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Turkey Lurkey Time


Did you know that there are over 35 ways to prepare and bake a turkey? Did you there are over 650 related recipes? I did not know. Rather I had no clue that to bake a turkey was such a feat requiring super strength, dexterity, skill and tones of patience. If I had known this from before, my mother’s request for me to prepare the Turkey and Ribs for Christmas lunch would have yielded a negative response. (Yeah right, like I could say no to my mother!)  It would have resulted in me ordering the stuff before and laying it out nice and neat as if I had prepared it. Did you know that HiLo will prepare a turkey for you once you ask? Who knew!.

BTW, in case you haven’t caught on as yet, I am no cook/chef/wiz in the kitchen. When I tell people that my skill is ordering food, they doubt me. Give me a list of people and I can precisely determine the amount of food you will need from any particular restaurant. Chinese food restaurants are very easy for me. I don’t think it’s a gift but it just developed overtime. I of course ignore those “special needs” idiots who need “leg and thigh only” or “peas must not touch the meat”. They need to be delivered from their neuroses.

Anyway, I digress. I decided that I would bake the turkey myself and of course, being the great chef that I am, I decided to defrost the turkey on Christmas Eve day. I took the turkey out of the fridge around 8am that morning and just left it in a bucket filled with water in  the sink while I ran errands and sourced the ribs for Christmas Day.

I didn’t fully understand, well comprehend that a turkey must be fully defrosted before baking otherwise all kinds of health concerns can arise and sundry baking drama. I read all of this on the internet over the days leading up to the baking moment and I just couldn’t understand why anyone would go through so much trouble for a stinking turkey when to cook/bake a chicken one does not go through all this drama.

Anyway, around 4pm, I settled down in front of the computer to decide on a final recipe for this turkey. The day before, a guy had told me that I needed to brine the turkey for like 12 hours and then stuff seasoning under the skin and everything would be ok. I had no idea what “brining” was nor was I leaving a turkey out in any kind of solution for 12 hours to achieve the moisture and taste he described.

Anyway, I settled on the recipe of an Australian Chef who simply took a big stick of butter (garlic I think) and mixed in some herbs and spices (parsley, rosemary, thyme yadda yadda yadda) into the butter and them he proceeded to put this mixture under the skin of the bird and viola, he was done. I liked it! It seemed simple enough and I would have no problem with the seasoning as I had loads of it at home. What I did not have was the type of butter he recommended. I assumed Blue Band and Flora Margarine spread would not do. So off I ran to True Value to get this special butter.

While at True Value, I kept searching for the special butter and kept getting upset as I realised that I might have to drive to Hi-Lo Alyce Glen for greater butter variety. As I was about to leave, I saw a friend named Kurt and I told him of my butter woes. He told me that I was creating work for myself. We walked me over to a section of the grocery where alot of Chinese products were and he handed me a bottle of “Chinese Chicken Marinade” and told me to bathe the turkey in that and placed it in an oven bag and all would be fine.

I was a tad confused. I asked innocently, “Umm why would I put chicken marinade on a turkey?” He stared at me as if I had donkey ears coming out of my head. Turkey is Chicken boy and it is just a sauce! I didn’t question his logic. I took the bottle of marinade and also picked up some oven bags and headed home.

I stared at the turkey for awhile when I got home. 

It big eh?

This bugger was big! There were still a few parts of it that were cold and slightly frozen, so I knew I had at least an hour or more before I placed it in the oven. And so I began to work! I got out my seasoning and placed it under the skin of the turkey (Oh I used some lime juice before as brine solution but I think the only effect it had was…well none). I then placed the turkey in a big bowl I had (that was too small for it but it had to work) and began to pour the chicken marinade on it.

After about two or six coats of the marinade on the turkey, I covered it down for 45 minutes to let the marinade soak in. I came back to the turkey a couple times within that 45 minutes just to baste it over and over so that all the juices stayed it.

At 7:25pm, I decided it was time to place the turkey in the oven. I had set the oven a few minutes before to 425 so that it would be ready for the bird.  I placed it in a tray and then proceeded to waits for the 3 hours it was estimated on the Butterball label that it would take to bake.

Here Goes!

Somewhere in my mind and mixed up in all the info I had devoured, that oven setting of 425 made sense. It was only 40 minutes later when I decided to check the Butterball directions that I saw the setting was actually to be 325! I ran quickly to the oven and changed it. I prayed that the turkey suffered no damage.

Being in the oven bag I realised that I could not keep basting the turkey like I had read so I trusted that this bag would seal in the juices and provide a succulent bird.

At 11:15, I jumped up from in front of my computer and ran to the kitchen as I realised that the bird had been baking beyond the required time. I am ashamed to say that Angry Birds Friends Tournament on Facebook was the reason I lost track of time.

I took it out and well here is the result below:

Oh Lord What ah do here?

