December 31, 2011

Bea's Beans

If I was to create a cookbook that represents my mom, one of the standouts would surely be Bea's Beans. These beans are legendary.

If there's a potluck, it's assumed that Bea will bring beans. And if Bea decides to bring something else? People have been known to pout.

"Oh, I was really looking forward to Aunt Bea's beans."

"What? No beans from Bea? Darn."

So here they are. 

Step One
Pull out your trusty recipe card. The one you've had for forty years or more. Fondly remember the times you've made this recipe, and the adjustments made. Each time they're a little bit different. If you have to, squint to read the distinctive writing while lamenting the decline of cursive writing.

Recipe Card Front
Recipe Card Back

Step Two
Measure and sort the beans. 

Drag a good amount from the pile.
Quickly scan to see if there are any small stones. Also admire the beautiful rings.

Pull the clean beans into a waiting dish.

Step Three 
Soak the beans and rinse well. 

Rinse until water is clear.

Step Four
Boil the beans until soft. Just before adding the baking soda, mom leans over and quietly reveals a story about a family friend who claims that baking soda "Take the farts out." Later I learned that indeed, baking soda does help lower flatulence associated with beans. 

Beans before boiling.

Beans after boiling.

Step Five
Mix the beans with other ingredients. Taste to be sure they're tasty. Feel free to taste repeatedly. The beans are certainly edible at this point, but they're not baked. So hold yourself back from consuming too many beans at this stage because seriously, they're even better fresh from the oven.

Beans mixed and ready for baking.
Step Six
Bake. The beans come out of the oven bubbly. If you've gotten the recipe right, the baking pan will be blackened in some areas. And each time you make these, your family will fall in love all over again.


2 pounds dry beans (4 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup catsup
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup vinegar

Sort and wash beans in cold water. Cover with cold water, and soak overnight. Drain.
Place in large sauce pan. Cover with warm water and boil gently about one hour. After coming to first boil, add 1 teaspoon soda. Skim foam to remove any specks. Then boil gently until soft (not mushy.) Remove from heat. Drain off liquid and reserve. Put beans in dish used for oven baking. Stir and add reserved liquid to cover beans. Bake at 350 for an hour and a half. Reduce heat to 325. Bake 1/2 hour. 

Variations: Microwave bacon strips 4-6 until crisp. Crumble and mix into beans. Return to oven at 325. Mom has also used homemade catsup in place of the store bought. Feel free to vary the amounts to suit the tastes of your family.

Suggestions: This recipe makes a lot of beans - easily enough to share at a potluck or family gathering. I imagine you could halve the recipe. And I can guarantee that, if you put them in the fridge overnight, they'll taste just as good tomorrow.

December 27, 2011

Thrift Store Finds

I had the day of from work recently and hit the local thrift stores. Here are some of the gems I came home with:

December 22, 2011

French Turnip Soup and Salmon Pinwhat?

I came across Soups and Sandwiches: Wholesome Ideas for Quick Lunches at the recent library sale. Every autumn the local library has a huge sale to reduce the books that rarely get checked out, and to allow the community to clean their shelves of books and load back up again for the long Michigan winter.

As soon as I entered the large annex, I headed straight to the cooking area and carefully picked out "the good stuff." This was one of the good books - though there were plenty of gourmet microwave books to be had if you were so gullible. Not me.

The French Turnip Soup on page 12 caught my attention, perhaps because it also included slices of white bread. I never buy white bread anymore. Ever.

Looking through the book, I also found some intriguing sandwich recipes, and settled on the Salmon Pinwheels on page 80. They looked beautiful and somewhat daunting. And they also called for white bread, which Ivan inspected.

The soup was really easy to prepare, though I have to say, once in the liquid, the bread transformed into something icky. Take a look at this:

Mmmmmmm gelatinous white bread.

At the same time I worked on Salmon Pinwheels. I just wanted to see if I could make them look nice. And, besides with all the butter involved, I was sure it would be worth it.

I used a rolling pin to flatten the bread, slather on the flavored butter, and top with smoked salmon. Then I rolled the whole thing up cigar style. And quickly understood why the recipe called for a large, uncut loaf of white bread: length would make a difference here.

