Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 26, 2008

Grandma's Kitchen: Talking turkey with family


I was up in time to wake the birds this morning. As the dawn streaked the sky I was building turkey sandwiches for a road trip. My daughter Cathy and her daughter Airlia needed to head out to New York by 7 a.m. Their trip out here on Friday took about 16 hours, they got caught in the Michigan leaf peepers stampede headed north in the evening. That plus the construction was bad news.

Can I "talk turkey"? You will probably think I've lost my mind. Three of us (one was vegetarian) sat down to a 12 pound turkey dinner on Saturday! It didn't really start out that way. Our local daughter's family had other fairly urgent obligations like helping with the new baby and laying up a chimney. So the New York crew is transporting frozen leftovers across four states to their freezer! I fear that by Thanksgiving we will be turkeyed- out , maybe lasagna will sound good!

Speaking of our new baby, I got to hold him, and I was reminded once again of the special fragrance that belongs to babies alone, and just how small they really are. He is so alert, precious and priceless and makes us all long to work for a better world for him to grow up in. They deserve our best efforts.

This weekend was a great time for a little color tour. The countryside looks like a master painter's canvas...and that's really what it is too, isn't it? To enjoy the breathtaking beauty is a spiritual experience. I wish it lasted longer, but maybe its fascination is in its brevity.

Just a few hours after the newspaper hit your boxes this morning I had my first responses to my request for the Christmas recipes and stories, so keep them coming. Thank you Paula and Gail.

I love reading them. I'll be beginning my seventh year with this paper this winter -- what a good way to celebrate.

This flour mixture is in response to the young man who wanted a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix. I thought maybe some of the rest of us might find it useful too. It comes from the Oryana News, Sept issue.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend

1/2 c. rice flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/4 c. corn or potato starch

This flour is used to replace all-purpose flour in recipes. The TC Gluten Free Support Group can be reached at (231) 947-8324.

Here's a good slow cooker recipe that will taste great and make your house smell wonderful. It can be assembled in about 10 minutes, and ignored for 6-8 hours...all but the smell!

Pork Chops and Mushrooms

4 boneless pork chops

1 large onion sliced

4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

1/2 c. water

10 1/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup

Spray inside of slow cooker with non-stick spray. Spread chops in a layer in the bottom, top with onions and mushrooms. Combine soup mix, water and cream of mushroom soup. Pour over layered mushrooms. Cover, cook on low 6-8 hours or until tender. Great served over mashed potatoes or biscuits. Serves 4

Parting Shot: Human identity is no longer defined not by what one does, but by what one owns. -- Jimmy Carter

Edna Shaffer is a local mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who writes about cooking from the perspective of an older adult. She can be reached via the Record-Eagle at 120 W. Front, Traverse City, Mi 49685; or by sending e-mail to: