Dinner Tonight for iBooks

Guess who’s cookbook is being published for iBooks by Apple? Yep, that’s right!
It should be available Sept 6th! And here’s the best part, it’s only $1.99.
You can get it now as eBook from Blurb if you don’t have iBooks

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While we’re on the subject, my first book The Family Table is already available!
Simply open the iBooks app on your iPad and search Kathleen Rear.

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Handy format, easy, delicious recipes! That my friends is a win, win, win!

Turkey Day Tutorial: The Big Bird!


More than any recipe, this is the one that terrifies novice and seasoned cooks alike. You can breathe easy. I’ve figured out the hard stuff so you can be the hero.
Thanksgiving Turkey

1 (18-20 lb.) turkey
1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 lemons (quartered)
1 whole head of garlic (halved)
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper

Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Place breast side up in a recyclable foil roasting pan. No need for more dishes right?
Oh yes, and I should have said before You see that plastic pop up timer? Take it out! I’m yelling at you now, TAKE IT OUT!! That stupid little piece of plastic has been the ruination of countless roast turkeys! The reason being, it’s calibrated to go off at a much higher temperature to keep the FDA happy. If at all!

I’m begging you, use a probe or digital thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh meat; (which cooks slower than the breast meat) when your dark meat is done (165 degrees) your white meat is too.
Alright, rant over on with the bird…

Tuck the wingtips under the body of the turkey.
Fill the cavity with the lemon and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen string.

Let the turkey stand at room temperature for up to an hour.
Remember putting cold meat into the oven extends the cooking time and makes for a dry bird!

With your hands, smear the butter all over the skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the oven rack at the lowest position.

Insert your digital meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and set the timer function to go off at 165 degrees.

Roast the turkey, rotating the pan every hour until your timer goes off at about 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours.
Let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes before carving.


image courtesy of food.com

Turkey Day Tutorial: Brining your bird

Brining your turkey is the best way to add flavor and ensure tender meat.

Turkey Brine
Dry ingredients:
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups brown sugar
10 whole cloves
10 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon sliced fresh ginger
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 whole nutmeg (slightly crushed)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 cinnamon sticks (broken)
Mix all dry ingredients together and set aside or cover and store for up to 3 days.

Wet ingredients:
7 quarts cold water
1 bottle white wine like Riesling or Chardonnay
2 onions (quartered)
1 head garlic (halved)
1 large orange or 3 clementines
1 small bunch each: fresh parsley, rosemary and thyme

Place a clean never used tall kitchen garbage bag (do not use a scented or deodorant type bag) into a clean container (I use a rectangular 5 gallon bucket bought especially for this) and fold it over the sides so it can’t fall in while you are mixing your brine.

Next, pour the water and wine into the container/bag. Add the onion, garlic, and fresh herbs. Give the orange a squeeze and plop it in too. Add the dry mixture and stir until most of the salt and sugar is dissolved.

After removing the giblet bag for the cavity of the turkey, and giving it a good rinse inside and out. Slowly ease the turkey into the brine, submerging the whole bird breast side down. Tie the bag up and place the container in a cold place overnight.

I put mine on the shelf away from pets in the un-heated garage. You can also prepare your turkey brine in a cooler, resting the brining bag and turkey on a bed of ice.

If your turkey wants to float, weigh it down by placing an inverted plate onto the top of the turkey (but outside the bag) and use large soup cans stacked on the plate.

Turkey Day Tutorial: Gravy

image courtesy of Pottery Barn

Gravy. It’s definition both culinary and colloquially means all things lovely, and is the perfect place to start my Thanksgiving recipes.

I’ve always been disappointed by the amount of juice rendered off a turkey after it cooks. It’s never enough to make very much gravy. In this house not enough gravy is a punishable offense.

Turkey Gravy

3 turkey wings
2 small yellow onions
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup fresh parsley
6-8 cups water (amount will vary)

Place the turkey wings in a large stew pot or dutch oven.
Roughly chop the onion, carrot, celery and parsley and add to the pot.
Add the peppercorns salt and bay leaf.
Add water until the veggies and turkey are just covered.

Bring the water to a boil, cover and turn the heat to low.
Simmer for 3 hours.

When finished, allow to cool and then remove the big pieces of veggie and turkey. Strain out all the smaller pieces.

Look at all that great turkey stock you made!
You can refrigerate your stock for up to a week in a tightly sealed container.

Sieve the roast turkey drippings and separate out the fat…What, you didn’t think we’d waste all that lovely stuff?
Mix the drippings with the turkey stock.

It’s gravy time!

You’ll need:
4-6 cups turkey stock plus turkey drippings
1 stick or 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon ground pepper
salt to taste.

If your stock has been refrigerated, heat in a microwave for about 4 minutes.
In a large saute pot melt the better over medium high heat.
Add the flour and whisk until the butter and flour form a paste.
Turn the heat to medium low and continue to whisk for 3 minutes. Add the sage and pepper.
Add half the warm turkey stock and briskly whisk. Add the rest of the stock and whisk until there are no lumps. Heat on low until thickened.
Give the gravy a taste and salt accordingly.

What if ((GASP)) your gravy is…Lumpy!
No sweat deary! Blend in your blender or with a hand blender with a about a 1/4 cup of hot water.
Also, if you’d like to make it ahead of time; let it cool with a piece of cling film pressed against the top of the gravy so it won’t get that rubbery skin. Later, take off the cling and microwave until hot, about 4 minutes.

What I did this summer…Part 1


As you may remember, I posted a list of the things I’d hoped to accomplish this summer. Some were grand aspirations and some involved me sitting for hours looking at the glowing rectangle mounted on my wall.

So, first in the “not so much” column goes:
Go on evening drives
We did an extraordinary amount of driving this summer. Unfortunately none of it was for pleasure. A lot of twoing and froing related to family matters which I mention very briefly here I might go into it a little more in the future…i’m still thinking about it.
Anyway, we reached a point where we never wanted to sit in the car again. Plus we had probably spent a small fortune on gas so…
“Go on evening drives”….not so much.
Second Visit the U of O art gallery (Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art) and take the bus.
When I was a student there I would spend down time in the gorgeous court yard and remember it fondly. It was a good idea, but I never got around to it. Instead of going and looking at art, I stayed home and made art:

I also completed 4 of the 5 things I had in mind on my life list.
#43 Get my dental issues under control.
So um, I haven’t been to the dentist in over 7 years. I should have gone and I’m sorry I didn’t because then I wouldn’t have had to pay thousands of dollars all in one go to upgrade all the old and crumbling dentistry in my mouth. I did, however get to wear these cool glasses whilst I was drilled and filled.

#83 Learn to play chess
I suck still, but, I have a good understanding of the game and how to play. I used the iChess Lite App and some videos from YouTube.
#38 Make Jef feel special on his 40th Birthday.
#26 Write a cookbook

You can buy it if you desire. Link up there in the header.

The continuation of What I did this summer coming after the crazy week of back to school preparation is over.

The Family Table By Kathleen Rear

Tada! It’s done!
Thanks very much to everyone who egged me on and supported me.

Excerpt:
“This book is about the dinners we love, the ones that get requested when I ask, “What sounds good for dinner?” The dinners people around here want for their birthdays.”

“Food is a strong memory and the recipes in this book are like a photo album of fun times, vacations, holidays and other special events.”