Life+Food| Turkey Week


I started writing this last Tuesday. Thursday has come and gone and I promise I’ve fed the kids.

I have a weird nostalgia about community dinners on Election Day. I recall not really liking the food even when I was a kid. Chicken & Gravy with Biscuits. Not my fave back then. The pies were the best. Obviously. Made by local ladies. Pretty sure all made by ladies exclusively. I’m not being exclusionary. It was the 70s and 80s. The women did these shindigs. Older women. Lots of old people at these things.
It’s hard to find one of these dinners these days and I’ve really wanted chicken and biscuits ever since the midterm election.
I’m still not feeling 100% and I’m trying to make cooking as easy as possible so this meant biscuits from the cans that scare the bejeezus out of me, even though I know that pop is coming, shredded chicken from a $5 rotisserie chicken, and a jar of gravy.
It was delicious comfort food but mostly filled an emotional need I had.
I really miss my grandparents lately.

I don’t remember how my Grandma dealt with feeding people the days leading up to Thanksgiving but it was probably actual meals instead of yelling at them to make a PB & J because I’m not cooking. One night I made loaded nachos and called it a casserole. Everyone was happy.

I also “upcycled” the chicken carcass I had bought for the easy chicken and biscuits after stripping all the meat off and made an amazing ramen broth that fed us for days. This is a new weekly thing I now am expected to do. And will, gladly. In the winter, I tend to make a pot of soup on the weekend that will stretch through the week. If I make a pot of broth for ramen, it’s a lot more versatile that a specific soup my picky eaters might not be super fans of. They can throw whatever toppings they want in it with a marinated soft boiled egg. Buying all the basic ingredients for ramen – mirrin, soy sauce,fish sauce,rice vinegar – is NOT inexpensive but I’ve added them to my cupboard little by little so now they’re on hand. By portion, homemade ramen can be super cheap.

Monday was our food pantry day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people there waiting in line to get food. Small families were given a ham, bigger families got a turkey. There wasn’t really any traditional Turkey Day trimmings but there was some decent produce and people were encouraged to take extra bread to make dressing/stuffing. No herbs but there was celery and carrots. Everyone was given a dessert as well.

I donated a bag of winter clothes to the free clothing program there. A woman came in while I was there to donate a bag of maternity clothing and I helped sort it. It was all wonderful stuff, great quality & trendier brands. I’m so stupidly emotional lately that it made me cry. My daughter has been spending her Saturday mornings at a homeless shelter/soup kitchen and she gets so upset when she has to sort through clothing that was donated and most of it is literal garbage. She has to wear gloves when going through it and feels like she needs a Silkwood shower when she’s done. So, a bag of great stuff for low income pregnant women is like treasure. I wish I had caught up with the donor just to tell her thanks, even if I’m done having babies and won’t need things like that. That shit is important.

Turkey Day morning we awoke to frozen pipes. We had planned to go to my son’s anyway and thankfully we had cooked and baked a lot the day before.
I covered this whole frozen pipe nonsense and issues I have with the landlord and our housing on Twitter
The day was awesome and chill. We went home to frozen pipes but we’ve roughed it without water before. We’re pros.
It finally thawed Saturday morning.
It took me all weekend to get caught up with laundry,dishes,cleaning.
My traditional post-Turkey Day Turkey Soup was postponed until today. Turkey Ramen can be a thing,correct?
Better be because that’s what’s happening.
I sent a lot of leftovers home with adult offspring so we don’t have much turkey left so this will be just right.

Tomorrow I’m looking an an apartment that’s for rent.
When I was around 9 or 10, we lived in a trailer park and a neighboring trailer burned down in the middle of the night. Faulty wiring was the cause. The family hadn’t been home. It was a holiday weekend and they were visiting family. I just remember watching that trailer burn. Literally burned to the ground. It all happened so fast and there was absolutely nothing left of that place. If they had been home, who knows if they’d have survied. It was one of the scariest things I ever saw as a child. Obviously it left an impression. And the idea that landlords can be informed that there’s big time electrical issues in a place they’re renting and do nothing is doing nothing to help me feel humanely about landlords.

Relevant linkage

> “Went through a 40 pack of water cooking Thanksgiving dinner” #Flint- Mari Copeny

> Help kids in Flint, Michigan have a nice Christmas

> A thread by Rebecca J. Kavanagh about working arraigments for people arrested on Thanksgiving  (ex: someone stole a generator… a lot of public housing residents don’t have heat)

> Easy Chicken Ramen (uses a bit too much rice vinegar in the broth, imo)

> Real Ramen – all Jun’s Kitchen videos are deeply satisfying to watch

> Elevated Top Ramen





6 thoughts on “Life+Food| Turkey Week

  1. I try to make a different pot of soup each week – this week it was beef broth with barley & mushrooms (since they were on sale). Already had onions, carrots & frozen peas and then added a can of cannelloni beans to bulk it out. Sent two servings through to an elderly neighbour and having a big bowl each day for my lunch! Nothin better than a hot bowl of soup!

  2. Thanks for the links. We also struggle with pipes that freeze. It sucks cause it never happens at a good time (if there is such a thing). This tip from our plumber has saved us more than once. If you have a shop vacuum, switch the hose around so that it is attached to the exhaust rather than the sucking end (I hope that makes sense) and then aim all that warm air at the area where you think the pipe is frozen. It works like a super big hair dryer and is much, much faster. For some reason, it is usually the hot water pipes that freeze first.

  3. Extra bread for stuffing. I used to work at a food pantry and they did just that …. give a loaf of bread. And I used to think…yeah like they have seasonings for it or onions or…?!?!? Then they used to give out a can of pumpkin for pie….not pie filling….just pumpkin. No pie spices at all….like folks have all that sitting around or the cash to buy it. Two cans of veggies, usually different kinds so you wouldn’t have enough of one or the other to feed more than three people. Same with jello. Ya gotta wonder, don’t ya! (off my soapbox!!)

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