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Take Thanksgiving leftovers up a notch

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

So, in the next issue of Spokesman-Review Food, Sylvia Fountaine shares recipes for leftovers like turkey with a focus on tart, bright and crisp cranberries. There’s cranberry pot roast, a cranberry, brie and turkey sandwich, and gluten-free cranberry muffins from Spokane’s Boots Bakery and Lounge.

Also, on the menu: prosciutto-wrapped chicken with sage from “The New Family Cookbook” from America’s Test Kitchen.

And, as always, there’s a Fresh Sheet full of food-related briefs, plus more.

Pick up a copy of the section on Wednesday.

Cheers!

Happy Children’s Day!

April 23 is National Children’s Day – in Turkey, the only country in the world to dedicate a national holiday to children. The event was named in 1920 to commemorate the first gathering of the Grand National Assembly (the Turkish Parliament). The day honors Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Ataturk dedicated the Republic to children so each year children take part in political events: sitting in Parliament and symbolically leading the country.

Families observe the holiday with visits from children  who come to Turkey from around the world. The visits are sponsored by the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) who brings children, aged eight to 14,  to stay with families and participate in ceremonies and celebrations during their  week-long stay.

With all our longing for world peace, perhaps Children’s Day is one happy step toward understanding and appreciating each other’s cultures. We are less likely to dismiss others when we know their faces and claim them as friends.

Cutline Contest — 6.19.13

Time 2 vote …

Moving across a rooftop, a wild turkey becomes a fowl shot while photographed as it emerges from behind a basketball hoop in the front driveway of a Walla Walla, Wash., home on Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Jeff Horner)

Tuesday Winner — CindyH w/10 votes: “These cyclists discover what the travel brochure meant by “no private bath.'” You can see Tuesday photo & all 19 cutline entries here.

The Turkey and the Chicken

Posted by Jeanie November 2008.

When my sons were 8 and 9, they were in Boy Scouts and we had the annual bake sale/raffle, Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I remember this day very well. I had $6.00 to my name and knew I couldn't possibly afford a turkey and all the trimmings. It was going to be a pretty grim Thanksgiving. I was eyeballing chickens and wondering how fooled the boys would be.

There was a family at the bake sale that evening that I had kind of put on a shelf in the back of my mind – affluent, intelligent, married (I was the only divorcee in the room of 20 families), and beautiful with equally beautiful twin boys, age 9. I wasn't in their realm.

The scouts were supposed to make their own cake. Home made by the boys. There would be a prize for the best cake – a 20 pound fresh turkey, and all the trimmings including a Pumpkin Pie.

My mind slithered back to the soap box derby, where the boys are supposed to make a screaming racing car out of a block of wood, *by*themselves* At the derby, the twins showed up with a cherry-red, cherried-out, speed demon race car that won hands down! My son showed up with a hand carved by him (with a little inadequate help from me), lemon colored (for a reason) obviously home-made car that wouldn't even roll an inch without help.

So here we are at the bake sale/raffle, the rich twins sporting an absolutely beautiful beehive cake with yellow and white striped icing, and little furry bees on toothpicks “hovering” over the beehive which looked to be done by some elite French chef. And our cake, Mr. Happy Face, which was bumpy and wavy, black frosting smeared into a half-assed circle with a crooked little smile and two globs for eyes – the saddest cake I have ever seen.

I grumbled to myself. I had decided I was going to buy the cake back for $2.00, leaving me $4.00. I could still get that damned chicken.

It was getting darned close to disaster time in my family as our misshapen cake, made totally by my son, was sitting forlorn and lonely as all the other cakes were being raffled off – it was down to the beehive cake or the happy face cake.

Bee Family bought my cake AND theirs!  They outbid me!!!

I felt a strange twisting in my gut – I was bitter and angry and jealous and peeved and crabby. They could have bought all 20 cakes! And of course, Bee Family won the turkey dinner. It was a test for me to practice sweetness in the face of total disaster.

I told myself that this was a good thing. I still had SIX dollars to buy my “chicken” dinner. And spare change to get two ice cream cones for two pretty sad little boys.