I soldiered on and buttered the outside and rolled the whole thing around in chopped parsley. And had myself an aesthetic failure:

I made regular sandwiches with the remainder of the flattened bread, and served along with the turnip soup.

The parsley-covered roll was odd, kind of tickly to eat. Not a fan. But the regular sandwiches were yummy. I wish there was more flavor to them, like a mayonnaise or curry. The soup is fabulous, and you don't notice the funky white bread at all; if I'd used a good quality French white bread, this would be even better.

Both recipes adapted from Soups and Sandwiches: Wholesome Ideas for Quick Lunches.

Salmon Pinwheels (or Not)
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
1 scallion, finely diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
a shake or so of cayenne pepper

Mix the butter and 1 tablespoon of the parsley with the scallion and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

If you want to attempt a cigar-shaped log, flatten the bread with a rolling pin. If you want a regular sandwich, don't bother. Either way, slather one side with smoked salmon and top with another piece of bread.

For the sandwich log, roll the bread kind of like a jelly roll. Then butter the outside and roll the whole thing around in parsley. The recipe in the book suggests that you wrap this in plastic wrap and chill two hours, then cut into small pinwheels. Too fussy for me!

You will have extra butter and smoked salmon left over, and will have to find some way to use it all up. I'm thinking a morning omelette or evening frittata might be the way to go.

French Turnip Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound white turnips, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
5 cups stock - chicken or vegetable
4 slices white bread, crusts removed
4 oz green peas
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch nutmeg

Heat butter in large saucepan. Add turnips and onion, and cook 10 minutes or more until they begin to soften. Add stock and butter and simmer 25 minutes or until the turnups are soft to the fork. Puree. Add peas, season with salt and pepper and add nutmeg.

December 18, 2011

Crabby Corn Soup

I picked up my copy of Soups and Sandwiches: Wholesome Ideas for Quick Lunches at the recent library sale, and piled it onto the other cookbooks. Hungry for something to cook, I grabbed the book as I headed to the laundromat to wash the bed linens.

Once the comforters and sheets were slurshing around in the commercial washer I perused the cookbook and found the Crab and Corn Soup on page 31. It looked easy and simple, so I added it to my "Make This Soon" list.

(I have no idea what "slursh" means, but I like the way it sounds. I also do not keep a "Make This Soon List" although  perhaps I should add a list like that to my Remember The Milk account.)

I noticed a few odd things about the cookbook. First, it was hard to understand how the soups were organized. Sure, there is a table of contents, but when you're looking through the book, there's no chapter titles to indicate that you've moved from vegetable & exotic soups to creamy soups. Same thing's true of the sandwiches.

The index is also seriously lacking. It merely lists the titles of the various recipes, not the actual ingredients - which would be more helpful to any reader searching for a recipe to prepare quickly.

Likewise, I found the sandwich area not...lunchable. These seem more like canapes, finger food, little nibbles for parties, rather than something to sustain me through a busy work day. And with a subtitle like "Wholesome Ideas for Quick Lunches," I was surprised to find so many recipes with multiple steps; for example, the Salmon Pinwheels I made involved a rolling pin, rolling bread, and a two hour waiting period. Finally the recipe ingredients are sometimes vague: what "mixed herbs" do the authors mean? I have no idea.

And with two authors who are "home economists" -an outdated term if there ever has been one- I was wary. I shouldn't have been.

The Crab and Corn Soup was easy, tasty, and I imagine wholesome as well. It was definitely a quick soup to prepare, and a nice twist on your typical egg drop soup. I substituted shrimp for the crab with no problem. I was stymied with the "small piece of gingerroot" because what do the authors mean by small? I guessed.

One small chunk of gingerroot.
Ingredients: egg, cornstarch, scallions, shrimp
Finished Soup
Despite the general oddness of the book, I enjoyed this soup. I could have added more gingerroot. I also like that each recipe has a photograph that clearly illustrates what the finished product should look like. As a bonus, many soups have a suggested accompaniment recipe. For example, the Cream of Cauliflower Soup on page 27 also offers a recipe to make Cheese Snippets to flat in the soup, while the Cream of Carrot Soup on the same page has Herb Croutons (with one teaspoon of "dry herbs" as the flavoring.)