Oh Lord What ah do here?

I got scared immediately. The damn thing was burnt and it didn’t look brown and tasty like the one the Australian chef has taken out of his oven. It looked sick! I didn’t cut it or taste it that night as I feared that I might just chug the entire thing in the dustbin and order KFC chicken the next day! Thank goodness I remembered that Christmas Day is the ONLY day that KFC is closed in Trinidad.  So I covered that bugger down and prayed for the best.  The Ribs fared much better and I must say everyone was pleased the next day except me.

On cutting the turkey on Christmas Day I discovered that the top part of the breast area was rather dry. The other parts of the turkey were rather moist and tasty but my OCD only concentrated on the dry portion.  I was disappointed.

Everything went off well on Christmas Day and I was told by everyone that they will look forward to another succulent bird for Christmas 2013.

I nodded in agreement as I knew that someone will be baking that damn thing for me next time. No headache again.

How was your Christmas?

P.S. I was “Detour” T-shirtless this Christmas. Finally, the Gods have heard my cry!!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Humor

 

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I Never Knew……..


Today, in my attempt at cooking, I discovered that apparently Golden Ray (Cooking Margarine) has an expiry date. Not that I was going to use Golden Ray in my meal but in opening the fridge I saw it and wondered how long had it been there…..

Well the expiry date said 12SEP09…………

I don’t want to even think about how long I had it before the expiry date but the mere fact that it is still in my refrigerator after all is time is typical me… I hardly throw away anything and I have a tendency for forget about stuff in there that I hardly or barely use.

Come to to think of it, I know I have used that Golden Ray in the last year or more…Hmmmmm

Anyway I ventured in the Freezer (Deep Freeze for the Trinis) just to take out some frozen veggies and I see a stick of Bland & Cookeen on the Freezer door. (Why do I have Cookeen in my Freezer will remain a mystery to me because I only started my attempt at baking this year…Anyway.. just look at the expiry dates in the pic…

Do you see those expiry dates?

I also discovered that I have two opened bottles of Creole seasoning. One in the fridge and the other in a cabinet.

I shudder to think what else is lurking around in there that is expired. Goodness know a few months back I discovered expired Coconut Milk Powder, so go figure.

I needs to get me a house keeper/ maid. As times are getting tougher and there seems to be no end to this curfew, I need to start eating at home more often. And I don’t mean making a Peanut Butter sandwich or microwaving Hot Wings from Pricesmart or those Pot Sticker things that I swore made my blood pressure rise…..

(HEY Pricesmart yuh need to order more of those wings. It’s been two months since I was last able to purchase them! Thanks…)

Oh well, here I go, off to the kitchen to complete my Baked Chicken Breast (no sauces), and  Vinaigrette Salad…

STEUPS!!!

Sigh.. I know I have to thank GOD that I am still alive in the midst of all this madness….

BTW – Honestly. Do you think Golden Ray really expires? I highly doubt it.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Food, Humor, Uncategorized

 

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Truth Is…


In the quest to become less overweight or to be classified something better than Obese Category 1 by a BMI Calculator, I embarked on a diet and exercise program. Diets aren’t really my think as I eat relatively healthy and have a lot of fibre in my diet etc.

Alas, I eat too much and at weird times. I know the fitness gurus tell you that your last meal should be around 6pm or for the latest 7pm but really……these skinny bastards obviously don’t go out to dinner nor do they have some measure of a social life other than the gym. While eating late, I will avoid heavy foods like pasta etc, but if I  am hungry, I will eat ah food!

Sigh.. story of my life…eating….

So in the vein of cleansing the body of toxins, I’m here to confess my chubby boy sins/ quirks (as i don’t think they are that sinful)….

This is not asking for your forgiveness or judgement (which you will give anyway) but just to let you know the things that normal people do.

