Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Love of Leftovers

RoastTurkeyToday is the day before Thanksgiving, and my refrigerator is crammed to capacity. Some of the food is already prepared, some of it is still gobbling. By 8:00 tomorrow night, much of it will be gone, but if this year is like most years, there will be plenty of leftovers (cooking a 22 pound turkey for only 11 people might be a contributing factor).

In keeping with that spirit, today’s pre-feast blog will be another feast of sorts, a smorgasbord of random tidbits and writing leftovers. (Oh, don’t make that face, not without trying it. And keep an open mind, there might just be something here that won’t turn your stomach. Don’t worry, I’ve got an unopened bottle of Pepto-Bismol at the ready.)


I’d like to pass along three writing tips. Number one, put your butt in your chair and your fingers on the keyboard. And type! Number two, finish your first draft completely; this will prevent you from wasting too much time revising a section you’re going to cut anyway. And number three…well, number three is…um, let’s see…something to do with the EPA? No, no, um…Ooops. (And don’t even get me started on Libya. Or is that Liberia? Or Libania? Well, the Taliban are bad, wherever they are…)


Actually, it doesn’t take that long to amass 80,000 words in a manuscript, maybe a week or two. Of course, it takes another six months to arrange them all in the right order. Ba da bing.


And speaking of writing, my hat goes off to all the NaNoWriMo participants. Well done, even if you don’t hit your targets. Sometimes it’s the effort that counts. Besides, the real book will be written in NaDecEdMo (and NaJanEdMo, and NaFebEdMo and…).


Tis the season to give thanks, and I’m thankful for many things. One of the writing-related things I’m thankful for is the nice Library Journal review DEADLY CAMPAIGN received. The pullquote: “Orloff has put together another winning routine, and mystery buffs will enjoy the fresh venue of a comedy club, not to mention a soft-boiled amateur sleuth case.”


And since we started this blog talking about leftovers, let’s bring this disaster train wreck post full circle. I have a “leftover” ARC of DEADLY CAMPAIGN I’d like to give away. Its official release date is January 8, but one lucky commenter (between now and 6 pm Sunday night) will get his or her very own copy weeks before that!

To enter, just leave a comment describing your best use of leftover turkey. I’ll pick one winner at random (US residents only and, no offense to my fellow MInkers, but I think I’ll limit the giveway to non-InkSpot bloggers, However MInkers, please feel free to leave your leftover turkey ideas—I have a feeling I’m going to need all the help I can get!).






Robin Allen said...

Fritos and a Velveeta/Ro-tel cheese dip (made in the blender not on the stove) is part of every Thanksgiving feast in my family. My favorite leftover is a turkey sandwich made with the cheese dip.

Sharon Hopkins said...

By day three I give what's left of the meat to the dogs and cat.

Anonymous said...

A nice turkey , stuffing and gravy omlett. LOVE THEM!!!

Shannon Baker said...

The worst Thanksgiving leftover meal? turkey fajitas. My family is scarred. Have a delicious celebration, Alan!

Kathleen Ernst said...

I do a veggie Thanksgiving, and love using food from my own garden. Happy day, everyone--and Alan, congrats on the great review!

Darrell James said...

Turkey Gravey and Biscuts for breakfast, Alan. That's milk gravey and biscuits with the leftover turkey thrown in. (Before you condemn, remember I grew up in Kentucky.)

Deborah Sharp said...

Even stream-of-consciousness, you're funny, Alan!
Thanks for the ideas for left-overs, though I think I'll pass on the fajitas, Shannon ;-) Can't beat a turkey sandwich on toasted white bread with cranberry relish and Duke's mayo, to my mind.

Alan Orloff said...

Those are some great ideas, everyone (except for that cheese one--I'm cheesephobic). Hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Keith Raffel said...

Okay, Big Shot. You asked for it. My mom was a big fan of the Antoinette Pope Cookbook. Turkey leftovers went into turkey tetrazzini. The recipe went something like this:

Turkey Tetrazzini

Adapted from the Antoinette Pope School Cookbook

3 pounds cooked turkey meat
¼ pound broad egg noodles
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
½ lb sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
A little pepper
Several slivers garlic
Additional salt, pepper and cheese

Cut cooked turkey into slices about 2 inches long.

Cook noodles in boiling unsalted water for about 10 minutes or until crisply tender, but not too soft. Drain noodles thoroughly. Pour noodles into bowl and season with the 1 teaspoon salt, melted butter, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup sauce (below).

Saute mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter for 5 minutes. Season with the ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and slivers of garlic, then continue to cook several minutes.

Spread noodle mixture onto a flat, 10 x 1 and 1/3 buttered baking dish. Over noodles arrange sautéed mushrooms, pour a little sauce (recipe below) over mushrooms, then cover with thinly sliced turkey: season it with ¾ teaspoon salt and a little pepper. Pour remaining sauce over turkey and sprinkle top with ¼ C grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, then broil for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot. (Serves 6)

Sauce for Tetrazzini

¼ cup melted butter
1/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups warm half & half
1 cups warm chicken/turkey stock
2 tablespoons sauterne wine
Blend flour into melted butter, gradually add cream and stock, stirring constantly. Cook until thick and smooth – about 5 minutes – adding salt and sauterne toward end.

Dru said...

I make sliced turkey bits in gravy served over rice with my leftovers.

Unknown said...

Here's our favorite use for leftover turkey:

Wild Rice Soup

1 large Onion
2 cups Carrots, diced
3 cups Celery, diced
½ cup Butter
2/3 cups Flour
6 cups Water
2 tablespoons McCormick chicken base (or 4 Bullion Cubes)
2 pkgs Rice-A-Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice
4 to 5 cups shredded turkey
2 cups Half and Half
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper

1. Chop vegetables and place in large soup pot. Melt butter and sauté vegetables until tender.

2. Add flour and stir until vegetables are coated. Let the flour cook for about 2-3 minutes until it has a golden blond color.

3. Slowly add water and stir vigorously until flour dissolves. Prepare Rice-A-Roni as directed on box, then add to the soup.

4. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low until well blended, usually about 1 hour.

Good luck!

Alan Orloff said...

Keith - Fancy! (But I always thought Tetrazzini played second base for the White Sox in the fifties.)

Dru - Simple, but tasty.

Darcy - I like wild rice. I like turkey. I like soup. I wonder if it will taste ok if I substitute gravy for the half and half?