Crab and Corn Soup

3 3/4 cup chicken stock
1 small piece gingerroot, peeled
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 15oz can creamed corn
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
4 oz crab (or shrimp) chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 scallions, minced

In a large saucepan, combine stock and gingerroot. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove gingerroot and stir in soy sauce, sherry, and creamed corn. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, blend cornstarch and water. Stir in stock mixture. Stir in crab (or shrimp) and heat until mixture thickens.

Bring mixture to a slow simmer and slowly pour in beaten eggs in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Do not allow soup to boil. Garnish soup with sliced green onions. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

December 14, 2011

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Heaven, Bar Cookie Style

You know I have a thing for bar cookies, right?

This is an old recipe, found in a cookbook when I was a teenager. I've been making it ever since then. And, despite the fact that my younger sister gets grouchy when she doesn't get carded, it's been a very long time since I was a teenager, so I've made these for years. And I giggle a little if and when I do get carded.

Anyway, I had a craving for the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. I tried some chocolate brownies with peanut butter frosting last week, but the brownie part wasn't satisfying. The frosting was.  Even peanut butter M & M's didn't satisfy my craving.

It's also too early to beg for holiday Buckeye's from mom, so I decided to make the Peanut Butter Fingers. I mixed up the base ingredients of butter, sugar, egg, peanut butter, flour, oatmeal and baking soda.

And I used all white sugar, instead of a mixture of white and brown sugar; this changed the texture and taste slightly. I tasted several times to be sure it was acceptably peanut buttery, then patted into a 13x9 pan. And realized I'd forgotten the vanilla. Oh well, the base was still yummy.

As that was baking, I measured layer #2: dark chocolate chips. I tasted a few to be sure they were OK.

Layer #3 with these cookies is a peanut butter glaze made from powdered sugar, peanut butter, and milk. I didn't have milk, so substituted whipping cream (which I bought for a recipe I never made.) This made the mixture thicker, more like a frosting - it's usually a more runny glaze consistency.

While waiting for the cookie base to come out of the oven, I tasted the frosting repeatedly to ensure complete peanut buttery satisfaction.

The cookie base came out of the oven and I poured on the chocolate chips. And applied quality control standards to the frosting.

I spread the chocolate chips all over the cookie base. And tasted the frosting.

Then, I tasted the frosting and spread the frosting over the melted chocolate chips. I also licked the spatula as needed  to ensure quality control.

I had a little frosting left over, so made sure was still delicious. These are easy to make because you can get away with mixing the base in one bowl, and turn around and make the frosting in the same bowl a little later.

Just be sure that you test repeatedly throughout the baking process to ensure they're as good as I think they are!

Peanut Butter Fingers

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2-4 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside; I have also made these cookies successfully in a jelly roll pan. The 13x9 pan makes the base thicker, while with the jelly roll pan the base will be thinner.

Cream together the butter and sugars, along with the egg, peanut butter, and baking soda. Then mix in the flour and oatmeal. The mixture should be fairly stiff. Pat into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

While the base is baking, make and repeatedly taste test the frosting by combining the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and milk until smooth.

When the base comes out of the oven, pour chocolate chips over. Let stand until the chips are melted and spread over the base. Wait just a bit longer and drizzle with peanut butter glaze. Devour.

December 9, 2011

I Miss It So!

There's a book out about Jacobson's. You say that to anyone from the lower peninsula of Michigan, and they're bound to get misty-eyed. I'm definitely in that crowd.

Jacobson's (affectionately referred to as "Jake's" by clientele) was a retailer of the first order for much of the last 100 years in this state and closed their doors in 2002. At the end of it, there were about thirty stores in the chain spreading throughout Michigan, Ohio, Florida and beyond. For me, though, none of those stores bring on my sad puppy-dog face as much as the Saginaw store.  

Filling an entire block in downtown Saginaw, Jacobson's was the premier department store in the region. If you needed a dress for a special occasion, you could always find it at Jacobson's. Heck, if you needed anything to beautify yourself or your home, they probably had it or could order it.

Sure, there were other department stores in the area. Almost weekly mom and I trekked through Seitner's, Weichman's, and Heavenrich's. But Jacobson's stood out from the crowd. Way, way out in front of the crowd.

