Hello everyone my name is Mom aka The Storylover, I acquired the nickname Mom on Discord a while ago. I was being parental and telling some of the members on the channel that it was time to go to bed or logoff. One of the members replied ‘Yes Mom’ and soon other’s had picked it up, and were using it. Since I was being parental, I said what the heck, embraced the idea and changed my Nick. Mom’s Corner will be a monthly article consisting or recipes, cooking tips and tricks, and some life hacks.

This month we are focusing on Fall dishes, and Thanksgiving dishes particularly, enjoy.

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Mom’s Recipe for Seasoned Salt #1 (Similar to Morton’s® Nature’s Seasons®  Seasoning Blend.):

This is a low sodium recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Sea or Kosher Salt ~ Coarse or Fine
  • 1/2 cup Celery Seed
  • 1/2 cup Peppercorns ~ Black or Multi~Colour Blend (White Peppercorns are fine as well.)
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Garlic ~ Plain or Roasted
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Onion ~ Plain or Roasted
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Flakes

     

      Directions:

For use as a rub grind all ingredients in a Food Processor or Spice Grinder until coarse. For use as a condiment grind until a fine powder. If you want a saltier version use 3/4 cup of Salt or more to taste. You can substitute Celery Salt for the Celery Seed, however, the results won’t be as fresh tasting. The same for Ground Pepper. You can multiply or divide the quantities to your requirements.

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Mom’s Recipe for Spicy & Smoky Seasoned Salt :

This is a low sodium recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Smoked Sea or Kosher Salt ~ Coarse or Fine
  • 1/2 cup Celery Seed
  • 1/2 cup Peppercorns ~ Black or Multi~Colour Blend (White Peppercorns are fine as well.)
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Garlic ~ Plain or Roasted
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Onion ~ Plain or Roasted
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Flakes
  • 1/2 cup Smoked Paprika ~ Sweet or Hot (Mom prefers Hot)
  • 1 Tbsp Chipotle Powder or to taste

     

      Directions:

For use as a rub grind all ingredients in a Food Processor or Spice Grinder until coarse. For use as a condiment grind until a fine powder. If you want a saltier version use 3/4 cup of Salt or more to taste. You can substitute Celery Salt for the Celery Seed, however, the results won’t bye as fresh tasting. The same for Ground Pepper. You can multiply or divide the quantities to your requirements.

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      Tips & Tricks for Stuffing/Dressing:

  1. Aromatics ~ Onions, Celery, Carrots, Apples
    • After chopping set aside 1/4 to 1/2 of each aromatic
    • Just before adding Stuffing/Dressing to the Turkey or Baking dish add in the held out aromatics.
    • This will add more texture to the Stuffing/Dressing as the aromatics will retain a lot of their crispness.
    • Keep some extra Dried Bread or Croutons handy, just-in-case.
  2. Cooking Liquid use Turkey, Chicken or Vegetable Broth instead of water.
    • Add a splash of white wine to the cooking liquid
      • Mom uses Gewurtztraminer or Pinot Grigio
  3. For Dressing/Stuffing in a Baking Dish not the Turkey
    • In the last half hour or so of baking uncover and baste with the Turkey Drippings
  4. Soggy Dressing/Stuffing Rescue (Just-In-Case)
    • Add in some of the spare Dried Bread or Croutons
      • Never use Fresh Bread ~ it will make more of a soggy gluey mess!
    • No extra Dried Bread/Croutons or a Rice Dressing/Stuffing
      • Slowly add a small bit of Dried Potato Buds/Flakes

Tips & Tricks for Moist and Succulent Turkey with No Basting (You can if you want to):