We got to our car and I was loading the kids in, when Mr. Bee came up to me with this HUGE box, the hump of a gigantic turkey peering over the edge; potatoes, stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, the WORKS. “We've already got our turkey – this would just go to waste – would you mind taking it off our hands?”

Well, I tell ya, I could hardly talk to him as I choked up and teared up and tried to wrestle all those nasty feelings that were turning around in my head.

There are many things to be thankful for. I am always thankful that my thoughts didn't come out of my mouth.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

~Jeanie~

Ex-NIC Star Performs Well w/Turkey

Former North Idaho College stalwart Tugce Canitez’s bid for an Olympic medal has come to a halt. Turkey, Canitez’s homeland, was edged by Russia in a taut 66-63 decision in the women’s basketball quarterfinals on Tuesday night, ending the Turks’ first-ever appearance in the sport. The first-round elimination came after an impressive pool play showing which saw Turkey go 4-1 with wins against  Angola, Czech Republic, China and Croatia. The USA handled Turkey 89-58. Canitez, 21, was the youngest player on the roster and was the 12th-youngest in the 12-team tournament. She saw action in all six contests, averaging 7.4 minutes, 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds an outing/Ryan Collingwood, VarsityCDA. More here.

Question: Have you ever watched a women's basketball game at North Idaho College?

Woman stalked by aggressive turkey

Godzilla, a wild turkey, walks around the front yard of the home belonging to Edna Geisler, 69 of Commerce Township, Mich. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Eric Seals)

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — An Oakland County woman says she's become a prisoner on her own property, stalked and harassed by a 25-pound turkey.

Edna Geisler calls the foul bird “Godzilla.” The 69-year-old told the Detroit Free Press that the turkey wanders near her Commerce Township property each day from nearby woods. She recently couldn't get to her front door after a trip to the grocery store.

“I have to go to the post office at 6 o'clock in the morning to avoid him,” said Geisler, who has been bumped and clawed.

She has tried changing her schedule but this turkey is no dummy. A friend, Rick Reid, said the turkey went after him, too, when he opened the door on his minivan.

“He tried to come right in the door,” Reid said. “He bit me on the elbow.”

Indeed, a video posted online by the Free Press shows Godzilla roaming the grounds like they're his own. State wildlife expert Tim Payne said adult turkeys are known to aggressively defend their territory, although most fear people.

“This bird has probably attacked, and the person retreats,” said Payne of the Department of Natural Resources. “What it tells the bird is, 'What I'm doing is good.' It reinforces the aggressive behavior.”

Payne suggested Geisler open a large umbrella to drive the turkey back to the woods.

“Make some runs at the bird and become the aggressor,” he said. “The bird needs to learn who's the boss.”

Geisler wants the turkey gone by summer so she can work in her garden. The hunting season opens in April.

“Every time I eat turkey I smile,” she said. “I'd like to do that to him.”

APhoto Of The Day — 1.25.12

John Chaney shows off a turkey responsible for a break-in at a public library Sunday in Deadwood, S.D. Chaney and Sgt. Ken Mertens captured the turkey in a blanket and let it free after it crashed through a window and flew around the aisles that morning. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Deadwood Police Department)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Turkey crashes through literacy barrier for Muslim women! — JBelle.
  • 2. Neighboring ‘No Daks’ laugh out loud when they hear the newest delicacy in Deadwood is “Turkey in a Blanket” — JohnA.
  • 3. Found with ruffled feathers in the cookbook section, the unruly hen was asked to leave the library — Fort Boise.
  • HM: Duane Rasmussen

President Obama Pardons Turkey

President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, pardons Liberty, a 19-week old, 45-pound turkey, on the occasion of Thanksgiving, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011, on the North Portico of the White House in Washington. At left is National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: Describe your favorite dish in the Thanksgiving feast (besides the turkey)?

Bake a Cake, Win a Turkey, or Starve!