And for a birthday or Christmas, nothing was better than seeing a large silver box embossed with a pattern of the letter "J" and tied with a red ribbon. It didn't matter that I usually knew what was in the box, it was the fact that the clothing came from Jacobson's.

  • That red terry-cloth robe I can't let go of because it's still in decent shape? Jacobson's. 
  • That red wool dress that made me feel great every time I wore it? Jacobson's.
  • The 1970s cool plaid bell-bottom pants & matching bomber jacket? Jacobson's.
  • Most of my best clothing throughout high school? Totally Jacobson's and the Miss J Shop.

I was on the Miss J Board for a year in high school, and then, following college graduation, worked in the office on the second floor. Several times each day it was my job (and that of my co-worker) to walk through the store and collect tickets from sales. It meant that I knew the store backwards and forwards, and always knew where the best items were on sale. It also meant that a good deal of my paycheck went to those best items.

Did I say "tickets?"

I sure did.

It took Jacobson's a very, very long time to adapt to using registers and computers in the store. So when I was working in the 80s, the people on the sales floor were hand writing sales slips. And, from each item sold, they removed a ticket that included stock number, size, and price. I returned the tickets and sales slips to the office, where they were batched and totaled by a small, dedicated staff. Just imagine what it was like at Christmas time to collect and process all of that. By hand.

Jacobson's I Miss It So - The Story of a Michigan Fashion Institution by Bruce Allen Kopytek delves into the history and mystery of the stores. He reveals the humble origins of the store and the reign of Nathan Rosenfeld. He also explores many of the individual stores, including Saginaw. Thought there are interviews with some people who worked in Detroit area stores, I was sad to see there weren't any interviews with people who worked in the 207,000 square foot store. The handful of pictures of the store, though, are something special.

Still, this is a food blog, and focuses on cookbooks. So what does a book about ancient department stores in Michigan have to do with food or cookbooks?

As the stores were mostly free-standing, they often had gourmet sweets and restaurants. The new book has many beloved recipes from Jacobson's. And though I can't say I recognize a single recipe, it warms my heart to be cooking some chicken salad that -at one time- was indeed offered in a Jake's store.

Well, it kind of warms my heart. It's salad, so nothing warm. But it's tasty and beautiful. Like Jake's.

Jacobson's Cashew Chicken Salad
(adapted from Jacobson's...I Miss It So.)

4 cups or so chicken, cooked and diced
1/4 cup scallion, chopped
2 tablespoons Craisins (those dried cranberry raisin-like things)
1/4 cup cashew pieces, chopped
2 tablespoons mango jam (with chunks of Mango if you can find it)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon curry powder

The original recipe calls for a little celery and mango chutney, but I wasn't going to buy celery for just 1/4 cup. And there's no way I would buy mango chutney when I have a perfectly good jar of mango jam from World Market in the fridge. Mix it all together, chill for at least two hours, and savor. Preferably while dressed in your finest outfit and sipping wine from a crystal goblet.

P.S. Someone was going to get this book for Christmas, but then I read it, cooked from it, and posted about it here. So much for surprise gifts. Unless that someone might still have a Jacobson's box lurking in a closet?

December 2, 2011

No Ham About It

I have a  problem with Angry Birds*, really just a minor little thing.

I cannot stop playing.

I played through Angry Birds, then went back and got three stars on most levels. I got Angry Birds Rio before I knew there was a movie. And I have Angry Birds, Seasons, too.

I sometimes forget to stop playing long enough to eat.

Thank goodness game publisher Rovio Mobile has released an Angry Birds cookbook - now I can play Angry Birds and eat Angry Birds, too. Sure to feed your "app-etite," Angry Birds: Bad Piggies' Recipes is set to be released on December 6th.

It has darling and colorful cartoon drawings of the main Angry Birds characters. Except, there's trouble in Angry Birds land as the Bad Piggie is cooking up eggs. Forty egg recipes to be egg-zact. And that only makes the birds angrier.

And, stretching my philosophical wings, that explains the conundrum we're faced as humans:  we have a difficult time seeing, accepting, or respecting a different point of view. Any difference of opinion may be met with a venomous reply...hence quarrels, arguments, and ultimately wars. Some day, these pigs and birds need to sit down at the negotiating table and work out a compromise. The two dissenting sides attempted a "peace treaty" on an Israeli comedy show.  [Warning: The birds drop the f-bomb several times. And I'm not referring to the big white bird that drops bombs or the little black bomb bird, either.]

