Tag Archives: cranberry sauce

Thanksgiving, Part III “Later, Liver!” and Cranberry Sauce

This year, I was excited to find a way to prepare the turkey liver in such a way that I could at least tolerate eating it. I strongly dislike wasting anything, and since the liver came with the turkey, I wanted to find a way to use it up! During my childhood in Colombia, I remember my mom would fry up chicken livers for us the day that we would butcher chickens. I remember her highly dramatic response to the snapping and splattering of the giblets in the frying pan. For fun, she often would overreact to the splattering grease with a loud, “Deliver me from livers!” I really enjoyed eating those livers, and was surprised to hear that other people didn’t enjoy the dish. My dad said the difference was due to the freshness of the giblet – other people weren’t eating it as fresh as we were. I wish I knew what my mom used to make them taste so good, but I suspect the only ingredients were salt and butter.

Anyway, I wanted to see if I could find a way to use ALL the giblets from our turkey this year and not be wasteful. A couple of years ago, I tried making a stuffing for the turkey using all the giblets, and unfortunately, the flavors clashed with one another, and I think the liver flavor was the worst culprit. So, this year, I looked for recipes for the liver by itself.

 I found a recipe for liver at http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pan-Fried-Turkey-Livers-with-Bacon-and-Onions and made the changes needed to make the recipe Brody-safe. 🙂 The result was very tasty, but I had some trouble tolerating the texture of the liver. Since I have heard that liver has such good nutrients for us, (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/816/2) I wanted to find a way to get the liver down. Brody tolerated a bite or two but was not as enthusiastic as I was for making sure the liver didn’t go to waste. So, that meant more for me! I admit that eating this did take some getting used to, but with our Crackers (page 111 from A Recipe for Survival and also a Sample Recipe on this site), I was able to eat all the liver and almost enjoy it. Considering its cholesterol values and that I still had to make an effort to eat it, I am not adding Turkey Liver to my weekly shopping list! But at least now, I have a way to use the one liver that comes with my turkey at this time of year.

 Here is the result of my tweaking the recipe found at www.saveur.com:

 I couldn’t think of the word “to endure” in English as quickly as the Spanish word came to my mind, so I’m using the Spanish word for “to endure” or “aguantar” to name this dish since I made this recipe in order to endure the taste and texture of the liver and not see it go to waste.

 Aguantar Turkey Livers

 1 turkey liver

1-2 Tbsp butter

1 garlic clove

salt, black pepper to taste

paprika (a few sprinkles)

tapioca flour (roughly ¼ cup)

1. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Heat the garlic in the butter while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

 2. Rinse off the liver and then slice it thinly.

 3. In a bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika and tapioca flour.

 4. Coat the liver slices in the flour and spice mixture and fry them in the butter and garlic.

 5. Crackers really help me eat this dish and make the liver disappear! “Later, Liver!”

 I am sorry I didn’t take a picture of the liver experiment! That was the day that I was stumbling about with a headache and not thinking clearly.

 Here is the cranberry sauce recipe… I started with the recipe on the package of cranberries. These were the Fresh 1 Brand, available at my local Sprouts Farmers’ Market.

 Slightly Sweet Cranberry Sauce

 ¼ cup raw cane sugar or choose how much you’d like of your favorite substitute for sweetening

1 cup water

1 package (12 oz) cranberries (or 3 ½ cups whole cranberries)

 1. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Wash and rinse the cranberries.

3. Add the cranberries to the water and sugar and boil until the berries’ skins split.

4. Remove from the stove. Store in the refrigerator – the taste improves in 24 hours!

The next time I make this, I may try honey instead of the raw cane sugar. One benefit from using the honey is that the sauce will be thicker after chilling it since the honey thickens up when it’s cold. I’ve also heard that it’s slightly better for our health to use honey instead of  raw cane sugar… but then I’ve also heard that honey is just as bad for us!  I don’t think I’ll be able to talk Brody into never ever having dessert or anything with sugar or honey, so I’ll be happy for the compromise of limiting our intake of sugar by reducing the amount I use in each dish and making sweet dishes less often. I’ll post more about our Thanksgiving dishes in the coming days. If you are looking for ideas for your Christmas meal, you can start experimenting with these recipes now!

