This guy wants to save you money
One of the largest spending categories in many of our budgets is most likely the grocery store. Americans tend to have very particular eating habits that tend to be wasteful. Yet, when we try to save money by frugality, we often end up with something we’d rather not eat. This is your series of how to stop worrying about that and come to love a type of frugal eating.
For years, I tried to convince my mother, and now I try to convince my wife, to have something other than turkey for Thanksgiving and / or Christmas (I still refuse to cook it for Christmas, but I am sometimes overruled).
“What about Tamales?” I ask, ”We live in Texas!,”
-“No. Turkey. And besides you’re Polish and I’m Peruvian”
-”What about ham?” I quickly respond.
-”Do you even like ham?”
- “Well, no. . . . I do like honey baked ham!”
- “Enough, for left overs?”
-“No . . . “
Thus after such conversations, turkey it is. The beauty of turkey, though, is that it’s the gift that keeps giving, and if you do it right, quite tastefully as well! Now, if you were like me, you may not be a big fan of turkey. That’s probably because it was dry, unseasoned, and thus tasteless. Well, my friend, let me give you some tips in a recession way.
Cook it right. I have to admit that this is not my recipe, but used from the Pioneer Woman. Use her recipe for the brine and you’ll be quite happy. Also, while you’re looking over there, be sure to jot down her other recipes for your cooking. They’re delicious, tasty, and I’ve never had one that’s bad. Back to the topic at hand, however, her brine works well. Also, I’d say don’t worry too much about the salt concentration she worries about. After making one turkey with half the salt content, and then a second turkey, later, with the amount given, I didn’t see any problems. In fact, I prefer things a bit saltier (my doctor does not).
So, try to find a cheap turkey. IF you have a deep freezer, you can often get one on sale around February, but also take a look around as well at local stores anytime of the year. We found a turkey at Albertson’s, frozen, for 40 cents a pound. Now, to make it recession wise, do get a big bastard turkey. I’m not talking about something tiny, to save money. No , señor, get a 20 lb. + freak of natural! (Once you make six figures you can get a free range normal sized thing, but until then, big is good!). Our 22 pound beast cost us $8.80. Now, please tell me where you can find 22 pounds, a stone and half, ten kilograms of meat for less than ten dollars! Stick in the refrigerator about six days before you’re going to eat. Around the fourth day, you’ll still have fears, most likely, of it not defrosting. Don’t worry, just wait. Brine it the night before. New worries my approach about flipping the turkey in its brine when you get up to go to the restroom in the night. Please don’t. From my experience, the brine is strong enough to affect all the turkey. In addition, if your wife is like mine, she will probably not appreciate your failed attempt to flip the turkey, while leaving salt water all over the floor and refrigerator.
Now, you should put it in the oven earlier than all the wrappers say, especially if there’s stuffing (and make stuffing, please remember we’re looking for ways to cut money, and a good flavored stuffing is a great way to do it). Finally, once you finish your turkey, go ahead and carve it. Now, it is entirely possible that you may be unsure how to attack such a fearsome creature with your sharp knife and rusty prongs. I would recommend saving embarrassment by reading over, “How to carve like a man,” or do what I do and ask someone else who enjoys doing it, to do it. While someone is carving it, go ahead and make your gravy to which again I reference you to the Pioneer Woman. Then, enjoy your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Meal. Afterwards, go ahead and freeze or fridge the rest, because there are about two weeks of meals you can make from this that will have everyone (or you, if you’re selfish, and then you can probably stretch it out to two months) raving over its qualities. So stay tuned to Turkey Gumbo, Disney Turkey Sandwiches, Turkey Tamales, and Turkey and Dirty Rice.
In other news, we’ll forgo a post tomorrow as my daughter will be having an operation. Be sure, however, to check back in on Thursday.