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Well - I hope everyone had a most wonderful Christmas season and Happy New Year. It seems that it is always such a let down once the holidays are over that it is hard to find enthusiasm for much - at least that is how I feel anyways. One way I try to get back into the swing of things is to cook! Of course with the colder weather I really like my comfort food. Soups and stews and everything gravy. I find soups my favourite in this cold weather. And soups are so easy - stock, chopped onion, chopped carrot, chopped celery, herbs and spices and then anything you want. Fresh veg, canned veg, frozen veg, rice, barley, noodles, tomatoes-either canned or fresh, so really anything you like! I even have added canned beans with tomato and spinach! It really is up to you. And the even better thing is - we make bone stock! From scratch with nothing but the bone broth and a little splash of apple cider vinegar to bring out the goodness of the bones... Ready made to help you in making the best soup ever! So Happy New Year everyone! Let's get healthy with a great bone broth and homemade soup!
Ok! So you have your turkey and now you need to cook it! I really am of the thinking to keep it simple.
First of all - keep your bird cold. If you bought a fresh turkey from us then put it in your extra fridge if you have one or in the back of your regular fridge. Setting it on the edge of the door where the warm air is going to hit it every time you open the fridge door is not good. It needs to be kept cold.
The day you are cooking your turkey take it out of the fridge , place it in your sanitized sink, cut the plastic and run nice cold water over it. Take out your gizard etc and keep for gravy or discard.
I have a roasting pan for turkeys that has a rack in the bottom but I did for years just set my turkey on a bed of onions if you like. It prevents it from sticking to the bottom - You will have to strain or use a hand blender to smooth out the gravy but it makes a tasty gravy .
I season my bird with a variety of dried herbs; sage, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. I also do the inside of the cavity. I do not stuff my bird. I like it to be cooked to just 155 internal temp. and if you stuff it - it has to be 165. I find this over cooks the white meat.
I do not baste my turkey, I cover it and go by the JD Farms turkey guide
This seems to work very well. I also check my turkey about an hour before it is supose to be done as sometimes it seems to cook a bit faster. I pull it out at 155 internal temp. tent it over with tinfoil and make my gravy. I also save ALL the carcass for soup - nothing better than turkey soup!
And that is my advice on - Cooking your Christmas Turkey!
Well is is that time of year again! I know that even if you love Christmas it is a busy time of year when we all go crazy trying to get it all done in a timely manner.
Personally I have tried to keep it simple. I have only a small family gathering, because we have the shop where we are so integral to everybody having the best Christmas dinner ever ;)
~ and so for us smaller is better.
I know that people have a bunch of questions when it comes to turkey . How big, fresh or frozen, how long to cook and should I stuff it. Well I will tell you what I like to do. If I am making a turkey then I like to have a bit bigger because if I am going to go to all the work of preparing one I want to make sure I have enough for two meals. So my rule of thumb is one and a half pounds to two pounds per person. And please remember that turkeys were ment to be bigger animals, not small. So the smaller the bird the more bone to meat ratio you have, the bigger the bird (over 14 lbs) the more meat to bone ratio you have. So lets say you have 6 people. I would go with a 12lb bird. If I have 10 people I would go with a 15-18 lb bird. I want left overs! Keep in mind who your eaters are as well. I've got a couple young men in the family who can eat a bunch more than my young ladies and myself.
So get your orders in for your fresh birds - Yes I do like fresh better. Once you've done fresh it is very hard to go back to a frozen bird. Why fresh you ask? Mostly because you do not know how long that bird has been frozen for. Randy worked in the grocery industry in his early meat cutting career and he said the birds would sometimes be almost 2 years frozen.... you know why they are on sale!
So like I said - order today!! It is amazing how quickly it sneaks up on us and you don't want to miss out on our lovely fresh, free run turkeys. I will go into the cooking of it next round.
Because ~ Christmas is coming!!
A day in the life of a butcher's wife has been a little more off than on lately. I've got such great staff working for me that I have hardly been needed at the workplace. I've been thinking I need to create a new job for myself. I am going to start an interactive page about cooking! As everybody knows - I love to cook (...and eat!!) .
This is where you can get involved. What is it that you need help on in the kitchen? What is it that I can help you do better?
I have a broad knowledge in the kitchen and would love to share with you. Post a comment about what would give you a boost in the kitchen!
Looking forward to sharing ... What's Cooking with Sharon
Family is important. The most important thing in your life. Sometimes we lose sight of that. Work and being busy takes over our life and it isn't until we are looking face to face with a crisis that we take note of what is going on.
The freedom to choose our own path in life is so important. We sometimes as a parent or boss think that we know best, and perhaps we do, but our truth is not another persons truth. We must lay out the facts and allow the person to make that choice; for better or for worse. We learn nothing if all choices are made for us. Sometimes we must make that wrong choice and learn from the mistakes we make. It is not easy but hopefully we can persevere and be a better person because of it.
Most of us want so desperately to protect our family that we become the helicopter parent that allows not a mistake to be made. We think in our infinite wisdom that we know better. It is easier because we are busy and think that we can control things better. I know this is me to a degree.
The one thing I do know is that each day we can start again. To take the lessons that we have learned, apply it to our present situation, and go forth without judging ourselves for our past. We do the best we can with the knowledge that we have at the time. All decisions for our family are made from a place of love. If all involved can remember this, then forgiveness, love and understanding is sure to follow.
