Friday, January 02, 2009

People In Hell Want My Turkey Gravy, But They Are Only Allowed To Smell It

I haven't done a Friday Florida Food Fest for forever, so ...

I shudder when I pass the canned gravies and packets of gravy mix in the grocery store.
What were they thinking?

The rich, brown turkey gravy above was the result of basting our Christmas Eve turkey with lots of wine during the roasting process and then transforming the pan drippings into the lusciousness you see above. That picture is actually days later and consists of the topping for a hot open-faced sandwich on French bread.

Simple fare, but real and darkly flavorful with no mixes or cans needed.

The struggling kumquat tree produced 5 kumquats this year with absolutely no TLC or fertilizer. Poor baby, I thought it had frozen back to the sour orange rootstock last year and ignored it in 2008.
I promise to treat it better in '09.

It may be time for a new wood smoker/grill. After countless ribs, chicken, steaks, etc ... the old girl has holes in her bottom. Still a hottie though.

Last night I lit her fires one more time for a beef brisket, but I hosed down the little wood grill deck beneath her first.

Those are my oak trees generating heat in there ... no store bought charcoal here ... except for those days when I leave the firewood out in the rain.

Those coals are just about right.

Due to a shortage of rib slabs in the area, we switched gears to a mammoth beef brisket. I trimmed it, cut it in half, marinated it, and cooked the thinner half as a London broil sorta thang and we happily munched on that with salad and baked potatoes.

The much thicker half stayed out in the grill away from the direct heat of the coals and slowly cooked to perfection.

A little Pinot Gringo from our friend's homemade stock was a delicious accompaniment.

All the kids were home for this meal and afterwards, Katie was in a bakey mood. Emma was not as she had baked cookies the previous night. Actually, Em was in a clean up the kitchen mood ... and I did not want to let anything disrupt that mojo ...thanks Emma!

Katie was pouting, 'cause her sister wouldn't play with her, so I said, " Ya' wanna bake a poppyseed cake together?"

She did!
Here she is mixing away and making a mess for Emma to clean up.
It was so much fun, measuring, mixing, teasing, ... advising.

In the end, it looked like this.

But only for a little while.

We cut that sucker while it was still warm and then sat together in the "new" living room watching Baby Mama.

It was a nice ending to a day spent swinging a machete, clearing brush, and burning off some grassy open areas of PFHQ.


threecollie said...

Pure Florida food posts...the best there are. The only thing keeping me from drooling on the keyboard is that Liz has a boyfriend on the way down from way up north....four hours more north than Northview...and she is cooking for him! lol
Great post!

Aunty Belle said...

Yum! Glad as hell I ain't in hell--I would stop on by for a lick of that gravy, iffin' I weren't low sick at the moment.

That post on the Dixie Mainline Trail is one I read to Uncle. He is stirred up now--yep, all itchin to come near thar' whar' he used to hunt ducks or fish fer bass--at Chunky Pond--ya know it?


an' over to Watermelon Pond close by...the one in Bartram's travelog?

Uncle agrees youse earned a new smoker/grill though he keeps his holy old ones too long too.

Anyhoo, we enjoyed readin' backwards in yore please pass the poppyseed cake so I can check on how Katie's comin' wif' her culinary skills.

(iffin' Emma is still in that cleanin'mojo, I ain't put away all the dinin' room china stuff yet, an' can offer her some killer choclate truffles fer her trouble.)

Florida Beach Basics said...

wow - great photos that document an enviable menu and a good time.

in case you haven't seen it, wanted to mention to you an excellent FREE e-book on ocean hazards/safety from friend David's site - would be good for your students.

Dani said...

It really bites sometimes being a veggie girl. Sigh...

Pablo said...

Do you have a cardiologist (yet)?

ChrisC and JonJ said...

I swear you and Jon were separated at birth.He got a new smoker(been thru 3) last year for Christmas. And there ain't nothing like brisket done on the smoker!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Cooking, and cooking with the kids--Floridacracker, does your wife know how lucky she is? Thanks for this glimpse into your home and kitchen. I'm cooking a turkey for friends tomorrow and can't wait to get to the gravy making,and then the soup and pot pies...droool.

Love the hellish imagery. Speaking of hell, my sister just sent me some home-baked biscotti droozled with white chocolate. And I'm supposed to be low-carbing it? Going straight Down Under with each bite.

Floridacracker said...

