets. The turkey I had said on the package, "Some giblets may be missing." This was no joke. Indeed, nearly all of my giblets were missing. And our local butcher doesn't sell giblets without the bird this time of year. So for me this was more of a turkey neck stock than a turkey giblet stock. Oh well. I started by browning the neck and giblets, then added celery, carrot, onion, water, chicken stock, bay leaf, black peppercorn, and thyme. I simmered it for almost an hour, strained it, and skimmed off the fat. This stock was fine. It didn't have the depth of flavor that you get from a stock that simmers for hours, but it was pretty flavorful. The gravy that I made from it was tasty, although not remarkable in any way. If I need a quick poultry stock in the future, this is a decent recipe.

The recipe is here.

Only 22 recipes left!

I have been in a bit of a funk lately. There are reasons, and they are legitimate, but I don't want to go into them here, nor would I even know where to start if I did. For the most part the summer has been lovely, but there have been some bad days, and quite a few of those days were consolidated into last week. By the time the weekend rolled around I felt defeated. I had planned to work all weekend, but I couldn't find the presence of mind to do it. On Saturday, the only thing I wanted to do was cook. So I did. I made a wheat berry salad, some cookies, a batch of brownies, a couple pizzas, etc. For the first time all week I felt as though a weight had been lifted. I love to cook.

I have always, ALWAYS, been good about finding space in my life for cooking. Even before I started this project I made it a priority to spend time in the kitchen. My busiest semesters in graduate school, I still baked cakes and hosted dinner parties. It was excellent stress-relief. And up until recently this project kept me very disciplined about finding time to cook. Lately, though, I have barely been cooking. I can't explain it. I have been busy, but not remarkably so. Usually I am wonderfully excited to cook from The Book. Lately, that has not been the case. In part I think it is because I am so close to the end, and the idea of finishing this project, which has come to be a part of me, makes me sad. And I haven't decided what, if anything, I will do next. Will I take on another cooking project? Will I continue to blog? I just don't know. So I am dragging my feet on the project. And not cooking from The Book has somehow morphed into not cooking much at all. Luckily my special gentleman has been making some delicious things (mmmm... porcini risotto) to supplement my minimal cooking. But it is time for me to prioritize my kitchen time again. Tonight I made more pizza, with toppings piled high on whole wheat crust: tomato sauce, onions, garlic, green peppers, pimientos, black olives, bacon, and a variety of cheeses. This weekend I have big plans for cooking from The Book. Duck? Salmon? Scallop mousse? So hard to decide. Perhaps I will make them all!

In difficult times especially, it is important to remember to hold on to the things one loves, rather than letting them fall by the wayside. I think it is time for me to spend some time in the kitchen again.


Karen said...

Hi Teena,

Just read this post. I could see where the completion of this project might have a bit of a 'funk' attached to it. You've been doing this for a long time now, and maybe you anticipate that you'll feel a little ...directionless?... when you complete it. Well, I for one hope you CELEBRATE it! (the *completion* when it happens, that is.) This is a massive project you have undertaken and stuck with and enjoyed and shared with lots of friends and family - and strangers like me. You are knocking on the door here...allllmost done - and I am very happy for you! It's a big achievement.

I know what you mean about sometimes not feeling like cooking, even though that is an activity that really brings you joy. Sometimes that feeling hits me, too… then I manage to get back into the kitchen and I wonder why I was avoiding it!

Maybe you will take a little break after this project is done? I hope not too long, because I love reading your posts, and I’m sure I am not alone. You often inspire me to try something in my own copy of The Book.

Maybe you will take on another project...maybe it will be a little different? For example, I know I've been wanting more friendly conversation in my life on the topic of food and cooking, and more kitchen adventure – new things. Perhaps you could lay out what you will be cooking in the upcoming, say, week or so, in your next cookbook choice. If others (myself and other readers) knew about it, we could attempt the same dish(es) and we could comment more effectively on them. I don't know. That might not be where you'd like to go. Was just 'thinking out loud' as it were.

Are there other cookbooks you might be interested in? Gourmet Today is an obvious next step, or the new Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser, maybe? Or maybe a less massive tomb, like America’s Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2010? I believe it’s just you and your husband at home currently, so that might be a good one. Though I know you like to entertain a lot, too.

You have been a HUGE encouragement to me - in many ways, actually. I hope I have reciprocated that in some small way for you.

~Karen :-)

Teena said...

Dear Karen,

Thanks for all of your thoughts and encouragement! This is very helpful as I try to think about what I would like to do next!