The Turkey and the Porcupine

Turkey Pie waiting for the top crust

It’s cool out there but the oven’s on.

Ok, nothing about this pertains to real estate,  mostly about turkey soup and things, just a morning in the kitchen prepping for some meals for the week.  Yup, sometimes I cook….. and I also haven’t written on this blog for a while and am feeling a little guilty about that so it is what it is and someone may find it entertaining but if not, that’s OK too.

I’m pretty excited that we’ve got our daughter coming home for a week to visit and a son, daughter in law and 7 month old moving from California back to our hometown (here in St. Ignace) to live for at least 5 years, (maybe longer, we can wish can’t we).  Son and dogs coming this week, daughter-in-law and grand baby Sierra, next month.  Why? Sometimes life changes when a baby comes on board…and apparently it did for them…the need to be closer to family and spend more quality time with the baby, at home, prompted all this. Long daily commutes to work and daycare got real old, real quick so they’re trading in their California lifestyle for a Michigan one..a rural one at that!  That’s a dream come true for many of us, a move BACK to Michigan and we feel blessed to see it happen…..(p.s. son’s working for me now:):):)    which prompted my early morning kitchen adventure.  I think they remember me cooking more than I do these days so thought I’d try to impress…

Cheeseburger Soup

One of my new favorite comfort foods is “Cheeseburger Soup”, it first caught my attention in “Traverse the Magazine” as the most requested recipe of the year.  So I was off to get my annual 2 lb box of Velveeta Cheese, (no shortage in Michigan’s U.P.), they know what’s important.  Half goes in the soup, the other half goes in a super bowl Con Queso dip with Ro*tel tomatoes and Jimmy Dean Sausage, the best!  By the way, this Velveeta thing goes back to childhood in Detroit where with 5 kids, we didn’t get the good Cheddar or Swiss that we now enjoy.  Velveeta was the “house cheese”, and we didn’t know differently.  My mom attractively wedged a med-thin slab between 2 slices of “White”  Wonder bread, (wheat did not appear on our table then),  a dollop of miracle whip and bib of lettuce…..usually a bowl of Campbell’s Tomato soup was the kicker.  Yes, I’m dating myself but it was the 60’s and I’ve got some great memories of those days.

Thinking I really do like to cook and should do so more often,  I thought a  few comfort foods are in order.  One of the things I do throughout the year is save vegetable ends and veggie scraps in the fridge or freezer and then periodically simmer them into a good veggie stock, add a little chicken, beef or ham base, and freeze for future dishes. The other thing I do, is boil the turkey or chicken carcass and save the juice and meat that we don’t use and I freeze and use in these dishes. I’m rather proud of my domestic ability and frugalness at times.

So, after paying $4.00 for a pound of burger for the cheeseburger soup, and looking at the small amount of beef that actually was there, I knew saving my turkey leftovers was not only a smart move but I felt really good about the meals that actually came from a Thanksgiving turkey skeleton, one that often gets tossed.  No turkey carcass will ever be safe in this house again.

I threw together the cheeseburger soup while watching a series of “Ted Talks” on Net Flex, quite entertaining for me and educational to boot.   The best thing about a home with a “Great Room”  is the ability to cook, watch a good show, enjoy a fire in the fireplace, talk to family or guests  and you also get to look outside at our beautiful Michigan views…so on this morning,  with my husband’s newer 70 inch smart TV, I felt like I was at the movies doing a cooking presentation…I get to cook, watch some really great documentaries and enjoy the snow-covered cedar trees, birds and the daily ice formations on Lake Michigan.  Twice daily, a big porcupine crosses our front deck, first early, then late, coming and going undisturbed. I often wonder what he thinks when looking through our window.  I’m not sure where he’s going but he does it religiously twice a day. He better find a new home soon before  sonny boy pulls in with the California dogs….not only are they not used to snow, I’m sure they’ve never dealt with a porky…that won’t be pretty, for either.  I wonder how to re-locate a porcupine…hmmmm, this could really be a problem.


So back to that turkey carcass…..What I’ve ended up with is a beautiful Turkey Pot Pie, (and no, I didn’t make the crust from scratch, that’s pushing it), a pot of beautiful turkey soup with lemon and barley.  I froze the pie, and half of each of the soups, to pull out as necessary.   The Cheeseburger Soup will be good for a couple meals and will have fresh sourdough bread from Petoskey Bread Works  to go with. I never said a think about this being a low fat cooking spree, but it’s not bad… and all in moderation…..

So it’s 9:45 a.m.   and it’s all done, (because I’m up before the crack of dawn, always)… got in a week’s worth of meals for the kids and grand kids, a series of Ted Talks under my belt, the kitchen’s cleaned, the porky went by, and I’m off to another project.  It’s a mild Sunday, no wind, and relatively warm (30ish).   I  may strap on my snowshoes and take a hike…. or may start working on the taxes…either way…I’m happy in this beautiful part of Michigan and our special spot on the Straits of Mackinac, enjoying a quiet morning home with hubby and waiting for the kids to arrive.    Life is good!    Ok, now to deal with dogs and porcupine…..

The Boys are coming, Buster, Russ (J.R.) and Bailey…

The Porky Path, west in the morning, east in the evening

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