Friday, November 27, 2015

6 Ways to Eat Turkey Sandwiches

1. Plain, simple: A slice of turkey, white bread and mayonnaise or spread of your choice. A little lettuce if you want it. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

2. Club sandwich. You need three pieces of bread, turkey, lettuce, tomato and onion. Use mustard, mayonnaise or salad dressing for a spread. Cut in quarters to eat.

3. Layered sandwich. If you love the dressing, put a thin layer of that on sandwich bread of your choice, then a layer of sliced turkey and a layer of cranberry sauce.

4. Open faced creamy sandwich. This is great for those small bits of turkey. Put it in just enough leftover turkey gravy to make it a little sloppy, but not much. Spoon it over bread or toast.

5. Turkey and avocado. Slather mayonnaise or spread of your choice on a piece of bread and add slices of avocado, turkey and tomatoes. A light sprinkling of salt brings it all together.

6. Turkey salad sandwich. Mince leftover turkey (dark meat has more flavor), then add minced pickled, chopped hard boiled egg, shredded cheese and minced onion. Hold it together with mayonnaise or salad dressing.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Frugal, Traditional Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner

As you plan Thanksgiving dinner, it might save money and make a more memorable Thanksgiving, too, if you look back at the first Thankgivings. The Pilgrims had what was available and that was fish, poultry, squash, corn and other fall harvest garden crops, as well as wild food.

How can you plan your dinner around that? Poultry is easy; that's the turkey. If you don't have or can't find a turkey due to the shortage,  a large chicken (or two) will do nicely. Ducks are expensive in most places.

Squash, yes! That included pumpkin. If you have been following this blog, you'll remember that I said to buy fresh pumpkin while it was cheap and available. If you did that, you have plenty in the freezer.

Winter squash of all kinds can be a part of your meal.
This soup is made with butternut squash but winter squash of any kind can be used, even pumpkin:

1 medium whole squash, baked, with the seeds and rind removed.
1/2 pound bacon, either pork or turkey, minced
1 medium onion
1 can or two cups of chicken stock
Garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Put stock and squash into a pot and heat thoroughly, the remove from heat. Meantime, cook bacon and onion together until onion is translucent and bacon is done. Divide in two portions.

Add one portion of bacon/onion to the squash and process it in a blender or food processor until it's smooth. Return to heat and add the remaining bacon/onion, the garlic, salt and pepper.

Homemade bread is a good, inexpensive accompaniment, but if you don't want to, or don't have time to make yeast bread, make yeast biscuits instead. Just use the recipe for biscuits and substitute yeast for about half of the baking powder. This dough can stand a little more handling than plain biscuit dough, so it's all right to knead it to get it smooth. Turn out, cut and bake the same as baking powder biscuits.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Turkeys and Eggs are in Short Supply

You might know the connection. The price of eggs are going up and up and the scarcity of turkeys may make this a different Thanksgiving for some. The "bird 'flu" is to blame, with millions of both turkeys and laying hens being slaughtered to try to prevent the spread of this disease that can be deadly to domestic poultry and humans who come into contact with them. (Before you panic, the bird flu does not spread from human to human.)

If you're lucky and already have your Thanksgiving turkey, good for you. Be careful not to waste a bit of it, because it's going to be awhile before supplies and prices are stabilized. Buying a turkey breast early next year may not be a sensible option. There are tons of ideas on the internet to help you save and use every bit of the turkey you have.

If you don't have one yet, consider something else. Ducks and chickens are affected by the shortage, so think about having a ham or some special ethnic dish this year.

Eggs can be another problem altogether, but for frugally minded people, it's simply a matter of eating fewer. Baking for the holidays takes more eggs than usual, but you can substitute in some instances or find recipes that don't require eggs. Eggless cakes, cupcakes and bread recipes are easy to find on the internet. Many breads that call for eggs are just as good if you substitute an extra tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of baking powder for each egg.

Pumpkin pies may be a different story, but even then you can short the pie one egg without causing a problem.

Some stores have already put limits on egg purchases and turkey purchases are limited as well, but don't run out and try to get more than your share. It makes sense to be careful with the use of these two foods right now, not only because it will save you money, but because with the shortage, you will allow others to have them, too.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Turkey Time

If you're planning on having turkey for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, get it as soon as you can. There is a shortage of turkeys this year (a real one this time) so they are going fast. What will be left, if any, the few days before Thanksgiving will be the most expensive ones.

Which  ones are the best? Well, any of them, if you're going to believe the butcher. Really, the brand name turkeys are not any better than the "generic" ones, but if you really need butter under the skin, it's easy to put a tiny slit in the skin or slip a little butter under the edge of it. Why pay so much for someone else to do it?

Turkey is one of the cheapest meats there is, even if you pay the higher price for it. If you make broth from the carcass, you will waste very little of it. Buy as big a turkey as you can afford because the leftovers will provide many tasty and inexpensive meals over the next year, until they go on sale again!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Make Your Own Sweetened Condensed Milk

With the holidays fast approaching, making treats might be on your mind and if you have need of that certain expensive sweetened condensed milk, don't just run out and buy it.

Here's how to make it cheaper:

1 cup of powdered milk
2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup of boiling water
3 TBS of butter or margarine

Add the sugar to the milk, mix and pour in the boiling water. Mix well and add butter or margarine. Use this while it's still hot, or refrigerate. The fats will separate when it gets cold, so reheat it to use later.