THE TURKEY CARCASS
A recent post from that fine blogger, one Chubby Chatterbox, inspired this post. http://www.chubbychatterbox.com/
My mother shared the same turkey saving depression era habits as did the Chatterbox’s mom. Our holiday birds were never wasted. They lasted for weeks. Every part of that bird was used including the neck (yuck!) the heart (what the hell makes giblets?) and even the gizzard. In fact the gizzard was much prized and fought over by my brothers Jim and Chris. I might have also liked the gizzard and joined in on the battle, except Chris made it very clear that I did not like gizzard. I thought I did, but he was probably right.
After the main meal, the turkey was the source of sandwiches for two to three days. When sandwiches were over, the carcass was turned to soup. It was boiled until every last flake of turkey joined the watery broth that the boiled carcass provided. Into the watery turkey flaked broth went celery, carrots and rice. Into that mixture went more rice and then even more rice.
My mother raved about her turkey soup. To her it was the best part of the holiday. The turkey soup lasted several weeks. We had turkey soup for almost every dinner and many lunches. By the time we finished the Thanksgiving turkey soup, the Christmas bird was about ready to be turned into even more soup.
I hated turkey soup. I still hate turkey soup.
The mother of three of my children always planned on making turkey soup. As long as there was meat on the carcass she kept it in the kitchen covered with a damp towel until it was ready to be turned into soup. Her ambition was always greater than her action. She never made soup from the carcass. I never complained. I hate turkey soup. It did bother the heck out of me that our small refrigerator was shrunk even more because we had to save that damn carcass for weeks until it was finally decided that it was too old for soup.
When my children’s mom left for a better spousal opportunity, I began a new tradition that lived beyond my second wife and still exists in todays era of Mrs. Cranky.
I call it the traditional tossing of the carcass.
When our holiday dinner is over, I carve off all the white meat and place it in a Tupperware container for future sandwiches. I then carve up all the dark meat and place it in a separate Tupperware container also for future sandwiches. Finally when the carcass is picked reasonably clean of potential sandwich filling, I announce with much fanfare the tossing of the carcass.
I grab a son to hold open a garbage bag.
“We thank you O bird for a delicious meal and for many delicious sandwiches to come. To appease the God of the great bird, we sacrifice the soup making carcass.”
With that, the carcass is dropped into the bag. The bag is sealed and immediately thrown into the can in the garage. The room in the refrigerator that the carcass does not occupy is reserved for multiple pies.
I hate turkey soup.
I love pie.