Thanksgiving was just around the corner, years ago, when my sons were 8 and 9.  I worried about Thanksgiving, coming and going, without a turkey.  It was going to be a pretty grim Thanksgiving; I was eyeballing chickens and wondering how fooled the boys would be.

 
The boys participated in the Boy Scouts Bake Sale the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The prize was a turkey dinner, complete with potatoes, gravy mix, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  With $6.00 to my name, I knew this was my only chance.  That, or we'd have to settle for chicken.
 
The scouts were supposed to make <b>their own</b> cake. Home made by the boys. My mind slithered back to the soap box derby earlier that year, where the boys were supposed to make a screaming racing car out of a block of wood, <b>*by*themselves*</b> There was a family at the bake sale that evening - affluent, intelligent, and beautiful parents with equally beautiful twin boys, age 9.  The twins showed up at the derby with a cherry-red, cherried-out, speed demon race car that won hands down! My son showed up with a hand carved by him (with a little inadequate help from me), lemon colored (for a reason) obviously home-made car that wouldn't even roll an inch without help.
 
Now my mind came back to the night before Thanksgiving, and there on the table of 20 cakes was the twins' cake, stunning in its beauty, <i>of course</i>, an absolutely beautiful beehive cake with yellow and white striped icing, and little furry bees on toothpicks “hovering” over the beehive, every detail finely etched as if it were created by some elite French chef. And our cake, Mr. Happy Face, which was bumpy and wavy, black frosting smeared into a crude half circle with a crooked little smile and two globs for eyes – the saddest cake I have ever seen.  (But <i>hand-made</i> by my son!)
 
I grumbled to myself. I had decided I was going to have to buy the cake back for $2.00, leaving me $4.00. I could still get that damned chicken.
 
It was getting darned close to disaster time in my family as our misshapen cake, made totally by my son (did I say that already?), was sitting forlorn and lonely as all the other cakes were being raffled off – it was down to the beehive cake or the happy face cake.
 
Bee Family bought my cake AND theirs! 
 
I felt a strange twisting in my gut – I was bitter and angry and jealous and peeved and crabby. They could have bought all 20 cakes! And of course, Bee Family won the turkey dinner. It was a test for me to practice sweetness in the face of total disaster.  Now, I had no turkey dinner.  And I had no cake!
 
I told myself that this was a good thing. I still had SIX dollars to buy my “chicken” dinner. And spare change to get two ice cream cones for two pretty sad little boys.
 
We got to our car and I was loading the kids in, when Mr. Bee came up to me with this HUGE box, the hump of a gigantic turkey peering over the edge; potatoes, stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, the WORKS. “We've already got our turkey – this would just go to waste – would you mind taking it off our hands?”
 
Well, I tell ya, I could hardly talk to him as I choked up and teared up and tried to stuff all the guilt I was feeling for, well, for feeling cheated, and poor, and pathetic!
 
There is always something to be thankful for.  If you find yourself in a downward spiral, something will come along to lift you out of that hole.  I am ever thankful for this family's gift to my family.  
 
May I be able to pay it forward in every moment where I can pass along a kindness or a gentle touch.  Hoping everyone finds abundant reasons for being thankful.
 
~Jeanie~

Thanksgiving recipe: Mixing past with present

For many of us, each holiday season is a time to count our blessings.

I am blessed to I have a husband and two kids who let me cook for them. I am also blessed that my mom is a great cook to whom I owe many of my pantry skills.

Thanksgiving in our house when I was growing up always included the usual suspects: turkey, stuffing, gravy, spuds, cranberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. These items were canonical in the meal.

The turkey, roasted in a stand-alone roaster, always came out juicy and perfectly cooked.

My mom's gravy was and still is top-notch. In our extended family, it is the gravy by which all other gravys should be judged. I have never been able to duplicate it, even though I have watched her make it more times than I can count.

I have copious notes from her about how to make stuffing. Over-toasting the bread isn't a bad thing. Check your seasonings. Too much sage, bad.

Not enough salt, bad. Bake it long enough to let it get nice and crusty on the outside.

My evolution as a cook includes carrying forward the tried and true bits of wisdom from my mom, straying from tradition by trying variations of recipes and dishes that sound delicious in their own way.

