Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Don’t Throw Out Your Turkey Bones!

I should have written this before Thanksgiving, but Christmas is coming up, so it’s still timely. What to do with the leftover turkey? You can find recipes for turkey enchiladas, turkey chili, turkey stir-fry, turkey soups, turkey casseroles, and turkey whatever-you-can-think-of all over the internet, but I wanted to give a shout out to the bones. Don’t throw them bones out! They can make a very nourishing broth to be used for future recipes and illnesses. Here’s how it’s done…
After I’ve pulled all the meat off the turkey and stored it in the freezer for recipes, I put the bones in my large stock pot. I add an onion or two, a bulb of garlic, peppers, celery, herbs like rosemary or thyme, and whatever I have on hand that I think will be helpful. Add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to help draw the minerals out of the bones. Sometimes I add astragalus root, sometimes I omit the astragalus. Fill the pot with water. Simmer all day. After it has cooled, skim some of the fat off, strain the liquid into containers, and store them in the freezer. Then when I need a recipe that calls for broth or we are ill, I pull this broth out of the freezer and heat it up.

Broth at the first sign of an illness helps keep us hydrated, and the protein, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals will help our bodies to repair themselves. The garlic, onions, and herbs strengthen our immune systems and help our bodies fight off whatever germs we’ve been exposed to. Adding cayenne and/or miso to our soup is also helpful to strengthen our immunity, but for the children’s sake, I add it to my own bowls later. This, along with plenty of rest and cutting out the sugar/processed foods, will help us get over whatever we've been exposed to more quickly.
When there are lots of illnesses going around our area, I make our recipes with the broth that contains the astragalus root, as it is an immune-strengthening herb. But because it is a tonic herb, which means that it can possibly drive illness deeper into the body, I use the broths that do not contain astragalus when we are already ill.
In addition to being hydrating, nourishing, and immune-boosting, homemade broth is more delicious and satisfying than the canned broths in the supermarket! Our Thanksgiving turkey yielded 5 quarts of delicious broth. We also use chicken, beef, or any other bones with marrow to make broth throughout the year. The same can be done with vegetables to make vegetable stock. When you are cutting up your onions, celery, broccoli, carrots, or whatever, save the parts that you would normally throw away, simmer them together, and strain for veggie broth.

This year, Greg had to work on Thanksgiving Day, so we had a nice dinner at home the day before. I’m so thankful for all our blessings!
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The best thing about spending Thanksgiving at home is that nobody cares if the baby shows up for Thanksgiving dinner wearing nothing but a hot pink diaper! hehehe

Later that night, the girls and I went to see the Moscow Ballet perform The Nutcracker. It was Mojo’s and Gem’s first ballet.  Here they are waiting for it to start.
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