Pickin’ Turkey

Miss Ann would tell you there is still meat on the bird.  Keep going!  For mass quantity foodservice people, it was Thanksgiving about once every month.  What is the recipe for turkey carcasses that look similar to the photo?  First, you need administrators who think EVERYTHING should be made from scratch.

1. Order 1,000 lbs frozen turkey, give or take a few pounds.

2. Have your central food storage/distribution department cut the frozen turkeys into quarters with a band saw.

3. At 8AM load every possible cooking orifice with frozen turkey quarters: ovens, steamers, steam jacketed kettles and crank them up.

4. At 1PM round EVERYONE (dishroom, pot & pan staff, storeroom) up and send them to the cooks’ area.  Miss Ann has her apron tied in a perky bow.  She bangs a metal spoon inside a stainless steel bowl and shouts “Turkey! Turkey! Turkey! Turkey quarters ready to pick!”  This is the highlight of her month.

5. Using your hands only, rip/pick the meat from the carcass.  This includes the turkey necks.  Don’t leave anything on the bones (or at least tuck the nasty stuff under the carcass skin so Miss Ann can’t see it as she makes the rounds).

6. Picked meat is transferred to cutting boards to be diced into “bite size” pieces.  Diced meat is put in plastic bags, about 5 lbs per bag.  Now you can’t use any twist ties in the kitchen because they might get in the food, so you twist the bag top and make a knot.

7. Date the turkey bags and store in the freezer.  Pour the collected turkey “broth” into five gallon buckets and chill in the walk-in overnight.  The next day pull the fat crust from all the buckets, seal & date them and move to the freezer.

8.  Use the meat and broth for specified casseroles, soups, and gravy.  Now how much does this recipe yield?  Well, the sad fact is poultry, if you are a diligent picker, yields 30%.  Do the math: 1,000 lbs frozen yields 300 lbs meat.  The rest is trash – imagine carrying 700 lbs turkey bones and other unidentifiable body parts to the dumpster.

9.  How long does this stuff last?  If you are feeding 1,500 residents 3 square, it lasts about a month.  Then it’s deja vu all over again.  Wish I had photos of the real pickin’ parties.

10. That’s why I can pick up searing hot items – you got used to handling hot meat!

I did pick my turkey one and a half carcasses clean but I did NOT pick the neck.  I did make stock from the bones but will not be storing it in a used five gallon pickle bucket.

**Have to credit the image from orangesanctuary.blogspot.com  Just to let you know that I won’t use material without citing it and any recommendations I make are personal.  There is no affiliate marketing on this site.  I make no money from any products mentioned.  I ain’t that scroungy.

Turkey Remains

It was one of the best Thanksgivings, food-wise that we’ve had in years.  Though Mr. Mike and I are between gainfulness, we’re counting our blessings.  The blessings have included donated food from our neighbor, bless her heart.  It is a Thanksgiving reprise.  No problem for us, we can eat turkey day menu more than once a year.  This year the recipes in the November Women’s Day were different, but not unreasonable.  I used the Green Beans with Toasted Garlic and Almonds, Honey and Lemon Glazed Carrots, Sweet and Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes (I subbed butternut squash), and herb roasted turkey (added spices).  Made my own cornbread apple-cranberry dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls and pumpkin pie.  Pre-Thanksgiving we enjoyed sausage gumbo and tossed salad.  Now that “chicken gumbo” canned soup is NOWHERE near gumbo.  It has okra and rice but the resemblance stops there.  Homemade roux for gumbo base is best but tricky.  A really good alternative is Tony C’s gumbo base.  Try www.tonychachere.com for gumbo products and more.  Around here it’s known as “Tony’s”.  I’ll have more recipes and graphic photos as soon as I get a digital camera.  In too much of a food and football stupor for detailed writing at the moment.  The red N is 9-3.  I’m grateful!  Turkey carcass is giving its all in the stockpot for soup tonight.

Canned Soup: More things to worry about

From HealthlandTime.com, written by Alice Park (she has a Facebook page)

Study Finds Spikes in BPA From Eating Canned Soup

 Wednesday, November 23, 2011

David Stuart

We may not know all the ways in which the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) affects our health, but we can be assured that we’re exposed to it frequently — BPA is in many plastic products and lines nearly all food and beverage cans.

