Hubby won me a turkey during our bowling league’s Fun Night before Thanksgiving. Since we go to our families homes for Thanksgiving and Christmas we had no desire to cook the turkey back in November or December. I cooked it today because I really needed the room in our freezer last week :-).
I knew that this turkey was going to last us a few days and I didn’t even bother planning any particular meals with it. If it gets eaten plain, that’s fine with me. Hubby went to Portsmouth earlier this afternoon to take a new heater core* for my car to his friend’s house and then was sidetracked by that friend and an errand for another friend, so he’s eating dinner out tonight. I’ll be surprised to see him before 10 pm.
So, knowing that he wouldn’t be home for turkey meal #1, I decided to play around. I love the combination of cranberry and turkey, so it was immediately obvious that I would take one of my 2 cans of whole berry cranberry sauce (at one point I had 3 because I kept forgetting I had it…) and mix it with some shredded turkey. I learned with my 1st can that I definitely prefer whole berry cranberry sauce when it’s cooked (I’d used it as a condiment and it was way too much berry).
I have cooked with whole berry cranberry sauce before, baking pork chops in a dish with the sauce “spread” over top. It was nice, but the sauce tended to disappear, though the berries remained. After tonight, I will be working on the technique so that those pork chops work better, because there is so much potential for perfection!
So, without further ado, let me show you what I made:
Believe it or not, these BBQ sandwiches are just shredded turkey cooked in a can of whole berry cranberry sauce and served on a biscuit. That’s it.
I have been having a horrible time with pre-made BBQ sauces recently. They’ve all been way too sweet for my liking or have some kind of weird after-taste. I grew up on cheap pre-made BBQ sauces, so I really wasn’t expecting my taste-buds to have changed. I guess I’ve had access to so much restaurant quality Carolina BBQ that a heavy dose of sweet ketchup based sauces no longer works for me. In any case, this cranberry sauce is perfect. It’s able to satisfy my sweet tooth while still having plenty of acidity to satisfy those taste-buds. My only regret is that it doesn’t have any “heat”, but I’ve been cooking for people who don’t like spice for so long that I don’t even have a spicy-component in my spice rack.
I think I will put some red pepper flakes on the grocery list. We had some at my parents house from some recipe my mom wanted to make and I found that if not too much is added to a mixture early in cooking and there was going to be plenty of liquid and stirring going on, the heat from the pepper flakes spread across the whole of the dish and mellowed out to some extent. You got just enough heat to be interesting without setting your mouth on fire, even when you ate an actual flake. I miss that in my cooking.
*So, about my heater core. Two weeks ago, I was driving home from the bowling alley and I noticed that my windshield was foggy, despite my defroster blowing fine. But it was night and I didn’t think much of it. There was a weird smell, though.
Well, the next morning I was driving to work and my windshield would not clear. Period. I’d wipe it with my glove and it’d immediately fog back up. I could barely see in front of me. I had no idea what was going on. And it still smelled weird. But I remembered something about using AC to clear a window when it’s fogging on the inside so I switched it to full cold and still on defrost and after wiping the window again with my glove, it stayed clear and I could safely make my way to work.
At work, I asked my dad (who is a coworker) if he knew why a windshield wouldn’t defrost and kept fogging on the inside. He wanted to check whether my defroster was actually blowing on the windshield, so we went out to my car. My defroster was blowing great, but he watched it fog up when I switched it to heat again. He was confused until he put his hand on the windshield and realized that there was something coating it. Then, he got out of the car while it was running and we immediately saw that it was “smoking”. And, of course, there was the smell, which was sickeningly sweet. I think it was me who brought up antifreeze.
In case you didn’t know, antifreeze tastes and smells sweet. This is why it’s so dangerous to animals because they’ll lick it up because it tastes good and poison themselves. My dad was quickly able to put everything together and tell me that my heater core had gone bad and I was spraying antifreeze all over my windshield and, yeah, breathing it in. Yay.
I called Hubby up to break the news and his first reaction was “is your passenger floorboard wet?” It was not, thankfully, but he still told me that he’d pick me up from work with the tow truck that afternoon. When I got off work, I called him to see where he was (slow poke) and he hadn’t left home yet. Sigh. But, he had me check my antifreeze in the radiator (which I’d already planned to do) and when it wasn’t very low at all (I could have touched even with my short fingers), he said I could drive it to his friend’s house so long as I would keep my eye on the temperature gauge and pull over as soon as it got higher than normal, or if I suddenly got a flood on the passenger floorboard. He’d meet me there.
The drive to the friends house was really uneventful. I kept the heater all the way on cold, but not really blowing (it’s a 1997 Explorer, so there is no real “off”) and had no troubles at all.
Now, a heater core isn’t expensive and actually changing it isn’t really complicated. But it is an expensive repair when done at a real mechanic’s shop because it involves taking the dash apart to get to it and Hubby and his friend are fans of removing the front seats to have even more room to get to it. So, there’s a lot of labor involved, hence the expense.