Wow ... 4 hours North of Northview! That really is North. I'm assuming you get to sample some of her cooking too!

So sorry you are sick. Mrs. FC has been battling a whopper of a cold since Christmas.
The vile virus has used up most of her vacation time!
Yes, I know both those ponds, but Watermelon is pretty dry now, or was the last time I cruised out that way.
I can vouch for Katie's growing culinary skills. The cake was excellent.
As for those truffles ... I'll come clean for good chocolate!

Thanks for that link. I'll check it out to see if there's anything I don't already cover with my students.

Hey, the salad and baked potatoes were excellent! You could have piled your plate high with them!
Search this blog for Selmo's Salad Dressing if you'd like to try the same salad.

I don't even have a GP.
This was a holiday meal buddy, not daily fare ... plus don't skip the swinging machete all day part.
No cozy chairs here.

Chris and Jon,
I agree. Had some today for lunch, cut thin with some sharp chedder slices, and fresh veggies.

No way I can answer that question .. one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't deals.
I do love to cook and I do love those kids tho, so we have a pretty good time with it.
Home baked biscotti ... pass the coffee and let the mayhem begin!

Sayre said...

Aw man... That turkey gravy looks absolutely amazing! You guys really know how to do the holidays up right!

Anonymous said...

Tell Emma that I too prefer to do the clean up. Maybe it's a middle child thingy? I can cook, however STEB and Thunder will tell you someday that the simple Rice Krispie treats have caused me issues before, LOL! Happy New year and we are going to post our New Years day meal in a few hours.

Lady Jane said...

Where do you get the Solo poppyseed filling? I have searched Publix - & Sedanos - for it in vain.
I have been wanting to try this cake since you first posted about it. Oh well, probably for the best, hip width wise;-)

Thanks for a great FFFF:)

Ark Patti said...

That gravy looksed so good I think it would make cardboard taste good. I swear I could smell it

Kimberlee said...

Wow! You got a lot into that post! Where to begin???
First of all, I am so happy to see that you conscientiously practice "safe sssizzling." I love that wet down the deck MANeuver. Ingenious!

Your gravy and brisket photos made my mouth water. I could actually FEEL saliva gushing as I read. That's some good describing! People ask me all the time if there are things that I miss living in such a remote location and that is always my number one response...grilled food!

Your kumquats may be few, but they look awesome! That really brings back memories from my childhood in TX. We'd eat them whole, right off the tree (bush?). Delicious!

Now for my last good laugh...
I read the label on your wine bottle before reading your text. I thought it said "Not Gringo." It made me laugh and then when I read what it really said, it made me laugh again.

Thanks for the great post. I'm still jealous of that brisket, though. :)

Floridacracker said...

Thanks! In a few days it's back to PB & J lunches again, but we gotta spoil the babies when they are home for the holidays.

Looking forward to those pics! I think people in hell get all the rice krispie treats they want. blecchhh.

Lady Jane,
I can find it in Publix and WD, but they changed the can label from a mostly white to a mostly blue background and for the longest time I went right past it because my brain was programmed for a white label.
In the cake stuff aisle in both stores.
Good luck!

I haven't tried it on cardboard yet, but I have been tempted to eat the paper plate beneath it sometimes!

Yes, I only sizzle safely.
Funny about that wine label, I thought people would see it that way too, and almost captioned the pic to explain!
I guess grilling is a problem north of the arctic circle. I would miss that too!

TROLL said...

Canned gravies and canned broths are culinary sins. If my 2nd batch of wine and 1st batch of brandy turn out good, I may add store-bought wine to the list!

Hurricane Teen said...

Good food and good family time...The best thing about this time of the year!

I found something today that will be of interest to you. I'll have to try to get it to you over email.
TEASER: The front of it says "1974: El Castillo"

Floridacracker said...

Dude, I'm sure with your troll abilities store bought vino will soon join canned gravy and bottled salad dressings.
Good luck with that!

Ah yes, I know exactly the tome you refer to and I can only imagine which picture you have come across.
I'm thinking this is your Mom's copy of the Castillo.

Margaret Cloud said...

Your food looks so yummy, especially the brisket, I love meat, I also have a hard time getting my gravy to thicken. I hope your weekend is going well.

lej619 said...

where would one find the recipe to the poppyseed cake.
or is it an family secret?

Ericka said...

that sounds like a wonderful meal after a wonderful day. yum!