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Christmas Cards? Bah, Humbug!

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Okay, so I’m a tree hugger and use scraps of paper to write my grocery list. Send e-cards you say! Well, that is okay, but I’m really not fond of Christmas cards, with the possible exception of children’s cards for special little ones. 

Truthfully, I prefer some originality in my greetings. I did the cookie and candy thing, which was great for a few years, but that wore thin too. Seems as though everyone has the same idea and there’s a limit to the number of cookies anyone can eat.

Finally, I hit on an idea which seemed original and workable, as well as inexpensive. It all began many years ago at Thanksgiving, but first let me retreat a few years.

When I stocked my kitchen with cooking utensils, I bought a large pan in which I have created hundreds of soups and sauces. One of my favorite soups is an old-fashioned, homemade turkey noodle soup. Simple to make and, surprisingly, it doesn’t require a lot of prep time. Let me explain.

A day or so after turkey day, when you are trying to find room in your refrigerator for milk, pull out that turkey carcass. Trim the remaining meat and store it in the freezer. I add a little leftover gravy to keep the meat moist and palatable. Cover the carcass with water and let it simmer on the back burner while you do other things, such as watching your favorite movie, reading a book, or writing for DivineCaroline.

When the carcass disintegrates, set it aside to cool. Strain it and dispose of the bones and skin. Taste the broth. If the flavor is weak, let it simmer until it smells and tastes like turkey broth. If you intend to use it at a later date such as Christmas, cook it down quite a bit to conserve space in the freezer.

There is no need to defrost a turkey broth iceberg. Simply put it in your pan on very low heat after adding enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. While the broth is heating, cut some carrots, celery, and onion. If the broth is too rich, add a little water and cook your veggies. I add parsley, black pepper, celery seed, and poultry seasoning. Depending on my mood, I may add stewed tomatoes. Don’t hesitate to taste it to determine if it needs more spice. When your veggies are almost cooked, add egg noodles and cook for one or two minutes. Of course the noodles will not be tender but they will soften in the hot soup, or, if necessary, when reheating the soup. Remove it from the heat and add the meat which you also froze a month earlier. Hopefully you have saved some soup for yourself. Ladle it into reusable containers, add a festive bow with a short note and you have created an original holiday greeting.

I have delivered these on Christmas Eve afternoon and everyone loves this token of friendship. Even if they add sandwiches for the evening meal, Christmas Eve is such a busy time that some homemade soup spreads warmth that cannot be measured with a thermometer. 

To all who read this, happy holiday and bon appetite.


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