Thanksgiving Part II

We are thankful for a special day set aside to help us focus on thanking our Lord for His work in our lives! Today, we are thankful to have the energy to exercise. When I was single, I sometimes would try to get back into the routine of walking and running regularly, but without another person to hold me accountable, I never kept up with the idea very well. Now that Brody is willing to help me keep going, we are increasing our walking and jogging. I am thankful, too, for how he helps me be accountable in my spiritual walk. When I am prone to being worked up into a lather about various difficulties, he often helps me refocus on God’s plan from eternity past and how He is working it out (Psalm 33:10-11).

 As Christmas approaches, I am thankful for the soothing sounds coming from the piano as Brody practices several beautiful Christmas songs. On Thanksgiving Day, Brody and I enjoyed a good time with Grandma and Ole and then we also visited Quaker Gardens in Stanton that afternoon. The residents were pleased with Brody’s piano concert of Thanksgiving and Christmas songs, and we enjoyed spending part of the day with them. We never thought Brody might be able to earn a little extra income from his piano playing! We are thankful for the many different ways the Lord provides for us, and we praise Him for His kindness in choosing a pleasant way for Brody to earn the extra income.

 I am also thankful for our Thanksgiving meal turning out well! This year, my turkey turned out the best ever. I cooked it a couple of days before Thanksgiving, and this time, I took a more simple approach. I combined some herbs, spices and butter and spread them over the turkey. Instead of opening the oven regularly to baste the bird, I left it alone. Since I had one of my debilitating headaches, I stumbled around in pain for most of the afternoon, and forgot about the turkey in the oven! By the time I remembered the turkey was in there, the little red “pop-up” indicator had popped up and Brody and I agreed that the bird looked well-cooked. As I removed it from the pan for its photo shoot, a wing came off, and I figured that was another indicator that the meat was cooked through. This was such an improvement over last year’s result! (Last year, the turkey didn’t cook completely. The year before that, I made a stuffing that used the giblets, and decided I’d never do THAT again! I tried some other ideas for the giblets this year, and I’ll share them later.)

 I was particularly pleased with my first attempt at gluten-free dressing! Brody and I called Daddy and Candy for a pre-Thanksgiving chat a few days before Thanksgiving, and we caught her in the kitchen, preparing for the dressing she was making for (I think) 60 people. I quizzed her over the phone for her method of making stuffing, and decided I’d give it a try this year, making adjustments to make the dish gluten-free and Brody-safe. The result was wonderful!

 For the garnet yams and the green beans, I chose a simple method that I knew would work for Brody. I followed the Grandma’s Green Beans recipe from A Recipe for Survival (page 91), and for the yams, I steamed them and then simply reheated them with a bit of key lime juice, butter, salt and a slight drizzle of honey. The results were tasty side dishes without all the extra creamy and sugary additions often found on Thanksgiving tables – we felt good after eating – no pain from overeating nor from food disagreeing with us.

 The cranberry sauce turned out well, too! Using the relish dish from my great-grandma made it taste better … well, at least it made it look better! 🙂 It tasted really good, too. I’ll share that recipe eventually.

 The gravy was wonderful! I’m so excited about how everything turned out, that I haven’t decided yet which recipes I’ll save for a second book, (if the Lord wills) and which ones I’ll post now. I’m thankful for how our eating has improved over these 3 and ½ years! My initial recipes in 2009 kept us alive, but weren’t really worth repeating later as I learned more about cooking without wheat, rye, oats, barley, corn, potatoes and onions. I am thankful for the improvements over the years! Be encouraged – if you are struggling right now to find foods that work for you or your family member, keep on experimenting! In time, you’ll develop recipes that work for your family, too!

 Not pictured are the pumpkin pie and the crusty dinner rolls. In our household, the half-life of crusty dinner rolls is approximately 20 minutes, and since I used much of the batch to make the dressing, not a single roll was available for the photo shoot. Brody made the pumpkin pie the next day while I was working, so we didn’t have that for the photo. But, you’ve seen Aunt Nellie’s Pumpkin Pie (page 163 of A Recipe for Survival and a Sample Recipe on this website) in previous posts anyway. The green salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing (page 154 from A Recipe for Survival) rounded out our gluten-free, tasty, economical and pain-free meal. These are wonderful reasons to give our gracious Lord much praise and thanks!