Needless to say, the treaty failed. Let's hope us humans can do better...and that's enough philosophy because Angry Birds: Bad Piggies' Egg Recipes has nothing to do with world view or politics. It has to do with cooking eggs.

Which is enough to keep the epic battle between Pigs and Birds going for a long, long time.

This is such a cute idea for a gift for any Angry Birds addictee. (I feel a long side note regarding 12-step programs for people who play Angry Birds too much coming on...must stop. Must stop.)

I'm curious to see the book in person, though, as on my computer screen, the colors are toned down - not as brilliant as on my iPod. The illustrations are just adorable - a hot air balloon full of pigs (and grilling eggs) barely escapes a group of birds, while nearby a pig hides in a tree.

The three recipes I was able to see in the preview were simple, and I was disappointed that the preview didn't include more recipes. Looks like there will be forty recipes total "ranging from scrambled eggs and omelets to Eggs Benedict and quiche." A quick peak at the preview on Amazon shows egg salad, aioli sauce, meringue, and more - accompanied by illustrations, of course.

The book keeps the humor going through "Be a pig for a day, no worries in the world, no Angry Birds trying to knock you down. The kitchen is your pigpen and life's good."  I can only imagine what the Angry Birds will cook up next.

Oink Oink!

*For those who have no idea what this post is about, Angry Birds is one of the most successful  games in the world. With more than twelve million downloads from iTunes, you are missing out on a worldwide phenomenon of time wasting & pig chasing. Go help the birds get their eggs back!

November 29, 2011

Bar Cookie Discrimination - And Soup With Salad

I'll confess that I'm not a person who gets excited about the holidays.

You know the type of person I'm talking about? I'm picturing an over-the-top co-worker who decorates their oatmeal cubicle for every holiday and also dresses for the holiday right down to a a sparkly sweater, holiday-themed turtleneck,  matching socks, and -especially for Christmas- a Santa hat with jingle bell.

I'm equally not celebrating the fact that one of the local radio stations decided to begin broadcasting Christmas music 24/7 - in early November. Please! Halloween had just ended.

Christmas cookies, on the other hand, I can relate to. So on a recent business trip I picked up a copy of  The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman. But, uh, I have two small cookie-related issues with the book:  

  1. I like bar cookies. In fact, I like bar cookies so much that I started a tumblr feed for them. 
  2. Individual cookies are too much work - too much standing, too much stirring. I know this because I have made large quantities of them on my own many years ago, and have refused to make them ever since then.  

So perhaps you can understand why I was rather appalled that the hard-working bar cookie was written off immediately in the opening salvo of The Christmas Cookie Club: "No bars. They stick to each other and crumble."

No bar cookies allowed? Bah humbug.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the book. It was a light-hearted, gossipy, chick-flicky romp through an annual Christmas cookie club event, accompanied by cookie recipes and ingredient history lessons. I don't really know what the history lessons were doing in the book, but they were informative and brief.

The characters are stereotypical, but lovable: there's Marnie, the party hostess (aka, head cookie bitch,) who's widowed with children and learning to love again; then there's Vera, the former cocaine addicted stripper who turned her life around, and there's Sissy representing for all women of color replete with sassy attitude and talented (yet troubled) children.

The premise of the novel is equally simple: there this Christmas Cookie party every year. There are rules you must follow. If you don't follow the rules, you're out of the club. One of the club rules is that you have to share the story of why you chose these cookies this year - which becomes a metaphor for everything that's happened to you in the last twelve months because apparently the characters rarely see each other except on this mandatory first Monday in December. Still, as a Christmas Cookie Club participant, you get some eating, some drinking, some dancing, and twelve dozen cookies out of the event, plus all of the recipes.

In fact, there are more than twenty recipes in the book - and not only for cookies. Being a bar cookie snob, I snubbed the hand-rolled, fastidiously decorated cookies throughout the book. I am not going to take the time to hand-write fortunes, then hand-turn the little fortune cookies even though I have all of the time in the world to do so. And truth be told, not all of the cookies are that fussy.

