Sunday, December 26, 2010

So much food, so little space

I've had a quiet few days but have ended up with a lot of food on my hands.  Because of working so late every night last week I didn't cook at home at all so I still had a big butternut squash to use up and because the farmers' market won't be back for a couple of weeks I thought it best to stock up a bit and use the opportunity of a three-day weekend to get some cooking in advance done.  But now my freezer is full and I still have things to cook. 

I bought two turkey pieces on Wednesday.  I wasn't really sure what the English for these two pieces is, it's essentially the entire leg cut into two.  I looked it up and am offered drumstick and thigh.  Of course, drumstick.  My goodness, how quickly you loose words when you're not using them every day.  On the other hand, the size of these bits is not necessarily what comes to mind with the word drumstick, which is usually a little thing that a little kid can easily hold in one hand to eat.  The drumstick was nearly 900g and the thigh nearly 500g.  Big difference in kilo price at 3.20/kg and 5.30/kg respectively but total price for each was nearly the same (2.59 and 2.76).  And I used both on Friday to make a casserole. So these were browned a bit in the pan:

And added to leek, carrots and onion:
And topped up with some stock:
And cooked it for about an hour at 150 and another three hours at a bit less than 100.  I just sort of left it in on that low heat until I was hungry.  Didn't plan a four-hour cooking time but the meat was just falling off the bone when I took it out.  So much so that I decided to take the two joints out of the casserole first and strip the meat from the bones entirely.  I'm glad I did because as I was doing so it occured to me that it'd be nice to keep some of it aside to add to the pumpkin curry which was the other big meal I wanted to prepare this weekend.  So I had a generous helping with some of the casserole and some boiled potatoes (afra, a floury type) and the rest filled up a big tupperware container and went into the fridge.  I did have a moment of something like disconnect when I was sorting out the meat as it has been a few years since I cooked a turkey and the only turkey I would have cooked in the last while would have been an occasional fillet from the breast.  And somehow we've gotten so used to all poultry being 'white' meat, so the look of this lot made me smile, thinking of those friends I have who would not want to eat it because they only eat white meat.

Not a great picture, especially since the steam rising from the hot meat obscured everything a bit but I left the white-handled knife on the plate for comparison. :)  The piece on the right is the thigh, which was almost entirely meat and on the left is the drumstick, which was more meat and less bone than I had actually expected.

I've also made a butternut squash lasagne, which I had a piece of yesterday and what would fit has gone into the freezer, which has left me two more small portions in the fridge for this week.  I had some of the squash/cream cheese sauce leftover as well so that also went into the freezer to be used as pasta sauce some evening when I'm stuck for time (I discovered that it defrosts really quickly).  For dinner yesterday I had a small piece of steak with mashed potatoes.  I boiled a big pot of the afra and mashed them and the rest of the mash is in the fridge waiting to be made into potato cakes this evening. 

At the moment I have the rest of the casserole heating up in a pot with some potatoes added to it and some of the turkey put back in.  Some of that will be lunch and the rest for during the week.  And I still have lots of pumpkin to turn into a curry.  It occurs to me that now may be a good time to take some of the pureed strawberries out of the freezer and use up.  I put a good few portions in there during the summer, planning to use them for smoothies but then my magic bullet died so I haven't had any smoothies for ages.  Book club is supposed to be held in someone's house next Tuesday as a potluck type affair so maybe I could concoct some kind of dessert that would use up some of the strawberries.  Leaving me a bit of room in the freezer for some curry.  Decisions, decisions.

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