Chubby Boy Confessions

    1. I get weak for Peshwari Naan
    2. Me love “Apsara” with all my chickens!
    3. Chicken is a Vegatable
    4. I refuse to eat Lima beans (I was beaten to eat them so no more)
    5. I dislike Good Friday because of this memory
    6. I can resist doubles but not cheese pies
    7. Cheese bread (pao de queijo) is a magnificent creation by Brazilians (It’s like buttah!!)
    8. Drinking a lot of water dilutes the sugar content from cake/ice cream (leave me alone with my delusions)
    9. Know Restaurant Menus after one visit
    10. Rarely orders something different at restaurants (unless trying to impress someone)
    11. TGIF’s Shanghai Chicken Salad is a winner (for me)
    12. Peanut Butter will ALWAYS be on my diet.
    13. I rarely have desert after a meal
    14. Desert can be a meal for me
    15. Cake….Cake….sigh Carrot cake from Rituals always hits the spot.
    16. I don’t share it.
    17. Will have pasta any day over rice (yuck!).
    18. However, a mean pelau will win any day of the week!
    19. Fucelli pasta…..
    20. Each country I have visited/lived normally has at least one dish/item that I must eat when I make a return visit.
    21. I miss Living Water Community’s Lasagne! (Excellent but way too oily!)
    22. I scorn anyone who has to put ketchup and mustard on a pizza. (Savages!)
    23. If you recommend XXL clothing to me and it is not followed by “Our sizes are smaller than normal sizes” then you are in line for a beat down.
    24. I am a tad racist when it comes to the purchase/consumption of certain foods from local eating establishments. (Not when it comes fine dining or eating at someone’s home though)
    25. I make no apologies for my use of condensed milk for my coffee. It’s the only thing additive that doesn’t bring on bowel movements.
    26. I use a tablespoon full for my coffee. (Don’t judge me!)
    27. I only have one cup a day.
    28. A whole rotisserie chicken is nothing to consume in one sitting.
    29. Nor is a family size pizza
    30. I don’t do that anymore (I get comatose – ethnic fatigue at an unbearable level)
    31. My cooking skills are limited.
    32. My ability to place an order food is finely tuned.
    33. I always have food containers in my car trunk. (Just in case)
    34. And a jersey or two for moments where I may perspire more than usual.
    35. .I rarely eat from strangers. Go figure!!

And. that’s the story of Bert’s blanket….

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Fitness, Food, Humor

 

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Muscles (The Prayer Edition)


Dear God,
Normally I try not to burden you with these minor requests/prayers since I know there are people praying for far more important things, like healing from sickness, end to war, food for their children, a home or safe delivery of their baby, or end to their poverty etc…. but Lord I need your help here.

I thought about asking my friends to help me find a solution but in the end I think that dealing with you directly might help matters. Divine intervention always move things along speedily and sometimes a solution jumps out at you when none existed before. So while my request is not at the top of the prayer line nor even in the top 500,000 requests….here it is:

“De belly not going down. What to do?”

Yes, I know that I can’t expect miracles overnight and it has only been 3 weeks but I see and feel no change in anything. My diet has changed, I have eaten very little bread at all and there is no late night eating despite the gripping hunger that sets in around 10pm. So what is really going on? Ok Ok the potato salad, rice and baked chicken by Cindy on Saturday didn’t help, nor did the food from Creole kitchen (sans macaroni pie) on Sunday but hey I have been good otherwise.

Oh and Lord, I know you are going to ask about the Personal Trainer but you know that I made alot of bad decisions and well he counts as a really bad one. I have tried to be understanding when he tells me he can’t make it Wednesday to Friday because of class at UWI (far be it for me to deny someone an education). I even suggested he leave a work-out plan with me for the time he is not there but he says he prefers if he is there to supervise me on the machines. Eh? We both know that doesn’t happen when he is there as he is also doing his own work-out on other machines when he assigns me. So what am I do?

Actually Lord, I did get your very subtle message/hint about him on Saturday when you got him to text me, out of the blue, to ask for a $400 loan so that it may contribute to his wisdom teeth extraction fund. I, of course assumed it was a slight advance on next month’s training fees but when he announced that he won’t be able to train me for at least two weeks when the teeth come out, I wondered if I was being “Punk’d”.

Am I Lord being Punk’d or will there be a solution to my problem?

What lesson are you teaching me here that I didn’t/haven’t learned already?

Why are you being so harsh on me? I know you taught me to love my body and I do but I still look as if I am in my second trimester and it is no longer funny.

Was it you who sent Natalie Bell Smythe to tap my belly this morning?

Not nice eh but I got the message loud and clear.

So Heavenly Father, I ask for your guidance and for a sign as to what is my next step.

HELP!

Thank you Lord….AMEN

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Fitness, Food, RANT, Uncategorized

 

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Sign of The Times


It is a sad reflection on the world we live in…..but when I have to do this in order to make people aware the something in the fridge does not belong to them, we as a society have gone to POT!!!

 

 

Alas I didn’t do this two months ago and the result was that within 45 minutes of me placing my ENSURE in the refrigerator, it was gone!!

GONE!!!

And no one seemed to know about it. Not one of these lying #^%$#^%&* people I work with.

I loudly declared at that point:

“Whoever took my drink, I hope you quail up and die!”

Alas my curses are not as effective as Miss Celie’s from The Color Purple, so everyone is still alive.

Dear God,

Make me a channel of your peace today!

AMEN!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Emotions, Food, Uncategorized

 

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Beautiful Disaster (The Case of the Float)


I am lying in my bed this beautiful Sunday Morning and reading A Clash Of Kings by George R. R. Martin and suddenly I feel a slight mood shift. This is the signal from my body that “we hungry” and that I need to make breakfast.

I am in the mood for a sandwich but I realize that I have no bread in the house. The thought of walking to the supermarket to get it gets a negative reaction from my body so alternative means need to be arrived at quickly.