This year that means:

APhoto Of The Day — 11.16.11

After his classmates had all departed, Lash Corbett, 8, leans in for a final good-bye to his friend and future dinner, Tom , at Liberty Christian School in Walla Walla, Wash. Tom has been raised by the Corbett family and was brought to school for show-and-tell by Lash's mom, Shawna Corbett. Shawna explained the various parts of a turkey before letting students know that the big white turkey was a farm animal and would be heading to the butcher in two days. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Jeff Horner)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. A young robust Dan Gookin pats fellow council member Goodlander on the head reassuring her, “It’ll be ok, not another election for two more years” — Eman.
  • 2. When Paul Ezra Roades requested that his last meal be Tom the turkey, the warden couldn’t escape the amusing thought that they’d both be executed the same day — JohnA.
  • 3. I told you it wasn’t a good idea when you say a kiss from Mary would turn me from a frog in to a prince, Dan — Dennis.
  • HM: Kage Mann

Miracle in Turkey

When the human spirit is filled with hope, miracles occur. The story today out of Turkey is welcome news after reading about all the death that the earthquake has left. A baby is alive and deemed healthy; her mother and grandmother pulled out alive, too. The country will set aside its usual hostility with countries like Israel and accept aid for its suffering citizens. Goodwill among enemies, a welcomed miracle.

Idaho lawmakers unharmed in bomb blast in Ankara, Turkey

Here's a news item from the Associated Press and Idaho Statesman: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — State Sen. John McGee says he and other Idaho lawmakers vising the Turkish capital on Tuesday were unharmed when a car bomb went off near a high school. The Idaho Statesman reports that McGee posted to his Facebook account, saying he and his wife were a few blocks away from the explosion in downtown Ankara that killed three people and wounded 34 others. McGee said he and other state lawmakers visiting the city on a trip sponsored by the Pacifica Institute were unharmed. McGee and at least four other Idaho lawmakers are on the trip that started last Tuesday and was expected to end this Saturday. Others traveling include Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, Sen. Joe Stegner, Senate Minority Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Stennett and state Rep. Donna Pence. Here's a link to Statesman columnist Dan Popkey's full post about the incident.
  

Happy Thanksgiving from Sirens!

Happy Thanksgiving from Sirens & Gavels! I hope everyone has a great holiday with their family and friends.  

Travel safe and enjoy your various family traditions. If you don’t have any, start some. (Did anyone else’s father make them write reports on Thanksgiving topics like the Pilgrims and present them to the family during dinner?)

The blog will be back Monday afternoon.

Travel to Turkey tonight with Jane Schelly

 OUTDOOR TRAVEL — Outdoorswoman and world traveler Jane Schelly of Spokane will present a program tonight on her lengthy visits to Turkey. The free program starts at 7 p.m. at Mountain Gear Corporate Headquarters, 6021 E Mansfield.

Expect to hear about hiking options as well as “Blue Cruises,” kayaking on the Mediterranean coast and much more.

Mountain Gear Headquarters is near Felts Field. Go north on Fancher Road from Trent and turn right on Mansfield just before the tracks.

Christmas Traditions We Could do Without

Does anyone really enjoy Secret Santa? Is mistletoe just an excuse to grope the unsuspecting?

Here’s some Christmas traditions some could do without:

Secret Santa: Here’s the way Secret Santa should work: everyone in the office brings a $20, puts it in a hat, the hat gets shuffled up, and everyone takes out a $20. And then you say “Hey, $20! I can really use that! Thanks, Secret Santa!” and you go back to online shopping at your desk.

Leaving Anything Other than Cookies for Santa: Okay, you can get away with a carrot for the reindeer, but beyond that? Things are out of hand. The elves want midget porn, Ms. Claus wants some Midol, Frosty the Snowman’s looking for something from one of the local dispensaries to fill that corncob pipe. Everyone’s got their hands out nowadays.

More here.

(Though I totally disagree with the one about no stockings for your pets. Like Santa would forget Milo!)