Note: Mom prefers to Barbecue her Turkey in a 22″ or larger Kettle BBQ

  1. Choose a 12 to 14 Pound Turkey that is flat breasted. (No feathers please, thank you ACFan).
    • Spray or rub Olive Oil or Butter Cooking Spray over entire Turkey.
      • Or rub the entire Turkey with the Butter or Olive Oil
    • Season entire Turkey including cavity with Mom’s Recipe for Seasoned Salt #1
      • See recipe above (Mom like the Spicy Smoky version)
    • Spray entire Turkey with Olive Oil or Butter Cooking Spray again.
      • This can be done the night before just wrap in Plastic Wrap, and refrigerate.
      • Take the Turkey out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Soak some Hickory, Mesquite, or Apple Smoking Chips
  3. Set up your BBQ for indirect heat
  4. Place a disposable foil Roasting Pan on top of the coal rack in between the Indirect Coal Racks.
    • Yes, Mom knows that this is not the usual way to do it.
    • Don’t worry if you BBQ has only one rack for indirect heat it will still work!
  5. Light the charcoal
  6. When charcoal is ready add 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water and white wine to the Roasting Pan
    • Mom uses a 50/50 ratio but Mom loves wine. 75% Water and 25% wine works well.
      • The alcohol is completely removed during the cooking process.
    • The left over wine will go great with the Turkey.
    • See above for Mom’s wine choices.
  7. Put Grill on, Oil the center of the grill.
  8. Put Turkey on rack
    • Tent wings and drumsticks with foil sprayed with Cooking Spray or rubbed with Olive Oil or Butter.
    • If the top of the turkey will hit the lid just cover it with a small tent like the drumsticks.
  9. Add smoking chips.
    • Only if you want a light sky flavour.
  10. Put on the lid.
  11. Every half hour carefully add, (You don’t want ashes in the steaming liquid.
    • Charcoal as needed
    • Smoking Chips
  12. Remove the tents over the wings and drumsticks about half an hour before the Turkey is cooked to brown them.
  13. Cook for 1 to 1 3/4s of an hour or until  the meatiest part of the thigh reaches 160º
    • Check the temperature after an hour, and then again in a half hour.
      • If the Turkey is browning too fast cover with a foil tent as with the drumsticks.
    • If the Turkey is stuffed the Stuffing/Dressing must reach 165º
    • Carefully remove Turkey from the grill and place on platter
    • Loosely tent the Turkey and leave sitting for 20 to 30 minutes! Do not skip this step.
  14. Remove the grill;
    • Now carefully remove the Roasting Pan and transfer the contents to a skillet or large saucepan.
    • Remove some of the fat, and ashes if there are any.
      • Don’t worry a few ashes won’t hurt the gravy.
    • Use the liquid to make your gravy by adding either a roux or Cornstarch Slurry.
        • Mom prefers the Cornstarch Slurry.
      • Heat the liquid to a simmer,
      • Don’t forget the Giblets; it ain’t Turkey Gravy without the Giblets!
      • Bring to a boil whisking constantly, and then simmer for a few minutes, then serve.
        • Add a bit of Mom’s Seasoned Salt if needed.
  15. Carve the Turkey and enjoy!
    • The smoking will give the outside of the Turkey a slight pink ring.

Note: You don’t have to use the smoking chips if you don’t want to. The liquid in the roasting pan will steam the Turkey, the wine will tenderize it a bit and add a dash of flavour. This method eliminates the need for basting. Your oven will hate you, as you will never cook Turkey in the oven again.

Second Note: This method frees your oven for baking everything else.

Roasting Turkey in the Oven:

  1. Prepare the Turkey as above in Step 1
  2. Preheat Oven to 250º or 325º (Mom prefers the BBQ Method or the  low and slow at 250º
  3. Put the Roast Rack in your Roasting Pan.
  4. Tent the wings and drumsticks with foil sprayed with Cooking Spray or rubbed with Olive Oil or Butter.
  5. Place Roasting Pan in Oven.
    • Add a mixture of water and white to the Roasting Pan.
    • Make sure that the liquid doesn’t touch the Turkey!
  6. Bake for 20 minutes a pound at 250º, or 15 minutes a pound at 325º
    • You can baste if you want, however, the liquid in the Roasting Pan will do that for you.
  7. Remove the tents over the wings and drumsticks about half an hour before the Turkey is cooked to brown them.
  8. Bake  until  the meatiest part of the thigh reaches 160º
    • If the Turkey is stuffed the Stuffing/Dressing must reach 165º
  9. Carefully remove the  Roasting Pan from the oven.
    • Carefully remove the Turkey from the rack and place on platter.
    • Loosely tent the Turkey and leave sitting for 20 to 30 minutes! Do not skip this step.
  10. Place the Roasting Pan on the Cooktop.
    • Remove any excess fat if desired.
    • Heat the liquid to a simmer, and then add Roux or Cornstarch Slurry.
      • Mom prefers the Cornstarch Slurry.
    • Don’t forget the Giblets; it ain’t Turkey Gravy without the Giblets!
    • Bring to a boil whisking constantly, and then simmer for a few minutes, then serve.
      • Add a bit of Mom’s Seasoned Salt if needed.
  11. Mom says don’t forget the wine to drink with your Gourmet Turkey!