I went for the Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup on page 327 and the Mandarin Orange Salad on page 328, and wasn't disappointed one iota. I chopped and combined the carrot, parsnip, onion, and brown sugar.

Chopped Vegetables with Brown Sugar
I poured in chicken stock, covered with aluminum foil, and placed into the oven for a couple of hours. Once removed from the oven, I carefully spooned all into a large stock pot, and added additional chicken stock. Then I let it boil for awhile, and finally pureed.

Making the salad was even more of a breeze. That involved macerating mandarin oranges in a combination of honey and cinnamon, and mixing with olive oil, salt, and pepper. That was added to fresh spinach and topped with toasted walnuts.
Mandarin Oranges, Honey, Cinnamon
The result? One fabulous late autumn lunch for me and more soup in the freezer for later. Delightful - just like The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman (even without bar cookies.)

Soup and Salad

Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 pound parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
1 large onion, sliced
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
8 cups rich chicken broth, more if needed
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup creme fraiche for garnish
Snipped fresh chives for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the carrots, parsnip, onion, and ginger in a shallow roasting pan. Dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pour two cups of the broth into the pan. Cover well and bake until the vegetables are very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the vegetables and broth to a large soup pot. Add the remaining six cups of broth. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer partially covered for 10 minutes. (I completely forgot the butter, cayenne, creme fraiche, or chives. Still delicious!)

Mandarin Orange Salad
11-ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 tablespoon honey
Handful of walnuts (broken into large pieces)
Lettuce (romaine, red or green leaf or mixed)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the mandarin oranges in a small bowl. Add honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Set aside for several hours (or longer). Toast walnuts at 350 for 3 minutes, and let them cool. Wash and tear lettuce into bite-size pieces. Add oranges. Add enough olive oil to wet greens and toss well. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and sprinkle with walnuts. Note: If taking to a potluck, wait to toss with olive oil and keep walnuts in a small bag until ready to serve. (I used spinach instead of lettuce and toasted my walnuts in a dry pan on the stove top until nearly smoking and slightly burnt.)

P.S. CBS picked up rights to the book, so don't be surprised if The Christmas Cookie Club becomes another one of those oft-repeated holiday specials.

November 22, 2011

Sweet & Sour Turkey: A Family Tradition

I have waxed poetic about this recipe more than once because, frankly, it's one of those never-fail, long-lasting recipes that I don't know if I could live without. 

Mom got the recipe from a friend of hers, and made it for us sometime back in the 1970s. It passed the "will kids it it" test, and has been a staple in the family ever since. I dare you to not like this. 

It's called Sweet and Sour Turkey, but I usually make it with chicken. In fact, I went out and bought a supermarket rotisserie chicken just for this, although I've also made it with leftover Sunday roast chicken, too. Not recently mind, you, but it has happened in the past.

This is what it looks like:

Sauce ingredients
Stir-frying in progress
Sauce cooked and thickened
Sweet & Sour Turkey Over Rice
And this is how you make 7-8 servings:

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup turkey stock
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup catsup
Combine these and cook and stir until thick and clear. Set aside.

2 T vegetable oil
3/4 cup pineapple chunks, drained
3/4 cup carrots, sliced diagonally
3/4 cup green pepper, chopped
4 cups turkey, cooked, cubed
Stir fry carrots in oil for 1 minute. Add pepper, fruit, turkey, and cook until heated through. Add sauce. Stir and heat for a few minutes. Serve over hot rice. 

Here are some notes from Mom over the years:

  • Make with chicken instead of turkey (use chicken stock, too.)
  • Use mandarin oranges, apples, sweet baby gherkin pickles.
  • Use the microwave to make the sauce.
  • Use 2 cups meat, which makes enough for two dinner servings and a little left over for lunch.
  • Use whatever you want for carrots and pineapple, about a cup each.
  • Substitute chili sauce (mom makes her own) for the catsup.

I substituted red pepper for green, and added sliced zucchini plus chopped baby corn...and some celery, too: I prefer more vegetables than meat in stir-fry meals. The recipe freezes well, though you'll be lucky if there are any leftovers to freeze. 

Now go get the ingredients and prepare it very soon. You will love it, and you will thank me for it over and over and over. Thoroughly enjoy!