Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Skeleton Soup and Thanksgiving Residue



Now that Thanksgiving is over, there are packages of sliced turkey, frozen turkey soup, home-made cranberry orange relish, and all kinds of things to munch on for a week or so.  Gayle says she doesn’t like to cook, but when pressed into it, she does a great job. 

            I always add some personal embellishments, like my world-famous turkey skeleton soup and my mother’s cranberry orange relish, which is fantastic.  The problem with Thanksgiving dinner is that you get full before you want to stop eating. I hate that.  Now that it’s over, I’ve vowed to never eat again.  I think I may have said that before . . .

            I’m always hesitant to “get in touch with my feminine side,” which Gayle doesn’t think exists.  I doubt that I could change her mind even if I rode a horse side saddle or spent time blow-drying my hair or getting a pedicure.  Estrogen looks good on women and that’s where it should stay.

            Despite all of that, my wife is better at some home repairs than I am.  I’ve mentioned I melted a screwdriver while changing an electrical outlet with the power on.  I think that’s when she lost confidence in me.  And no matter how I hang the Christmas lights or load the dishwasher, it’s never right.  I shouldn’t be loading the dishwasher anyway.  As my Indian friend, Rajinder Singh would say, “That woman job.”   The lines in Indian culture are clearly defined.

            Gayle can scamper up and down a ladder and hit a nail without including her thumb, so maybe I should trade jobs and spend more time in the kitchen.  Gayle doesn’t like to cook anyway and I love to eat, which is the primary reason that “buffed” weightlifter from yesteryear is buried so deep inside of me that I can no longer hear him screaming to be let out.   

            Don’t get the wrong impression here.  I’m not pulling a Bruce Jenner.  I’m just trying to rationalize the fact that I’m about to give you a recipe for my famous “Turkey Skeleton Soup” and “Cranberry Orange Relish” when only women share recipes. But I’m doing this without wearing an apron or having my nails done. In any event, don’t tell anyone.  That would destroy my image.

            Neither of these formulas is unique and I’m sure you can find identical recipes online, but, unfortunately, these were my only contribution to our annual Thanksgiving dinner.  I will admit to brutally carving the dead turkey like a rabid Cossack while holding a turkey leg in my teeth. During this type of radical surgery my dog is always by my feet, snatching flying pieces of meat and membrane right out of thin air.  

            Here’s the deal – After the turkey has be decimated - torn limb from limb and ravished by carnivores - you take the skeleton, clean off the usable turkey, break up the bones in sections, and put the bones in a huge pot with plenty of water.  As the cook, you’re free to chomp down on tempting leftover flesh, but do so in moderation or you won’t have any soup. 

            Boil that sucker until the remaining meat falls off the bones.  Using those “clamper deals” reach in the boiling water and pull out individual bones and scrape off the remaining meat. Chop up the meat in small pieces.  When all the bones are squeaky clean, put the meat back in the pot and toss the bones in the garbage.  (Never give a dog turkey or chicken bones.)  Check to be sure that there are no bones or pieces of bone in the water.

            Add seasoning “to taste,” as they say.  I add chicken or turkey broth and a few other things, but don’t over-season.  Chop up raw vegetables, like celery, including the leafy part, carrots, mushrooms, and other stuff and toss it all in the pot.  Add a small package of barley then boil the hell out of it for a few hours.  That’s all there is to it.  Behold!  Skeleton soup.

            Now to my mother’s old cranberry orange relish, which goes great with turkey.  You need one of those “food chopper” things, because you have to chop up a lot of stuff.  Start with a package of fresh cranberries.  Chop those suckers in the “food chopper” and dump them in a bowl.  Quarter a couple of oranges, take out the seeds, decimate the oranges in the chopper thing, and dump them in with the berries.  Oh yeah…don’t peel the oranges.  That’s what gives it the “kick.”  Chop up a handful of walnuts and toss ‘em in the bowl too. The next step is sinful, but after thanksgiving a lot of people pray for forgiveness anyway.  Add two cups of sugar then mix it all up real good.

            Don’t cook it. It has to be raw and fresh. Chill this concoction for several hours in the ice box…oops, the refrigerator and it’s ready to go.  You’ll love it.

            I know those two recipes are nothing new.  I also know you can find similar things online, but I just wanted to demonstrate my sincere attempts at reaching deep inside me to “get in touch,” as it were, with the “feminine” in me in order to prove that I’m “well rounded”. . .wrong word.  A Thanksgiving dinner can make an anorexic “well rounded.” How about “well balanced.”  Wait a minute - Aren’t the best chefs men?  Wow. I feel better already.


12 comments:

  1. Good grief! Sharing recipes?

    Wait -- I've a few to add! 😀

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    1. Et tu Brute? I know you're familiar with the last words of Julius Caesar in Latin. So "you too" have traded a baseball bat for a spatula. I traded a football for a meatball and a garlic sauce. What's happening to us, Rog?

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  2. Ralph, I think your panty hose have a run in them!!!!!

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    1. Uh oh, Ed. You're starting to hallucinate again. I'm beginning to worry about you. Have you talked to anyone about this yet?

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    2. I spoke to myself and myself told me that both of your legs had a run in them!!!!

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    3. The "run" went out of my legs many moons ago.

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  3. Your manhood is protected because they were your Mothers recipies and was no trading involved. Just to be shure, I recommend chopping a nice pile of firewood today. Your pal Jim

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    1. I think I'll pass on the firewood chopping and barbeque a steak instead.

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  4. You guys are all crazy! But I love it!

    Ralph, you description is anything but feminine. Sounds more like a cave man talking. tee hee

    I don't care what they say, your soup sounds delicious, and your Mother's Cranberry Orange Relish will be cherished in our house.

    Thank you, you Cute thing you! tee hee

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sharon. I guess I am a caveman in some ways. Since you knew my mother, you'll enjoy her recipe that much more. You're a good friend.

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