Mom’s Life Hack for the gravy:

Save the water from cooking the potatoes and use it to make the gravy, if you don’t use Mom’s steaming method. The potato water is full of vitamins and other nutrients. (More to come in a future Volume).

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Mom’s Life Hack for the Green Bean Casserole:

Use Fat Free Cream of Celery Soup instead of the Cream of Mushroom. You can also try Cream of Asparagus, or Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic. Also try using flavoured Fried Onions.

Mom’s Favourite Homemade Cranberry Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
    • You can start with less and then adjust to taste.
    • However, the sugar also acts as a thickener so adjust carefully.
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (Triple Sec,Cointreau, Drambuie)
    1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (Fresh Preferred, Blood Orange Juice is awesome!
  • 2 t grated orange zest

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Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries pop open. (10-15 min. it is really fun to hear them pop ) Pour into serving dish. Serve chilled or warm. If desired top with Candied Orange or Lemon Peel for a garnish). Once you tried this you will never go back to store bought!

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Mom’s Favourite Pork & Pumpkin Recipe (Courtesy of Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet,  Cooks  American ©1987):

   Pumpkin and Pork Shoulder with Bacon and Onions Recipe:

   Total: 35 mins Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins Yield: 4 Servings

   

    Fall is the season of pumpkins, and while people are clamoring for all of their pumpkin spice flavored treats, we have found another way to incorporate this famous fall orange squash into your home cooking routine. Fresh pumpkin may seem an unlikely mate for pork butt or shoulder at first, but it works beautifully in this classically American dish.

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The instructions are as simple as the ingredients. Fresh sliced pumpkin is sautéed with yellow onions in bacon fat before being simmered with chicken broth and spices. It is then added to perfectly sautéed pork. We love this dish served with sides of other fall favorite vegetables like fresh green beans and white rice for a complete meal.

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Ingredients:

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  •     1 slice thick bacon (Mom uses 3 slices, Mom loves Bacon).
  •     2 cups fresh, peeled and sliced (¼ inch pieces) pumpkin*
  •     1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
    • Mom uses a large Maui, Walla Walla, or Vidalia Sweet onion.
  •     ½ cup fresh chicken stock or canned chicken broth (Mom uses Vegetable Stock).
  •     1 pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into ⅛ inch strips
    • Thick Pork Chops, or Pork Tenderloin work as well ~ Per Mom
  •     ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • 3/4 teaspoon if using a large onion.
  •     Salt and pepper to taste
    • Or use Mom’s Seasoning Salt

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Steps to Make It

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  1.     Gather the ingredients.
  2.     In a frying pan or wok, sauté the bacon until it is transparent.
  3.   Add the pumpkin slices and onions. Stir around in the rendered bacon fat and add the chicken   broth.
  4.     Cover and cook over medium heat until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan.
  5.     Reheat the pan and sauté the pork until done, about 5 minutes.
    • Pork Chops will take a few minutes more ~ Per Mom.
    • Pork should register close to 145º, a little less is fine as it will get cooked again ~ Per mom.
  6.   Add the vegetables back to the pan and toss with the cumin, salt, and pepper. Cover for just a moment so that the flavors may develop, then serve hot. (Mom leaves the cover on for about five minutes).

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     *Cook’s Notes

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     For this recipe, you will want to cook with fresh pumpkin slice, not pureed pumpkin or canned options. For tips on selecting the best pumpkins for cooking, be sure to check out our How to Choose Pumpkins for Cooking guide.

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     When cooking or baking with fresh pumpkins, an added bonus is harvesting the pumpkin seeds, which are full of zinc and make a delicious snack when roasted and seasoned. You can make toasted pumpkin seeds in the oven or microwave!

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     Recipe Source: The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American by Jeff Smith (William Morrow & Co, Inc)

Mom’s Life Hack for Apple Pie:

Serve your Apple Pie topped with a slice of Sharp White Cheddar. Apple Pie without Cheese, is like a hug without a squeeze!

If you serve Whipped Cream, please make your own the difference in taste is amazing and worth the effort.

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Well, folks that is all Mom has for this month, don’t forget to check back next month in Volume 55 for Cooking Tips & Tricks and more Life Hacks. You can always send your own Tips and Tricks, Recipes, and Life Hacks to Mom

Happy living,

Mom

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