Exposure to BPA, an endocrine-disrupting compound that mimics the body’s hormones, has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and obesity, and to potential problems during development in fetuses and young children. In Canada and Europe, the chemical has been banned outright from baby bottles, and while many manufacturers have removed BPA from baby products in the U.S., it hasn’t been regulated yet by the government.

Researchers led by Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, sought to figure out just how much BPA you get from eating food from cans. Carwile and her colleagues recruited 75 fellow students and staff members to participate in the study. Half of the participants were asked eat one 12-oz. can of vegetarian soup each day for five days, while the other group ate soup made from fresh ingredients. Then, after a two-day interim of no canned soup, the two groups switched roles for another five days. This way, says Carwile, she could be sure that whatever else the participants were eating during the two-week study wouldn’t affect their BPA levels, since the only thing that changed was the source of their soup.

To measure levels of BPA, the researchers asked all the participants to give urine samples after each soup-eating period. Carwile found that in the fresh-soup group, average levels of urinary BPA were about 1.1 micrograms per liter, roughly equivalent to what’s seen in the average American adult. After five days of eating canned soup, however, those levels rose to 20.8 mcg per liter, a more than 1,000% increase.

The study — the first to measure how much BPA is absorbed by eating canned food — found some of the highest recorded levels of BPA in urine outside of manufacturing facilities where BPA is used. “We were surprised,” says Carwile. “Other studies have quantified the amount of BPA in canned food itself, so we were expecting a modest association. But this is really big.”

Although the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked only at canned soup, the results likely apply to other canned foods and beverages as well.

The researchers did not explore the health effects of the spike in BPA levels or how quickly those levels may return to normal. Other studies have noted that BPA levels do fluctuate depending on people’s exposure to the chemical, but it’s not clear yet whether repeated spikes of BPA concentrations are particularly harmful or not. “We see an increased amount of BPA in urine. We don’t know how long that lasts, and we don’t know the effect of a fluctuating BPA level on health outcomes. But the results definitely deserve further study,” says Carwile.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 93% of Americans have a detectable amount of BPA in their bodies. BPA comes not only from food and drink in cans, but also those packaged in polycarbonate plastic. The chemical is also found on thermal register receipts, which people receive at checkout at nearly every retailer.

The Food and Drug Administration says the small amount of BPA exposure we typically get doesn’t appear to be toxic, but notes that recent studies have led to “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and young children.” A growing number of studies also links BPA exposure to changes in liver and heart function, and to detrimental effects on insulin levels. In a study involving a U.S. government health database, for example, British researchers reported that people with the highest levels of BPA in their urine were twice as likely to have heart disease or diabetes as those with lower levels.

The FDA is currently conducting further studies on the effects of BPA exposure and supporting other research seeking alternative ways to manufacture food and beverage cans without BPA in the lining. In the meantime, the agency is continually urging manufacturers to stop using BPA in baby bottles and feeding cups.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/23/study-finds-spikes-in-bpa-from-eating-canned-soup/#ixzz1eZ3T7JM8

From MSN News: vitamins and debauchery. More things to worry about

Popping a multivitamin can lead to debauchery

Could taking one of these vitamins lead you down the path of bad behavior? Yes, say researchers.

By Linda Carroll

Taking supplements may lead to poorer health, not because of what they do to your body, but what they do to your mind.

When people take supplements they get a false sense of invulnerability, a new study shows. And that can translate into a greater tendency to head down the path of risky behavior.

The intriguing study published in Psychological Science, found that people didn’t even need to be given real supplements for this devil-may-care attitude to develop – they just needed to be told they were swallowing something healthful.

For their study, Taiwanese researchers gave placebo pills to 82 volunteers, half of whom were told the capsules contained vitamins. The rest were told the truth – that these were simply sugar pills.


The big surprise came when the researchers surveyed the two groups. Those taking phony supplements reported a greater sense of invulnerability and less of a desire to exercise. They also were more likely to consider engaging in casual sex, sunbathing and binge-drinking.

At the end of the study the two groups were told they could choose between a healthful meal and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Sure enough, more of those in the group who were told they’d taken a supplement said they’d prefer the buffet.

The findings come as no surprise to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

“You see this even in professional athletes,” Bonci said. “Sometimes they attribute to supplements superhuman properties that let them off the hook for healthy behaviors. They’ll say, ‘I’m taking this supplement so it doesn’t matter what I eat.’”

