Day-before road trip

November 26, 2015

Road trip goodies! I believe one (ok, two) of those cinnamon rolls are about to be my breakfast, with some coffee.

Road trip goodies! I believe one (ok, two) of those cinnamon rolls are about to be my breakfast, with some coffee.

First, we did NOT secure the caviar, doggone it. Mr. George had only frozen 1-kilo packages, and I did not see any circumstances under which I needed 2.2 pounds of caviar at one time. Especially if it’s in one frozen block.

But, he said, provided this weekend’s promised deluge doesn’t screw up the fishing too badly, he should have plenty in the next couple of weeks and if I’ll call in advance, he’ll save me some fresh. Of both main kinds — spoonbill and sturgeon — so I can compare them. The sturgeon is best, he says.

Mr. George sounds like a neat guy. I’m anxious to meet him. I learned more about caviar in 10 minutes on the phone with him than I ever thought about knowing before. And thank God for Arkansas being a small state — I knew somebody who could call him and get his cell number, which he answers, which saved me an hour and a half addition to the road trip.

Looking forward to my caviar in a couple of weeks.

Elsewhere the trip was successful, and I made it home with the turkey, which bathed in a salt-and-sugar brine all night; four frozen chickens (all I had room for in the freezer), two plates of homemade cinnamon rolls, a jar of pickles, a jar of “tomato slaw,” and a jar of apple butter. I contemplated, but passed on, a recipe book from the local Methodist Church. And a pound of pecan halves.

The turkey brine is an Emeril recipe, mostly — a cup each of salt and brown sugar and 2 tbsp of thyme, with some onion powder, some garlic powder and some paprika, boiled to dissolve the salt and sugar, quick-cooled with a bunch of ice and then diluted with the remaining water. And I learned a valuable lesson. When one is going to brine the turkey in the auxiliary fridge, it would be wise to carry the 16-pound turkey out there separately from the 4 gallons of brine, at 8.8 pounds per gallon plus the spices. That was heavy.

I was, however, pleased to see Mr. Turkey had his neck and giblets stuffed down in his body cavity, so I have plenty of makings for broth for the gravy, which is presently simmering. (Note to self: remember to boil a couple of eggs for the gravy.)

The chickens and other goodies, except for the pecans, came from Newcastle Farms between Forrest City and Wynne. In the summer, they sell a lot of produce, but in the winter, it’s limited to baked goods, canned goods and a few winter veggies. I passed on the turnips and the greens. Coconut cakes were going out of there in a hurry, as were pecan pies, no doubt destined for today’s tables. And the cinnamon rolls, which friends who work down there contend are the best in the world.

The pecans came from the Exxon station, which had them at a good price. I love small towns.

Also had a quite excellent hamburger, and what would have been quite excellent onion rings but for the fact that, while the burger was hot, the rings were cold. Disappointing.

Didn’t make up the roll dough last night; did that this morning. Shouldn’t take long for it to rise.

Pulled the pate out of the fridge last night — it was occupying the turkey’s brining spot — and turned it out of its loaf pan. It looked…well, it looked like a meat loaf wrapped in bacon. I haven’t tasted it yet; the hamburger wasn’t sitting real well. I’ll update you ‘n y’mama ‘n em on that later this weekend. I overcooked it; forgot about it, in point of fact, but it doesn’t LOOK like it suffered from that.

Anyway, except for the roll dough, I’m about on schedule, and that’s rising as we speak. I’m just kinda chillin’ and waiting for the rush to start about 9:30.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em drop on by this weekend if you’re out hitting the sales. I will be here, as there is NOTHING on sale that warrants me being out when 5 to 7 inches of rain is falling, thankyouverymuch.

A very happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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