The theme of today’s Daily Prompt is: “Food for the Soul (and the Stomach ).” That’s convenient, because in addition to being Remembrance Day, which in my part of the world is a statutory holiday, today is Soup Day in my household.
Twice a year I cook a turkey. Roast turkey is the default menu for my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. And, although my mother and sisters are all very competent cooks, somewhere in recent history a secret vote was taken when I wasn’t looking, and it was decided that Anna Always Cooks the Turkey.
I don’t mind, really. Cooking a turkey is about the easiest contribution to make to one of our communally prepared meals, and I have gotten quite adept at transporting an enormous roaster full of steaming bird to whichever house is hosting the event in question. And to be honest, my daughter and apprentice turkey roaster deserves all the credit for the most recent turkey. (That had something to do with my index finger being in a splint.)
Now the whole point of turkey is the leftovers, as far as I’m concerned. And the best part of the leftovers is the carcass. (Apologies to any vegetarians who are starting to wish they hadn’t started reading this. Feel free to get out now!)
Since mid-October the Thanksgiving turkey carcass has been stashed in plastic bags in the bottom of my freezer– waiting for a time when we could count on being home all day. Days like that are rare in my household. Most of our days are characterized by much frantic-running-about.
Today, however, is a perfect Soup Day.
A whole day at home is necessary to see the process through. It takes a good 4 hours to simmer the carcass into a rich stock. Then it takes a while to cool it down enough so that the meat and bones can be handled. We painstakingly pick out all the tidbits of meat that have fallen deliciously off the bones and set them aside. Then we strain the broth and add the meat back in, along with vegetables, seasonings, and finally noodles.
I have a recipe, but I don’t really follow it. In fact I’m not sure why I even bother opening the book except out of some sense of ritual.
If you start the process right after breakfast, the soup is ready to eat right around the time you are starting to contemplate supper. All that you need to add is a tray of hot baking powder biscuits, thrown together at the last minute while the noodles cook.
After supper we portion the soup into containers for freezing. In the coming weeks we look forward enjoying a home-cooked meal, even on the frantic-running-about days. Or rather, especially on the frantic-running-about days!