Bonci lays the blame on ads that show healthy fit people taking supplements. You don’t see this kind of advertising for all the foods that actually do lead to good health she said.

And those ads lead to unreasonable expectations, Bonci said.

“We this face challenge every day,” she added. “And it’s not just athletes. There are many patients who believe there is exercise in a bottle.”

People have just come to expect that pills can cure everything, said Dr. Andrew Leuchter, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Laboratory of Brain, Behavior and Pharmacology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“We live in a society that is very oriented towards taking medication,” Leuchter said. “People feel like they can take a pill and it will almost immunize them from any unhealthy lifestyle choices”

And then there’s the fact that human beings are very good at keeping two contradictory ideas in their heads at once. “It’s one of those quirks of human nature,” Leuchter said. “We do something we think will enhance our health but at the same time we’re happy to do something that may in the long term be detrimental.”

Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin & Turkey rides

The past three days have been a break from serious scrounging.  Our neighbor brought us lasagna, salad and bread for dinner Friday.  She is concerned about our lack of gainfulness and gave us some leads.  Never had to get a recommendation from our minister for a job, but here goes.  Saturday I made Mustard Glazed Pork Loin from Southern Living’s Homestyle Favorites cookbook.  Well, it wasn’t the exact recipe; it was what was on hand and the time I had to make it. More on that in a bit.  On Sunday our church celebrated Thanksgiving with all the trimmings.  We were waddling around 5 days early.  So no dinner prep Sunday night.  Tonight it was leftover pork loin, heated in a covered skillet and napped with a sauce made from the pan drippings and sherry (always keep some cheap sherry and port in the pantry).  Dinner was served with baked sweet potatoes, french bread and broccoli.  Now you may be wondering, what is scroungelady doing with pricey cuts like pork tenderloin?  The answer is salvage grocery shopping.  There is a salvage store about 9 miles from our place.  I love going there because you never know what you’ll find.  One of the great items frequently there is frozen pork tenderloins for about $1.50/pound.  Between stuff like that and dented cans you can eat very well.  Even Mr. Mike likes shopping there.  He brings home cans of Ensure half price, feeling very proud of his finds.

I went turkey shopping today.  It was a beautiful day (80 degrees) so I rode to the regular grocery store in the sidecar.  It’s great for grocery shopping.  Just make sure the ends of the bags are tucked under or they can levitate at 60 mph.  The turkey rode in the trunk.  What’s this about spending $25 on food and then getting the turkey for 88 cents per pound; otherwise pay $1.19/pound if you don’t spend $25?  Are you saving money?  The smallest turkey is 11 pounds.  Screwed either way?  Well, I’ll make sure he tastes good.

Recipe: Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin

1 lb pork tenderloin (1.5 pounds would be OK)

3 Tbsp dijon mustard

3 Tbsp orange juice (I used fresh LA oranges my neighbor gave us) but frozen OJ would work

1 tsp cajun seasoning (I think steak seasoning would be good too)

1 Tbsp brown sugar

Bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees.  Mix the mustard, juice, sugar, and seasonings in a bowl.  Spread over the tenderloin and place the meat in a roasting pan (I use food release spray).  Sprinkle the top of the meat with breadcrumbs.  Bake about 20 minutes until the desired degree of doneness.  We like our pork with no pink in the middle, so it temps at 160 at least.  Let set about 5 minutes before slicing.  Serves 4  Recipe is based on the Southern Living one, but uses different cooking methods.


Sugar rushes and death

Dinner needed less than I thought.  The shredded yellow squash + leftovers worked fine as filling for the tortillas.  Cumin, crushed ancho, powdered onion and garlic were mixed into the filling.  The filled tortillas were topped with the remaining half can of tomato soup with medium chili powder added.  See what I mean about scrounging?  No wasted food!  Mr. Mike and I are between gainfulness right now so scrounginess is a necessity not  just a hobby. 

I picked up a dead cat today.  It was laying on the overpass for I-59.  Mr. Mike and I feel deceased felines deserve better than having every bubba in the county run over it.  Stop, turn on the flashers and move the cat to the side of the road.  Count your blessings.  We attended the graduation for Christian Women’s Job Corps fall 2011 class.  I’ve been working with these ladies for the past 10 weeks.  I’ve learned as much as the group of 7 women did.  I learned to be grateful for the important things: my life, my health, and my man.  Some advice: do it every morning for 3 weeks.  Think of 3-5 things you are grateful for and write them down.  See how you feel in three weeks. 