Cereal? – Nah had that four times for the week

Eggs? – yes but I need a slice of starch to make it filling….

Yogurt? – My stomach laughs and asks if I plan on tripping out within 5 minutes of eating it.

Sigh…. So I decide to make some fried bakes (float) according the recipe in the Naps Cook Book.

Yuh know this would’ve made sense if I actually had measuring cups etc to make this process smoother but nope I don’t possess these items. So I am going to do it “old school” style. That means I am just going to throw stuff in a big bowl and knead it and see what happens……

Let’s see: Whole Wheat Flour, Salt, Sugar, Baking Flour, warm water…….knead….leave for ten minutes to rise (belly grumbling now).. Heat sauce pan with oil and fry…..

Then

 

 

Relax…..They don’t taste as bad as they look. Plus they are actually soft.

I surprised myself. Let’s hope all is well with me later.

ALWAYS REMEMBER:

“What doh kill, fattens and what doh fatten, purges….”

and I’m still here…..(Thanks to God and the prayer I say before I eat every meal)

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Food

 

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Tuesday Teachings…….


SCENE: Tikka Massala – Long Circular Mall Food Court

Enter Stefan. He strolls to the the Tikka Massala counter where a lone attendant is sitting near the entry door to the kitchen looking terrified.

Stefan: Hi

She appraoches the cash register reluctantly

Server: Hi,  Cani help you?

Stefan: Yes i would like to have a Number 8 with Aloo Nan

Server: You want Naan?

Stefan: Yes (smiling) Aloo

Server: And what number your wanted again?

Stefan: (smiling) Number 8 across there.

Server: ok

She then looks at the cash register in fright and begins to looks cautiously over it to find the button that says what I asked for. She finds them and looks up.

Server: Daz $35.95.

Stefan hands her his ATM card to process the purchase.

She takes the card and swipes it in the machine, then proceeds to look back at the cash register screen before pressing each number on it. She looks at the screen five times just to verify she did it correctly. (Stefan continues to smile at this point)

She presses enter on the LINX machine and continues to look at it.

Stefan turns the machine in his direction and enters his info for processing. She then takes both receipts from the machine and hands it to Stefan.

Stefan: umm this one is yours….

Server: (giggle) ok tanks….

While taking the receipt, Stefan’s co-worker appears and hands him $60 so that he may purchase the same item for him except with Peshwari Naan. The Server takes the order and goes through her process again.

This time the figure reads $37.95. She then enters the $60.00 I gave her and the draw opens to give me the change. She places the 3 $20 bills in the drawer and then looks up at the cash register and proceeds to give me back the change $22.05. (She is clueless as to what she just did)

She hands Stefan the receipt and shows him his order number.

Stefan: Umm what about the receipt for the order i gave you before?

The Server looks puzzled. Moves back and forth quickly and then looks at Stefan

Server: Amm just now eh…

Stefan moves to the side assuming that his order is being processed. Lo and behold, his co-worker’s order comes out but not his. Stefan motions to the girl.

Stefan: Umm excuse me but what happened to my order? Only the second order came out.

Server: (puzzled Look) Just now eh

She runs into the back, with a puzzled look on her face, and brings out an East indian gentleman to deal with Stefan.

E.I. Gentleman: Yes Sir is there a problem.

Stefan: Yes there is. The girls at the back are not seeing my Chicken Korma & Lamb Rogan Josh order in the back. I have my LINX receipt but they don’t have an order to make it.

The guy smiles at me and takes my receipt. He whispers something into the girl’s ear and she bows and goes into the kitchen area. He returns back with a receipt for Stefan but this time he is Order Number 15 and they have only reached order number 8. Stefan smiles.

Stefan’s co-worker approaches him

Co-Worker: Why allyuh fat boys does ask for impossible ting? Look my order ready but yours not.

Stefan explains the situation to his co-worker.

Co-Worker: Ah shocked yuh not cussing yet.

Stefan: Nope. The new Stefan just won’t eat here anymore.

Co-Worker: I prefer the old Stefan who will make noise and make people spit in my food too. Oh wait, my food here already.. You want me make noise for you?

Stefan’s co-worker gets a death stare and recoils…

The Server emerges from the kitchen and looks at all the eople waiting and annouces

Server: Number 15? Number 15?

Stefan smiles at her and nods. He is slightly puzzled since he knows she knows that it is his food that is in her hand.  She approaches with the meal already wrapped as “take away”, hands it to Stefan and runs back into the kitchen.

Co-Worker: Ah cyah take you nowhere yes. Ah sure de girl get fired and now nanny cheese all over your lamb roan josh. It good for yuh.

Stefan: Steups!!!!

Both collegaues walk out of Long Circular Mall Food Court.

END SCENE

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Emotions, Food, Uncategorized

 

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