Today's marvelous temps brought about a bit of canning. I had some turkey carcasses to process and could not do it in the intense over 97 degree heat we had a good portion of the week here in New Hampshire. Crazy hot, and my over insulated body just doesn't do heat. At all. My lovely spouse was away working in a dirty, gross, baking hot, decommissioned coal plant this week, so I had nothing to complain about. And I did keep that in mind when I felt tempted to complain about the intense heat and him leaving before remembering to put in the air conditioners, because he worked up until leaving putting a fence around the garden and plain ran out of time. I slept with the doors of the house open while he was gone, only screen doors, which is DEFINITELY not something I ever do, but we had to try to capture the nocturnal relative coolness in the quickest way possible. It worked for the most part, but I didn't sleep well listening for intruders to us and the chicken's coop, which I also left open so they would get the maximum coolness. Luckily, nothing got any of us and we were safe. Funny how I lived alone for so long and didn't think anything of this, but now that I have kids and am used to having my wonderful man next to me every night, I don't sleep like I used to.
In any case, on Father's Day, we enjoyed some fried turkeys with friends. They had two turkeys that needed to be slaughtered as they were left from their batch of Thanksgiving turkeys and, being the white broad breasted type, were on their way to decline if not processed soon. I bought Music Man a turkey fryer for Christmas so he could brew beer and NOT stink up the house. I love his interest and passion about brewing, but really detest the smell of it cooking on my stove. Never thinking we'd actually use it for it's intended purpose, we were game nonetheless when our friend said, "wish we had a turkey fryer"...I piped right in with a "We've got one!" and a dinner party was born. They supplied the organic, free range turkeys, we supplied the fryer and the oil and OH MY GOODNESS, were they delicious! It's not a way I'll probably ever do them again as the oil was pricey (we used 4 gallons!) and it seems excessive and wasteful to do them that way when they could just as easily be done in the oven or the grill, but it was amazing and I'm glad I experienced it once just the same.
After this feed, we had a one carcass and one whole turkey left. So, we split the turkey in half, she gave me the carcass and I went merrily on my way. Today when I woke up, I realized I had not processed them, and got right on it. After de-boning the turkeys, I put the all the bones in the pot, added lots of water, fresh carrots, and onions and garlic from Laura's garden from last fall (still in wonderful shape, I'm gonna grow those next year!) sage, parsley, chives and thyme from my garden and boiled until it was reduced a bit and the broth a beautiful, golden color. Strained it, boiled it again and put in sterilized canning jars, popped it all in the pressure canner and 30 minutes later, I've got gourmet turkey broth that you'd have to pay a pretty penny for in a health food store. And, it's gonna be the base for an amazing gravy for Thanksgiving turkey, turkey and rice soup and whatever else I can think of to do with it. It's very rich and lovely as you can see below, more stock then broth.
Next on my list of things to can is going to be soups so that I can just throw together a cornbread, or pop a loaf of bread in the breadmaker in the winter, heat up a soup and it will be supper with minimal effort. That's fast food of the best kind.
Hope you're enjoying your beginning of summer "putting by" efforts. I know one thing's for certain, we're gonna be eating like kings this whole year through!
Good preserving to you, ~Peacemom