Last night was a sugar buffet.  Cakes, cookies, pies, little cups full of crunchy sweet chex mix.  Today our neighbor brought us plates of lasagna, salad, and garlic bread.  Even better!  Nothing to scrounge together and no dishes to wash.  My contribution to the sugar celebration was lemon bars.  Make them and be grateful. 

Lemon bars

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar

1/2 butter or margarine, melted (butter is best)

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

grated rind of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp) Don’t worry if you don’t have this but it gives the whole thing a lemon shot

3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best)

powdered sugar for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup powdered sugar; add butter and mix well.  I had to add 1 more Tbsp flour because White Lily flour is “soft”, or low protein  The mixture should resembe stiff cookie dough.

3. press the dough evenly into an 8 inch baking pan

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes until the edges are lightly brown

5. Mix the flour and baking powder and set aside.

6. Combine eggs, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice; beat well

7. Stir dry ingredients from step 5 into the egg mixture and pour over the baked crust.

8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

9. Let cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Puttin the sugar in a small mesh strainer works good for this

10. Cut 3 X 6; makes 18 bars.  When removing from the pan, be sure to get under the crust.  It is easy to leave part of the crust in the pan if a sharp stiff spatula isn’t used. 

Sorry no photo.  You know what lemon bars look like.

Hey man I agree. Printers are just throwaway stuff these days. I’ve had the most luck with HP cheapies. One even printed my “official formatted” document to the school on 50% cotton paper on an HP printer. I tried getting Kinko’s to print with the paper but they couldn’t. And cats know this. They can jump on the printer when its printing or jump on you with front feet on the keyboard and dingleberry in your face and help you with your important document. Just do it with a cheap HP printer. And don’t reuse your inkjet cartidges.


This is something that really grinds my gears, I have never once owned a computer printer that was not a completely useless pile of shit. They can make computers that can outsmart the guy that won Jeopardy, they can make cars that can run almost entirely on batteries, but nobody can make a printer that doesn’t jam?! Seriously!

The printer is nowhere near as complex as say a computer or a Playstation 3, it really only has one main function: to print out a fucking document when you need it. Have you ever noticed that when you really need to print something at the last minute your computer suddenly can’t communicate with the printer? But it works whenever you’re too lazy to write out an address to type into your GPS so you just print out the Google Maps page with the address on it. Great!

How can the computer…

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The next 10 years

November 15th was our 10th anniversary of wedded bliss.  It was a long time in coming – we got married in a farm & feed store in Choudrant, LA by a JP.  He is the store owner and part-time JP.  He took off  his feed hat and slipped his judge robe over his jeans and cowboy boots to do the honors.  We took our honeymoon on our motorcycles.  The plumbing in our house had been acting up a week before the big day – nasty black goop bubbling up through all the drains and toilets.  Turns out the old lady we bought the house from had a broken sewer pipe and didn’t know it.  So for about six months all the stuff you flush down the drain was going into the ground in front of the house until it backed up to you know where…  The plumbers were working on the problem as we were getting married.  I can still picture them as we rode out of the driveway on our honeymoon standing next to a hole in the front yard filled with black goop, watching and waving goodbye. 

It was a great honeymoon in NOLA and a great ten years.  Today I have leftover Greek Skillet Chicken from Monday to work with.  Not enough for two servings, so it’ll be converted to enchiladas, my go to entree.  Greek Skillet Chicken has squash, oninon, pepper, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, and tomato soup.  It was supposed to be topped with Feta cheese but I didn’t have any so scrounge solution was cream cheese chunks.   The recipe is from Believe It!  from Reiman Publications, part of the Cooking Club of America series.

Today I’ll use the rest of the yellow summer squash, shredded, add some bulgar, seasonings, canned enchilada sauce (Hatch is best), flour tortillas and cheese.  Salad with whatever fresh veggies are in the fridge will accompany.  Of course beer will be there.  We’ve been drinking lots of PBR lately because we’re on a scrounge diet.  The inside scrounge cats hate enchiladas, so more for us with no pathetic scrounge cat eyes at dinner.  Note the above photo.  Scrounge cats one and two have matters in mouth.

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