We all love our family and want only the best for them, regardless of whether we think their decisions are right or wrong. It is their right to choose their own path. If the choice is not the best for them, and they ask for our help, then we can offer an alternative solution. But ultimately the choice for all of us must be our own. No good change ever comes from people being forced to choose a path that they themselves have not chosen. Because choice is a powerful tool that enables us to become that which we esteem to be.
We have had a busy fall to say the least. I find myself a little overwhelmed by the amount of things that I need to do here in this last week of November before Randy and I fly off on a one week vacation in the sun!
When you own your own business it is hard not to worry about how it will operate when your gone. The question of how well you have trained your staff? Do I have enough staff? Are they going to be able to do the job without me here? They all play heavily on my mind.
But I was reading today about being mentally strong. #4 on the list was not wasting energy on things out of your control. Good advice! So once I have boarded the plane and I am on my way - I will no longer have control of what happens - so at that point I have to have trust. I have to trust that I have done the best job I knew, with the knowledge that I have, in training my staff to do the best job they can do, while I am gone.
That really is not that hard to do. The staff that I have at this moment in time are able to understand how valuable they are to me. And they are very adept at #8 and #10 on the list - #8 - they don't make the same mistakes over and over & #10 - and they don't give up after the first failure.
My take on work (and life) - Relax, enjoy yourself. Life is too short to stress on other peoples expectations. So take a deep breath - by this time next year you won't even know what you were worried about! In life I find it is too hard to please all the people all the time - so if you can't please everyone then you at least have to learn how to please yourself!
As forward thinking as I would like to think of myself, every once in a while I find myself thinking back. I believe it is important to remember where you came from. It keeps you humble; and I probably need that!
Recently we were nominated for the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. I wrote out the answers to the questions, some were pretty hard, and I sent them in. I really thought we had a very slim chance. We are just a small, mostly family operated business. Up until this past year or so we have not had more than three employee's, choosing to do the work ourselves, for the most part. Not that I am a control freak or anything, but I do like things done a certain way.
To make a long story short, we made the top three. We are all very excited and proud to be among such strong contenders; and as I said, it made me reminisce about the past and the things we have overcome. Randy and I have come from very humble beginnings. Neither one of us have had much formal education, we have learnt from doing. It takes a bit longer to get where you are going but if the goal is set you are bound to reach it, if you are diligent in your pursuit of it. We were. We never gave up, even when we thought it would be easier to close the doors and walk away. We hung in there and are now feeling the benefits of running a successful business.
So on the 23rd of October we will attend the gala put on by the Chamber of Commerce and the sponsoring partners to see who will win! There will be many business who have worked hard and are deserving of this recognition and we feel proud that we have been counted among the top businesses of Kelowna!
Well it has been sixteen years for Randy and I here at Mission meats. Time sure fly's when you are having fun! Sometimes even when your not! For the most part, we have had fun.
We could not have made it without the loyal patronage of our customers. So many of which have been shopping with us since we first bought the meat shop. Thank you so much for sticking with us - it has not always been easy. We had a learning curve to ascend that was difficult to say the least. Even now - I know we don't do every thing right but each day we do our best and know that our staff does as well. For this we are thankful.
But here we are now, we have staff so we don't have to do 10 and 12 hours a day, 6 days a week any more. We have the ability for the first time ever to take a 2 week holiday - in a row! We can enjoy the summer doing things we have never done, like go to Fintry camping, hike up to Paul's Tomb, actually go to the beach across the street from us and soak up some rays, to be a tourist in our own town. Take a Saturday and go fishing - Randy is doing that right now!
Never have we been afforded the opportunity to be able to choose to work or not. Until now.
So thank you all so much. You have no idea how much it means to be able to not work so much.
And please don't worry about not seeing me in the store. At this point I am in the store not because I have to work but because I want to work, and believe it or not there are days when I really do - just want to work!
Well it looks like we have finally been able to shake the grasp of old man winter. The sun is shinning and the shorts are coming out of the places they have been hiding! Not that I have not tried to wear them in the past few weeks. It is just that every time I bring out my shorts to wear, the weather turns cold again and their I am - freezing with my shorts on! Then muttering bad language about the cold.
I even went camping! To my brothers house, just in case it was too cold or if I had forgotten anything major on my first trip out. It wasn't too bad. Not that cold. Just windy. I didn't forget too much. That's the nice thing with a motor home. You can keep it pretty much stocked without too much fussing each time you go.
Of course as I mentioned in an earlier post I plan on getting away more rather than less this year - and as long as the weather co-operates I will be very happy!
So let us hope that the sun will continue to shine. Even if the clouds come out we have to remember that the sun is there, still shining behind the clouds!
I have been spoilt these last two weekends! Randy took me to Sparkling Hill Resort for Easter and then to Big White the weekend after that. It was great to get away. We relaxed one weekend and then went skiing the next. It has been 22 years since I have skied so I don't need to say much more than I made it down the hill 3 times and only fell twice.
I am thinking that we may be able to get away a little more often now because I just hired two people who I am sure are going to work out just great! With all the staff I currently have who do such an awesome job, plus the staff we are just bringing on.... It looks like I could be taking a few more vacations in the near future!
All I need to do now is finish getting my little motor home all ready for the road, and away we go!